Helpful Hints

The Not-So-Extreme Kitchen Makeover

Do you ever feel like you want to demolish your kitchen and start over, like they do on the home improvement shows? The simplest “makeover” you can do to improve the looks and functionality of your kitchen is just an afternoon away. Setting aside a few hours to declutter and reorganize will make you feel as if you have a new and more efficient kitchen—no sledgehammer required!LHP012-Image5

Step 1: Take Stock

Take everything out of the drawers and cupboards. EVERYTHING. Set it all out where you can see it. This way you can really get the “big picture” of what you have.

Step 2: Toss, Toss, Toss!

Make piles for items you can sell, donate or throw away, and eliminate as much as you can. Be ruthless—don’t keep anything you don’t really use. Is anything broken? Toss it and start a list of items you need to replace. Chances are there at least a few duplicate items. Keep the one you like best and get rid of the others.

Step 3: Clean Up

While everything is empty, it’s the perfect time to wipe down the insides of your cabinets and drawers. If you use shelf paper or liners, replace those too. (Better yet, have a helper do this while you’re sorting and tossing!)

Step 4: Rethink Before You Replace

Everything that you’re keeping can go back where it belongs. But wait, not so fast! Consider whether your old setup was really efficient or if you could reorganize to make it better. Some things to think about: Store frequently used items in easy-to-reach places and infrequently used items up high or even in another room. Store items close to where they will be used; flatware, plates, and glasses near the table, pots and pans near the stove, cutting boards and food prep items near open counter space.

Step 5: Plan and Purchase

You should have a list of any broken items that you need to replace. Now is a perfect time to consider investing in some organizational tools to keep things within reach and easy to find, like new drawer organizers, a spice rack or a dish drying rack. New dish towels or placemats could be an inexpensive way to brighten up your kitchen and complete the mini-makeover.

Step 6: Put It All Together

Once you have a place for everything, put everything in its place. Then sit back, relax and enjoy your “new” kitchen!