Thursday, 23 May 2019 06:55

Organised kitchen, happy cook!

Do you spend a lot of time in your kitchen?

Is it organised?

Can you find what you need?

Would you like a more organised kitchen?

Why? You ask…

Here are some great reasons to get your kitchen organised:

  1. You will have more room.

When you get organised, you'll find you have more free space and that your space is uncluttered. You just need to find a home for everything, and return things to their homes.

2. You will be able to save time.

Looking for sugar? It's organised in the container in the cupboard. Being organised means you don’t have to search for things that you might need in a hurry in the future.

3. You will also save money.

You don't believe that? Try thinking why you bought bag of sugar today? Isn't it because you could see the bag in the cupboard? Or think of the countless other things you bought because you thought you didn't have one of them at home.

4. You will feel more in control.

Did you know that clutter around your house causes stress? As your clutter goes, you'll feel that it is easier to breathe and take charge of your own kitchen.

This should be a good enough reason why you would make a effort to get your kitchen organised.

So, ready?

The first step in organising your kitchen is taking stock of what you have.

  • Remove any appliances that you seldom use from your counter tops. Store them in a cabinet.
  • Store your pots and pans, and other cooking utensils close to the stove.
  • Store glasses in order. All tall together, then all short, all wine, then champagne etc.
  • Place dividers in your drawers. This makes it easier to keep all of those little bits and pieces straight.

The focus should be on easy access and return.

  • If you can easily get to something and return it, the chances of your kitchen staying organized is greater.
  • Put rarely used utensils in the back of the cupboard, and often used in the very front.
  • Items that are used frequently should not be more than one space deep in your cupboard.

Your food stuffs need to be organised also.

  • If you bake, all your baking ingredients should be together.
  • Your soups and convenience foods live separately from your cooking spices and basic ingredients. You need a space for ingredients like dried beans, rice, noodles, canned vegetables, etc.
  • In this way, when you are approaching a kitchen task you will not need to rummage through your cupboard any more.

This is where containers come in:

  • Your CONTAINERS should work for you.
  • Buy the best quality containers you can afford
  • Choose TRANSPARENT or translucent containers – to see exactly what’s inside.
  • Square or rectangle is best.
  • SIZE is important – Big enough for a packet/pack/box

Let’s look at storage containers for the pantry:

  • Remember the sugar we were talking about earlier?
  • Spaghetti? Biscuits? Packets of soup and sauces?
  • Apply to all dry ingredients. I go one step further and decant bottles, so that my storage is uniform

Let’s look at storage containers for the fridge and freezer:

FIRST OF ALL, what should be stored where?

  • TOP SHELF : Butter, eggs, raw pastry, deli foods
  • MIDDLE SHELF : Cooked meat, poultry, fish, sauces, leftovers, readymade meals
  • BOTTOM SHELF : Raw meat, milk cream, yoghurt
  • DRAWERS : Herbs, veggies, salads
  • DOOR : Fruit juices, sauces, salad dressing, wine & beer

NOW, tips to keep fridge tidy and hygienic:

  • Wrap cheese in greaseproof paper and then in container
  • Remove fruit & veg from packing to allow to breath
  • Cool leftovers before refrigerating
  • NEVER store food in tins
  • Wipe up spills as they occur, clean fridge monthly using bicarb in warm water
  • Best temperature for your fridge is 5 deg C or lower

LASTLY, how to use containers in the fridge:

  • Containers should be square or rectangular, and preferably stackable
  • Should seal well

How to use containers in the freezer:

  • Containers should be square or rectangular, and preferably stackable
  • Should seal well
  • Should be labelled with date and contents

Now that your kitchen is organised, you're probably wondering how to keep it that way.

  • Maintenance is the key. Always put things back in the spots you've designated for them.
  • Do the basics every day.
  • Once a week, do a quick run-through in the kitchen, putting away items that have strayed from their homes, and wipe down surfaces.
  • Check the fridge for any items which are expired or starting to turn.
  • Toss any of the leftovers that are no longer edible. Give the ones you know you won't eat to a homeless person. Do it every dustbin day!
  • You'll find this becomes a habit, one which will keep your kitchen organised or a long time to come.

Organised kitchen, happy cook!

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