An organized kitchen can sometimes seem like an impossible dream. It is the heart and soul of the home and one of the busiest rooms in the house. This makes it one of the hardest rooms to keep organized and tidy but there are a few things you can do to stay on top of the chaos.
1. Clear your counters
It is tempting to keep items like toasters, mixers and crock pots on the counter when you use them often. It is much, much better to find a handy cupboard and put them away. Once you put things on the counters it attracts more items and before you know it you have no counter space left for cooking. Keep items on your counter to a bare minimum. On my counter I have a pestle and mortar, tea, coffee and sugar jars and that is all. It gives me heaps of space to prepare meals and is easy to keep clean and hygienic because I can wipe down the entire counter several times a day without having to move everything off it first.
2. Have a system for dishes
Some people have a dishwasher and others wash their dishes in the sink. The important thing is there is a system in place so that the dishes are done. Dirty dishes in the sink is the quickest way to make your kitchen look disorganized and unattractive. I wash dishes by hand and usually keep the sink full of hot, soapy water so I can wash up as I go. If you have a dishwasher all you need to do is make sure you empty it of clean dishes in the morning so you can place all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher during the day.
3. Clear out your refrigerator
A good tip is to clear your refrigerator every week the day before your garbage is collected. Throw out all your leftovers and anything past the used by date. Wipe down the shelves and doors and check what you need to replace. If you can do your weekly shop either that day or the next so much the better. It is a great feeling to be able to place your groceries straight into a clean refrigerator. You can also save money by using up all the fruit and vegetables in the crisper before they expire. On the day you clean your refrigerator use up all the remaining fruit and vegetables by making soup, a stew, fruit pie or muffins. You can always freeze the excess and use them at a later date.
4. Sort your pantry
There is nothing more annoying than random packets of food shoved into a pantry. It looks terrible, makes it harder to find what you need and can cost you money when you are unable to find what you are looking for. The easiest way to avoid this is to ban packaging from your pantry. Have a container for each and every item you need to store and use it. The most important thing to look for with storage containers is that they stack neatly on top of each other to make the most of your space. Then label each with what it contains and use it exclusively for that item. When you run out of something the empty packet will help you to see at a glance what you need to buy. I use trays or containers without lids to sort and store all my sauces, herbs and spices, meal base packets, oils and vinegars. This makes it very easy to find what I need. I also have a tray for spreads and a tray for beverages such as tea, coffee and cocoa. If I am using a variety of herbs and spices I can take out the entire container and place it on my counter while I am cooking. Similarly at breakfast it is easy to take out the entire tray of spreads and place on the table. When clearing away it takes just seconds to pick the tray up and replace in the pantry.
5. Plastic tubs are your friends
Forget trying to stack your plastic containers neatly in the cupboard. Have you ever noticed that by the next day all your hard work has been destroyed by somebody rifling through the dishes looking for a container. Plastic tubs that fit on your shelves are perfect for keeping control of all your containers. You can pull out the entire tub to look for a container and then put it back on the shelf. It makes it easier to find lids and increases the storage space in your cupboard. When the tub becomes too disorganized you can sort it in under two minutes by taking the tub out and rearranging. A lot easier than trying to rearrange a cupboard full of loose plastic containers. You can also use tubs to keep your cleaning supplies together, your recipe books, shopping bags and anything else you need to store in the kitchen.
It might take a little bit of effort to get your kitchen organized the first time but by implementing the strategies in this article you will find it becomes much easier to keep control of your kitchen clutter. It is worth it to have an inviting place to cook, talk and eat with your family and friends.