By Emily Richards Home Economist
Quick tips to make your kitchen work for you so that you enjoy working in it and preparing meals for you and your family.
Tips to Organize Your Kitchen
· Keep cupboards and drawers clutter-free: Go through them every so often and wipe out the shelves and take a close look at pots, pans, bowls, plates… to make sure none are damaged or dirty.
· Keep helpful appliances on the counter (provided you have space) so that they are easily accessible to make your cooking time more efficient. If appliances are in view, you’re more likely to use them.
· Take care of your appliances. Wipe down stoves and refrigerators after use or spillage. If your oven is self-cleaning, it is easy to do, but if not, make sure it gets cleaned as needed to keep it running efficiently.
· Get the family involved. They need to help keep the kitchen a happy, healthy place to be. It is the nucleus of the home for many people.
In Depth into the Kitchen
· Create great meals for the family. Sound difficult? It’s not… if your pantry has a range of easy to cook ingredients that are based on everyday basics meals. Looking for a list of pantry staples with recipe ideas? Read: What Staples do you Need for a Well-Stocked Pantry?
· Make a grocery list so that you end up with the necessities in the kitchen, not just last minute items or impulse buys. Keep an eye out for clutter in your pantry – it is an easy place to collect things over time. Make your meals more often with the purchase of the ingredients you will use, and this will minimize the clutter.
· Throw out your old pantry items that may have expired and transfer opened packages to airtight containers or resealable bags for storage. Remember most foods keep well in a cool, dark and dry place.
· When you do your shopping, remember that you don’t need to buy everything at once. Keep a shopping list handy and write down what you need, but consider how long things will stay fresh before buying in bulk and also how long it will take to use it up before it expires.
· Keep your kitchen in check and do regular maintenance just like your car. Put kitchen tools back in place and wipe up spills. Add groceries you need on that handy shopping list right away so you don’t forget.
· If you leave treats within easy reach or at eye level you will be tempted more often. Try placing treats at the back of the cupboard so they are out of sight and out of mind. Or of course, don’t buy them at all.
· Place foods that are better for you within easy reach so you use them more often. This way you can’t miss them and you will be able to create delicious dishes at mealtimes.
· If it’s easier for you, arrange your food into categories and label shelves for others in the kitchen so everyone can pitch in. This will make it easier for the household to find ingredients and cookware too.
· In an ideal world, you should be able to see everything when you open any cupboard, drawer, fridge or freezer without moving items out of the way. Sometimes a shortage of storage space doesn’t allow for this.
· To stock your pantry and have great meals, remember to consult your favourite easy-to-use cookbooks that you can turn to in a pinch for simple breakfast, lunch and supper solutions.
Need tips for handling the dinner time rush? Read: How to get Dinner on the Table Fast: Start with a Plan