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I was away from home for about ten days. And when I came back my kids wanted me to cook their favorite meals, so the very next day, after sending the kids to school I decided to cook meals.
Feeling comfortable that I stepped into a thoroughly clean kitchen, which my domestic help is really good at I approached the cabinets to gather my ingredients.
I wasn’t shocked at all to find it cluttered up. Most of the things seemed out of place. That’s when I realized that no matter how much you train your helpers we cant entirely dependent upon them. They have to learn almost everyday, however I appreciate my help for keeping the kitchen nice and tidy. She doesn’t understand the meaning or organizing the cupboards which will help to remember where they belong.
So the day didn’t start with cooking but with organizing, though it didn’t take too long. (Thank God I was only gone for ten days)!
I’ve made 15 points we should keep in mind while trying to organize our kitchens!
I read a few years back when our house was being constructed that the kitchen reflects a part of your personality so whenever you're in the kitchen you should feel good. Being in a good mood and environment will make what you cook even more delicious!
1. Colors in the kitchen
Its nice to have nice light colors in the kitchen so it gives a soothing feeling while you cook. Also the combination of colors you use between the walls and cupboards should give a smart look.
I’ve used Maroon and white as the colors in my kitchen cupboards and the walls are all light yellow colored tiles. Tiles are easy to clean.
For storage you must store the most commonly used items in the most accessible places. Keep things you use most often at eye level or hands reach. Heavy items such as containers and heavy weight utensils should be kept below waist level and less used items on high shelves or in somewhere else.
3. Arranging the utensils
Pots and pans can be arranged by placing them one inside the other to save place from smallest to largest. It’s advisable to keep lids near the pots and pans they belong to otherwise it will take a while trying to look for them. Put all the cookware in one cabinet and miscellaneous pans and utensils in another to ensure that you’ll always go to the right place.
Arrange spoons, knifes, and other cooking flatware in drawer dividers and utensil trays (large enough to accommodate oversize pieces) to keep your kitchen accouterments in order.
Glassware might be best near the sink or refrigerator.
When we store Cups and Saucers together the same way they are used: saucer, cup, saucer, cup they not only look better but also can be safely stacked higher, and when you pull out a cup and saucer, they are ready for use.
To save space stack by shape of the utensil. round platters in one stack, oblong platters in another. Or lean platters against the back wall of a cabinet (secure them using rubber bumpers) and stack plates in front.
Group glassware and dinnerware by function. For example, keep everyday plates, bowls, cups, and glasses in one area. Store glasses upright to protect rims. Put away partyware in less frequently used cupboards (side cabinets near the dining table).
Keep items from rattling around inside drawers by adding dividers in drawers. Even while putting your cutlery, make separate drawers for different items. Don't mix spoons, forks and butter knives in one place.
Arrange everyday appliances according to the space availability in your kitchen. Very frequently used appliance such as mixer, toaster, coffee maker, etc can be kept on top of the shelf itself as they are used every day. However, appliances such as sandwich maker, electric egg beater, etc can be put away in cupboards till they are required.
5. Giveaway, Donate
Take inventory of your kitchen things. Pull all items out of the cupboards and put them on a large table. First discard all that you don’t need. Donate the utensils that you think you will not use as they are worn out or have gone bad. Don’t keep them and block your storage area. Discard anything that’s broken and can’t be repaired.
Then when putting back items, place those used for cooking and food preparation in cabinets near the stove and work surfaces; those for eating should be closer to the sink, refrigerator, and dishwasher.
6. Space Utilization
Use your walls to hang up racks or pegs to keep favorite utensils, pot holders, and dish towels in plain sight.
Also you can hang on the walls a single unit for keeping your aluminum foil, cling foil and paper towel in one place.
7. Under the Sink Area
You can organize under the sink by moving anything you use sparingly to the pantry and throwing out anything rusted. Consider a pull-out trash under the sink area. On the doors of the cabinet below the sink area you can have door attachments that hold sponges, brushes, and other cleaning equipment.
If you put spices (for cooking) near the stove, make sure they will stay cool and dry. Heat and moisture will spoil the flavor, and you will have to replace them much more often.
Keep the infrequent used spices in labeled air tight containers. Better are those containers which you can see through to save time while looking for them.
Group together things like packets of sauce mixes, gravy mixes, hot cereal packets and hot cocoa envelopes, then put them into small plastic containers to avoid them being scattered all over the cabinet. Use clear plastic shoeboxes to store food that is in tiny boxes such as gelatin or pudding mix.
Keep ingredients of recipes together like Chinese ingredients, or baking ingredients. It saves time plan things ahead, make food beforehand and start organizing.
Liquid hand soap is a must in any kitchen. It's more hygienic than bar soap.
10. Coffee / Tea area
Make a coffee or tea station that includes sugar, mugs and filters, and place it near the water source, if possible. This way you avoid going back and forth across the kitchen for the things you need just to make your morning beverage.
11. Keep Fridge clean
Clean Out the Refrigerator. Perishable foods should go at the bottom and toward the back, not on the door. The lower shelf, where it’s coldest, is best for dairy products. Produce stays fresher in a crisper drawer. Use the door to store bottled food and condiments.
Place a box of baking soda in the freezer and another in the refrigerator to absorb and neutralize smells; replace them every three months.
Remake ice cubes every month as stale ice traps odors, like those from frozen fish or meat.
Keep trash bags near the trash can, and throw a stack of loose bags into the bottom of the can. That way, when you pull out one bag, there is already another one right below it waiting to be used.
13. Cutting Boards
Using plastic cutting boards is better than using wood cutting boards, as wood remains wet and can grow bacteria. Plastic boards can be washed in dishwasher and the steam can kill all remaining bacteria.
14. Clean your floor
Make sure the kitchen floor and is cleaned with phenyl atleast twice a day.
Remember to keep rodents like cockroaches away keep the kitchen dry, especially the wooden areas as cockroaches grow in the damp area. Regularly spray insect killing sprays near the wooden and under sink areas.
Needless to say clean corners keep the ants at bay.
Finally, the way you work in the kitchen will determine where you store and use the items in your kitchen, but the goal is to get that kitchen its contents to serve your needs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. If you invest the time and energy into de-cluttering and organizing your kitchen, it is an investment that will pay off in happiness for years to come.
Hope I could help you with the ideas I have implemented in my kitchen.