Neat or Messy?

Dear K&K: My wife doesn’t think we have an organized kitchen. She complains that it is a cluttered mess but I’ve got to be honest, I don’t see it. Whatever bothers her, doesn’t bother me. How do we fix something that doesn’t seem broken to me? Signed: Dilemma in Delaware

Dear Dilemma: Half of our business as organizing coaches is solving problems that someone doesn’t think exists! Most likely, you’re just missing one of the four pillars of an organized kitchen. Check out the photo we’ve included here. It’s the organizational equivalent of the glass half empty or half full debate. Organized or Cluttered? What we would say is that it’s almost organized.

The pictured shelves have three of the four essential pillars of an organized kitchen: pantry bins, Lazy Susans, and Shelf Risers. They’ve corralled small items in pantry bins, placed jars on Lazy Susans for easy access, and created more space by using shelf risers. Like is generally with like — note cereals. Organized … right?

Not so fast. We also note that there’s a LOT of stuff on each of these organizational pillars. They’ve stacked quite a few items stacked on top of and in front of each other. Some might say, “So?” The problem with stacking too many things is that it removes the fourth pillar of an organized kitchen: Retrieval.

Not Pinterest perfect but everything is more retrievable!

And therein lies the problem. A table can’t stand on three legs. When you’ve got too much stuff in a given space, even if you’ve got all of the right systems — pantry bin, lazy susan, shelf riser —  it’s not organized. This is because excess clutter hampers retrieval even in perfectly organized areas.

Given what you’ve told us about yourself, you’ll likely find the second photo almost identical to the first but what we notice is that there’s less stuff. This makes for easier retrieval thereby giving it the table the 4th leg it needs! Hope that helps! Katie & Kelly

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