How to Organize Your Kitchen
The kitchen receives a lot of traffic in any home and is one of the rooms that is open for guests to see when they visit. Thus most of us would like to keep our kitchens looking as good as possible at all times. Here are a few tips for organizing your kitchen to keep it looking good for company and easy to use while cooking.
One Space at a Time
Go through your kitchen one cupboard or drawer at a time. Remove everything from the cupboard or drawer and wash it out. Consider using shelf liners (to protect your shelves and make them easier to clean) and drawer liners (to protect the drawers and keep items from sliding around). As you put items back, consider whether you use each item or not and where in the kitchen it should belong (see below).
Use It or Lose It
While kitchen gadgets are meant to make life in the kitchen easier, many simply take up space in drawers or on counters. How often do you use a melon baller or a citrus zester? How about the ice cream maker sitting in the back cupboard? Put them in a big box to take to your local thrift store.
This is time to be honest. If you’ve been hanging onto a kitchen appliance that you never use because it was a wedding present, stop doing that. If the item is in excellent shape (maybe even still in the box), consider re-gifting it to someone who may be able to use it—a friend getting married or starting her own home. You could also try selling it (online, at a garage sale, or at a local consignment store) and treating the money you receive as the wedding gift to buy something you do need.
Easy to Grab
Take note of those things that you use frequently and put them in a place that’s easy to reach. For example, anything on your counters should be something you use regularly. If you eat toast every morning for breakfast, put the toaster in the corner rather than in a cupboard; on the other hand, if you eat cereal all the time, put the toaster away.
Use a vase or jar to keep spoons, whisks, and spatulas near the stove so they are easy to grab. Organize your spices and other commonly used ingredients around the stove; e.g., I keep cooking oil, vinegar and other spices just above my stove so they are easy to grab while I’m cooking. Keep similar items in the same area—all your baking supplies in one cupboard, all your bowls in another cupboard, etc.
Replace the Worn Out Items
As you go through your kitchen, make a note of things that are broken or worn out. Replace those holey dish cloths. Check your oven mitts for holes or thin spots. Fix wobbly pot handles.
If you have a pot that needs a new lid, put it aside to find the replacement (or get rid of it if you haven’t used it in years because of the missing lid). You may be able to find replacements at your local thrift store; for example, I recently found a new lid for my crock pot at my local Value Village.
Check for Expiry Dates
As you go through the food items in your kitchen, pantry and fridge, check for expiry dates. Throw out anything that is past its expiry date. Look for food stuffs you never use or don’t like—that dried fruit that came in a gift basket or the shrimp sauce in the back of the fridge that you never sue—and throw them out too.
Once you’ve cleaned and organized your kitchen, try to maintain your new order. Taking a few seconds to put utensils away and to peruse your fridge or pantry for old items will make annual cleanings less work.
Here's your chance to leave a comment!
You must be logged in to post a comment.