Saturday, April 12, 2014

5-Steps to a Family-Friendly Kitchen: Ideas for Organization and Creating Calm

This morning, we are bringing you a guest post from Emily Creswick of Zillow. Emily is here to give us some ideas of how to make a kitchen more family-friendly. I have long stressed the importance of eating meals together and cooking and working on kitchen chores together. Emily is giving us some ideas on how to keep it together in the the kitchen and make it an organized space ready for family time! Thank you, Emily:



The kitchen is the heart of the home; a bustling space for cooking, dining and family socializing. But for busy families, the kitchen commonly becomes an area of chaos. The clear surfaces become dumping grounds for random belongings and disorder and clutter take over – making preparing a meal an absolute nightmare.

A family-friendly kitchen benefits current homeowners and improves resale value by appealing to buyers. Functional kitchen spaces reduce stress for residents and are major selling points for home shoppers. Here are five steps to follow in order to update and organize the kitchen to create a space for everyone to enjoy.

1. Remove Clutter
Clutter is a common trait of a dysfunctional kitchen. It’s caused by excessive food, dishes, containers, appliances, etc. that flood cupboards and counter tops. Tackle clutter by throwing  out items such as containers with missing lids, broken appliances and worn out utensils. Only keep appliances out or accessible if they’re used frequently. Otherwise, store the mixer or cake stand in the pantry or secondary storage area. Remove personal belongings such as school bags, car keys and mail. Create dedicated areas to store these non-kitchen items to avoid the after school or work offload. Great solutions include coat and key hooks, mail baskets or entry hall benches.

2. Organize with Style
To add flair to a bare kitchen, add a few items that couple functionality with stylish design. Invest in wall mount containers to store nuts and lentils, which clear cabinet space. Wall-mounted containers are easy for kids to use, and a few in sequence add color and contemporary design. Because digging in cupboards to find pots and pans is annoying, look into adding a kitchen rack with s-hooks. Instead of the outdated hanging racks that restrict light and inhibit the open layout of popular kitchens, wall-mounted racks keep designs modern and cabinets vacant. 

3. Add Durable Decor
Kids tend to spill drinks and make messes with food, but machine-washable slipcovers and tablecloths solve the dilemma. Interchangeable covers not only guard surfaces but act as quick fixes to spruce up messy or drab kitchens. 

4. Cater to the Kids
Child-size table and chairs are perfect for kids who have outgrown the highchair but are not quite ready for the dining table. For smaller members of the family who enjoy being part of the cooking process, kid-friendly utensils are great investments. Adding a blackboard to the kitchen is another fun and practical organizational element for the family. Parents can use the board to create a weekly shopping list and kids can play while their parents cook.

5. Increase Safety  
For families with small children, invest in discreet safety locks that deter little hands from getting into draws and cupboards they should not. Part of being safe is keeping the kitchen hygienic. Freeze bulk meat right away to avoid bacteria build up and dispose of green waste by using a compost bin. Keep multiple cutting boards on hand for meats and produce and teach kids good hygiene of washing hands before and after food preparation.

These simple updates transform the kitchen into an efficient space where lasting family memories can be made in comfort. Regular attention to these tips help families upkeep function and form in the kitchen throughout their busy lives.

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