What many people fail to realize is just how much the aesthetics in your home can affect your mental health. From decoration to organization, the environment and feeling you create in your home matters more than you think. The kitchen is the central area of your house and you most likely utilize it every single day. This can make it especially hard to keep clean and organized, versus something like the guest bedroom which is rarely used. Most of the people who describe themselves as type A would say they’re very organized, while those who are type B would likely say they tend to be more messy or disorganized. Of course, this will depend on the individual person as everyone is different. There are various levels of organization, from super clean to super messy and everything in between. As a rule, though, it’s helpful to your mental health to prioritize a clean and organized kitchen. There is no need to try and be perfect, especially because life is always getting in the way. You should be aware, however, of the many benefits that an organized kitchen can have on you and your family’s mental well-being. If organization alone doesn’t improve your mental health, consider a mental health resource like MyTherapist for further assistance.
First, let’s discuss, in general, why being organized is so good for you. These benefits apply to you no matter what area of the house or specific room you’re referring to. Keep in mind, however, that since the kitchen is such a prominent room in your home, they’ll apply even more to an organized kitchen as opposed to other areas you don’t spend as much time in.
Benefits of Good Organization
- More productive: An organized space means a clearer mind. A clearer mind means you’ll be able to get the important tasks in your life done with more clarity and speed.
- Better time management: Have you ever spent hours searching for something you needed to find? When you’re organized, you won’t waste time searching for the things you need. You’ll know exactly where they are. You’ll waste less time and have more time for the things that matter most.
- Less clutter: Part of being organized is getting rid of the stuff you no longer use or need. You probably have duplicates of items and don’t even realize it because there’s so much clutter. Utensils can fall behind drawers and appliances can get shoved deep into cabinets. You might find something you didn’t even know you owned. Minimalists tend to be more organized for this very reason.
- Stress reduction: It’s a fact that clutter leads to stress. Reduce the clutter in your space, and you’ll also reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you’re experiencing.
- Boosts self-esteem: The ability to keep your home clean and organized will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. You’ll feel more comfortable having people over and won’t be stressed cleaning at the last minute whenever you have an unexpected guest.
- Saves money: Have you ever bought something and then found that exact item weeks or months later? Clutter tends to cause you to buy things you don’t actually need. To reduce the amount of money you spend on useless items, spend time decluttering and organizing the spaces in your home.
- Helps others: Reducing the clutter in your home means finding items you might consider donating to help those who are less fortunate. While you may prefer to sell some more expensive items, other times it’s easier to just give things away. It’ll especially save you time, plus you’ll make another person or family very happy.
- Closer relationships: Your friends and family will probably be invited over more often if you have an organized home. This is due to less feelings of embarrassment about your house. Your friends and family probably wouldn’t have judged you in the first place for a more disheveled space, but your self-consciousness probably would’ve kept them away more than you’d like to admit.
All of these benefits work together to create a much happier, healthier space. Now, just how do these benefits apply to the kitchen specifically? The advantage of having an organized, decluttered kitchen space is that your time in the kitchen will be better spent. When you decide to cook at home, you won’t waste time looking for the utensils and appliances you need. You’ll know exactly where each item is at. Cooking often relies a great deal on timing, so not being able to find something can lead to burnt food or a botched recipe altogether. You’ll also feel more comfortable inviting family and friends over for a meal. Sitting around the dinner table together increases closeness and creates better conversation. Plus, the chef will feel a sense of satisfaction for cooking lunch or dinner for everyone. You’ll get a boost of self-esteem and self-confidence the better you get at cooking, and your friends and family will be impressed with your talent.
How to Organize the Kitchen
- Label items: It’s easy to forget what some powder or spice is, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve used it. Try using erasable markers or buying pre-written labels to stick to different products around your kitchen. It’ll be easier to find what you need right when you need it.
- Get a spice rack: You’ll use your spices a lot, especially if you cook regularly. Keep them right next to your oven on the counter and get a spice rack to keep them out of your way.
- Check your fridge regularly: Check your fridge often for food or condiments that may have expired. The last thing you want is rotting cheese smelling up your space. You also don’t want to buy two of the same thing and waste money on items you already have plenty of.
- Store the items you don’t use: If there are large appliances, like crockpots, that you rarely use, store them away out of sight. Keeping them out on the counter will only create clutter and give you less space to cook on.
- Reorganize regularly: Spend time each week organizing so that the task doesn’t get overwhelming. When you take something out, put it back right away. Don’t let dishes stack up in the sink and wipe down the counters each time you cook.
Spending time in the kitchen may have never been an option for you before, but now can be because of your commitment to organization. A cluttered space is enough to keep anyone away. Don’t rush the process, especially if you’re overwhelmed by it. Pick a new space to focus on each day, such as the panty, the drawers, or the cabinets. You can always knock it all out in a day, but if you’re new to organization, this might be too much too soon. Whenever the kitchen becomes cluttered, as it likely will when life gets busy, don’t get upset with yourself. A disorganized kitchen is a reality for everyone because life gets in the way for all of us from time to time. You might consider having a day set each week that is specifically for focusing on the kitchen. For example, take an hour or two each Saturday to organize. It’s easier to maintain a clean space than to constantly have to re-organize everything when it’s a disaster. Hopefully, a more organized kitchen will lead to better mental health and more time spent cooking and sitting around the dinner table with family and friends.