Being organized has its benefits and when you’re spending most of your time in the kitchen whipping up meals for your family, you’d be a much better cook if you easily find what you need. Frantically rummaging through a drawer for a utensil or looking for a particular ingredient in a cluttered cabinet is not really what you want to be doing while your sauce is starting to burn on the stove.
Scenarios like these take the joy out of cooking and make it a stressful activity instead. And do you know that it’s believed unhappy cooks never make delicious meals? One way of maintaining a cheerful disposition while in the kitchen is keeping it organized.
Organizing tips for a clutter-free kitchen
Because the kitchen is your favorite space in the home, you’ve gone to great lengths to make it beautiful and functional, making sure that the equipment, cabinets and flooring are elegantly matched. But no matter how beautifully designed your kitchen is, it will not appear so if it is cluttered. Plus, cooking becomes a hassle when you spend half the time looking for the things you need. Life can be so much easier if things are in their proper place; and this can be easily done by following a few simple steps.
Check the items stored in the cabinets
If you’re like most people, you have this habit of putting away items inside a cabinet and forgetting about them afterwards. Chances are you have things sitting in there that you’ve never used. Now is the time to give storage spaces a thorough checkup. Go through each stored item. Discard those that are broken, including ingredients that are past their expiration date and consider donating the ones you rarely use. Do this for each drawer and cabinet in your kitchen. You probably need to exercise self-control in doing this especially when you have the tendency to hold on to things that you don’t even use. Remember, your ultimate objective is to de-clutter.
Classify similar items
When you’ve finished clearing out your cabinets, take a look at the items you have decided to keep and think about how you want to group them together. For dinnerware, for example, you might want to separate plates and glasses that you use regularly from those that you use on special occasions. If you love making desserts, you could sort cake pans, pie pans, and other baking tools in one distinct pile.
Put it together
Now that you’ve grouped all the items, start organizing and think about where they should be kept. The primary goal here is efficiency. Storage space near the stovetop is best reserved for pots and pans. Store knives and utensils in a drawer near the area where you prepare food. Glasses should be kept near the refrigerator so you don’t have to do a lot of legwork every time you need a drink. Besides, moving around makes spills more likely, which means more cleanup work, particularly if your kitchen has wooden flooring. To perk up your mornings, you can also designate a special area for making coffee that has mugs, sugar and filters as well as the percolator within easy reach.
Finding enough storage for all your items can be difficult especially when you have a tiny kitchen. There are several ingenious ways to make use of every inch of space like making use of storage baskets and stackable containers. You can also hang organizers on the sides of cabinets and behind cabinet doors; or install vertical shelves and racks.
Make use of drawer dividers
Items stored in a drawer can easily get mixed up as you pull it in and out. Putting in dividers will keep your drawers from looking like a junkyard and make the small items easy to spot.
Use transparent storage containers for easy visibility
Things that you need in the kitchen come in different sizes and small-sized ones like packets of cocoa, sauces and mixes have to be stashed inside containers to keep them in one place. To easily spot what you need, store these items in clear plastic.
Put the lazy Susan to good use
Who is Susan and why is she lazy? Legend has it that the lazy Susan was invented by one of the United States‘ founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, because his daughter complained that she was always served last at the table. Whether this story is true of not, lazy Susan is a catchy name for a revolving tray that can help keep your kitchen organized. You can have two or more revolving trays placed in different areas of your kitchen to have easy access to bottles of spices or jars of condiments. You can even put one inside the refrigerator for leftovers and beverages.
Save some space for papers
You would think that a stack of paper belongs to the study, not the kitchen. In reality, though, there are pieces of paper lying around in your kitchen: recipe cards, coupons, and takeout menus, not to mention the recipe books you like to keep on hand. Leaving pieces of paper scattered about can make your kitchen look cluttered; but you can easily assemble them together in one place by hanging a magnetic sorter box in the refrigerator. Aside from the cabinets, convenient places to store recipe books are countertops and open shelves in the kitchen island.
Tidy up the ref
When it’s time to put out the trash, think about what items in the refrigerator need to be discarded as well. This step takes only a few minutes but will ensure that food that’s left inside is fresh and there is more space for storage.
The way you organize your kitchen depends on your personal habits and preferences. Whichever way you do it, remember that the bottom line is accomplishing kitchen tasks as efficiently as possible. The more efficient you are, the more you will enjoy your time in the kitchen; and this joy will certainly reflect in the meals you prepare for yourself and your family.