Working at Rubbermaid has its pros and cons. One of the pros is getting samples of our products. One of the cons is getting samples of our products. How is getting samples a con you ask? The issue was I had way too many food storage containers and beverage bottles. It seemed every time I turned around I was bringing another container home and I never seemed to get rid of old containers. Water bottles would fall out of my cabinets when the door was opened. I could never find a lid to my food containers because I had too many and too many types.
Last weekend I decided to do something about this problem. After having a couple cups of freshly ground coffee I stood in my kitchen and began the process of organization.
Step one was to identify and define the issue. For me the issue was two-fold.
- I had too many containers and I certainly didn’t need all of them
- I was utilizing my space poorly. My frequently used items were stored in a cabinet that was deep and hard to reach while lightly used items were kept in the prime locations.
Step two was to sort and purge. I ended up pulling everything out of my base cabinets and sorted it into piles on the kitchen floor. Beverage bottles went in one pile, pots & pans in another and so on. Once everything was sorted I began the process of purging. I started by finding all of the food storage and beverage bottles and matched bases to lids. Anything that didn’t have a match went into the recycling pile.
Next I pulled out anything that was damaged, old, stained or I just didn’t need. This was a fairly easy process for me as I ended up keeping only stuff that was new like my Produce Saver, Premier and other samples from work. Additionally, since Calphalon is a sister company of Rubbermaid I had some very nice pots and pans. There was no need to keep old stuff from college. My wife on the other hand had a hard time parting with the bakeware her grandmother passed down to us (although she eventually did).
Step three – With the sorting and purging process complete the next order of business was to put everything away. I didn’t want to just put stuff back in the same spot since the original storage locations were not optimum. So I began to take inventory of what was left and ended up identifying a few major categories of items: (1) food storage container, (2) beverage bottles, (3) pots and pans, and (4) bakeware. With those categories identified I then prioritized which items I use most frequently along with the space required to keep these items organized.
I ended up giving priority and easy access to the food storage containers and beverage bottles. These two groups of products ended up in the largest cabinets with the easiest access (the kids needed to be able to get these items easily without making a mess). The pots and pans were put into the cabinet that had the least convenient access since only my wife and I accessed those items (and in theory are responsible enough to keep them organized). The bakeware got the remaining cabinets.
After all was said and done it had only taken me 60 minutes to complete this very satisfying task. It’s been about a week since I completed the project and all of the cabinets are still in good shape. And since I took into consideration the way we use our kitchen I expect the cabinets to stay organized for a long time too.