If you're a cooking lover, imagine that you're itching to try a new recipe. But when you come home you find a kitchen that is so disorganized and cluttered you don't have enough space to work in it. Can you imagine how frustrating and discouraging that can be? You'll just let out a sight and decide to shelf your ingredients and postpone your cooking.
Well, there is hope! First thing you have to do is to make a decision. Commit to organizing your kitchen for a day or two. To make it easier, arm yourself with the tools that you need for the battlefield.
Here is my suggested sequence for cleaning and organizing your kitchen.
1. Throw out all rubbish
- This includes all expired goods. Don't even rethink to consume them.
- Bring out long forgotten items meant for recycling such as old plastic cups, old spoons and forks, old plastic bags from supermarkets and the like. Combine them together into one area and decide immediately what to do with them. Either use them or sell them.
2. Bring out all items from the cupboards, one cupboard at a time.
- Make sure to take everything out and wipe away any dust inside the cupboards. Depending on the degree of dirt inside, adjust cleaning accordingly. Some may need degreasing.
- If the items pulled out need washing, set them aside in a corner for washing later on.
- Decide what items are to be stored in each cupboard. Will this one only be for pots? Will that only be for plastic containers? Arrange them once everything has been pulled out and washed.
3. Throw or give away unused items including those that have been kept in storage for a long time.
- I know there are things that have sentimental value but sometimes there is just too much of everything. Are you keeping too much of the same pots for the same use? If you clearly know that you won't use them in two year's time, you may want to consider giving it to someone who may need it or selling it online.
- The same applies to brand new or duplicate-use items. For example, if you have a salad spoon and fork and you have another pair for the same purpose, and if you rarely eat salads or prepare salads, then the second pair is redundant. It should either be given away or sold. Of course, this depends on whether you see some use to it still in the near future. If you're the type who says, "I might still use it" but are not really sure when, then reconsider the feasibility of that statement and just give it away. More often than not, you won't use it and it will just collect cobwebs in the corner.
4. Return all clean items back into the cupboards or in their proper places depending on the categories you set.
- Logic suggests that we tuck away the least used items in the innermost parts of our kitchen. The ones we use on a daily basis must always be kept at an accessible area.
- Categorize per cabinet. These are some categories to consider-- pans, plastic containers, glass containers, serving plates, baking materials, cooking materials, spices, handy cooking tools, large cooking tools, specialized equipments, canned foods and dry ingredients.
5. Keep countertops free to give yourself more space to work.
- As much as possible, we don't want too many things on the countertops. We want to work freely in the kitchen so we must discipline ourselves to work within the space that we have. If you have only a cabinet that can fit a few items, maybe you don't need more space. Instead, you need to have less. Try to place all items in the cupboards to keep your countertops free unless they really need to be on the countertop such as toasters. The more open surface area you see in your kitchen, the more freedom you have to move around and enjoy cooking.
- Fight the temptation to leave things lying on the countertops for a long time. If they need to be decided upon, don't procrastinate or else they would soon pile up again.
6. Sanitize the area.
- Get rid of pests and make sure to broom, mop and wipe everything clean. No need to say more.
- It is also best to clean around big machines such as ovens and refrigerators so you can reach the far places and to leave no trace of dirt behind.
7. Liven up the look.
- It's not required but a refreshing look is always inviting to the eye. Is your tablecloth worn out? Maybe a new tablecloth or table runner would be nice. Besides, you're not cooking and eating only for yourself. Do it as a gift to your family. They will thank you for that. The kitchen will feel more like home when everything is in place.
Katrina Cua, who prefers to be called Kats, loves food, specifically pastries. But guess what, she hates chocolates and prefers lemons and strawberries more. Kats owns the website and food blog Katshappyfood where she writes about local and international food adventures along with culinary arts at home. Kats loves happiness because she believes that you always have a choice to be happy.
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