Overcoming Hoarding - a Big Obstacle To Achieving An Organized Kitchen

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Published: 24th February 2011
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Ever wonder how you accidentally ended up with a complete collection of Tupperware? It could be a good investment, and you may actually make profit by listing your collection on eBay. That is if you can part with your beloved Tupperware collection. If you’re reading this, chances are, you suspect you are a hoarder, or know somebody who is. Recognizing hoarding behavior is a primary step to having an organize kitchen. But don’t worry, you can do something about it; take it from a former hoarder.

How to spot ‘hoarding in the kitchen’ a mile away:

When you think about it, it’s always easier to see this behavior in other people than it is in ourselves. But if you take a quick look around in your kitchen, do you notice any of these tell-tale hoarding signals:

• Stacks of dusty plastic storage containers, of all shapes, color and sizes

• Empty jars, bottles, not decorative, either neatly lined up or cluttered

• Piles of kitchen and hand towels, despite rolls of paper towels

• Near empty condiment bottles, around for more than a year

• Old and rusty cookware, along with the new ones

• Canned food and groceries untouched for months

• Worn out yellow spatulas, once white

• All sorts of lids for lost containers

• Mugs, plates, cups and saucers with side chips, broken handles, but seemingly usable

• A collection of dishwashing sponges and scrubs

• Cereal boxes having less than 50grams of cereal inside them

• Molded stuff

And the list goes on and on. Does this look familiar? If you want to organize your kitchen, this behavior has to stop. So how do you deal with it? The main objective is to cure it before it gets worse. A simple solution to the problem of a cluttered, messy and disorganized kitchen is, to first get rid of the unwanted clutter. You don’t want the clutter coming back, so you must avoid accumulating. This is always easier said than done.

So you think you may be a hoarder but you still have your "Organize Kitchen" project. What can you do?

Take one step at a time.

 First get rid of the stuff you can and don’t mind throwing away; you may have just forgotten about them. Clean up. If you haven’t used something in the past 12 months, you probably won’t ever use it again. Throw it out.

 Next is to sort everything in your kitchen storage spaces, and pick out the unnecessary. This is hard. You may find yourself reluctant to part with your favorite spatula, your aunt gave you, so start by just storing them AWAY from your kitchen. Sentimental keep sakes are different from rubbish. Trash is trash, the empty jars you’re thinking of filling with something, you just can’t put a finger on, must go!

 Now the impossible; among the stuff you think you need, and can’t possibly throw away, choose half of the least important. I know, I know, they’re all important. Again, you want a clean, organized kitchen right? Near empty bottles have no business in your kitchen, and old sponges and wash cloths should rest in peace. Don’t cheat! If it’s easier, then you choose your top favorites first, make sure they make up only 50% of everything you want to keep. Now, the least important half should consist of the stuff you can replace and buy easily.

 Take one section of your kitchen at a time. Start small. Clearing out clutter in one area will make you want to continue onto other areas.

Believe that you can do it. Practice, until it grows on you. After a while, you’ll be amazed with the improvements you’ve made, to your kitchen, and to yourself.

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