Use kitchen logic to save time

Have you ever made a move where things just landed by chance in their new, illogical location and inertia kept them there for years? Like the cooking oils stored across the kitchen and behind a chair? This is one of my favorite, personal examples. What was I thinking? Whatever it was, it wasn’t about access to the olive oil.

Today my business partner, Robert, and I set up kitchens for people. The kitchen is one of the most intricate puzzles to be figured out during a move. There are many pieces in this jigsaw. The spices, the measuring cups, the cutting boards, the big pots, the small pots and all the pans in between, the toaster, the waffle iron, the utility drawer, the desk kit, the coffee pot, the towel rack, the plastic wrap and Ziploc baggies are a few of the items that need to be stored with easy access.

When we are managing a local move, we set up the kitchen a day before the official move. This allows our clients to start cooking right after the move, which is an efficient comfort.

A basic measure of kitchen efficiency is experienced when emptying the dishwasher or dish drainer. How far do you have to go to put way the glasses, the mugs, the plates, the forks, and knives? Are you able to put everything away with minimal bending, lifting, and turning or are you making long distant hikes across the kitchen?

Cooking a meal also highlights the kitchen organization. Where are the pots, the pans, the cutting boards, knives, oils and spices in relation to your work surface?

Setting up a kitchen takes time, patience, and a lot of thought. Halfway through a kitchen set-up I will say, “OK, sauté some asparagus.”

Robert reaches for the asparagus, the pan, the cutting board, the knife, and the olive oil. Is he all twisted into knots or was it a fluid experience?

Then he says, “Try heating up a can of soup.”

If you are moving, get help with the kitchen. Bring in that organized friend or hire a professional. If you have already moved — last week or last decade — sit down and see if there is any inefficient inertia lurking in the cupboards and think through how to banish it.

A well-organized, efficient kitchen soothes the soul. We all need some soothing.

Julia Gunnels of Asheville is the owner of Simply Change, a professional organizing service. Robert Uherka serves as partner. For services, portfolio and other information, visit simplychange, call 230-2802 or email

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