If you want to cook excellent meals, an organized kitchen is the key. The cleaner and more efficient your environment, the freer you’ll feel to create!
Here are some easy and practical ways to organize your kitchen so that you are inspired and excited to work your foodie magic.
1. Use glass jars for storage
Small glass jars are an excellent way to organize your spices, dried pulses, pasta, even sauces and dips that live in the refrigerator.
The glass allows you to see at a glance what you have available to work with. Glass is also more environmentally friendly. You may also find that your row of colorful jars with all sorts of goodies inside will tempt you to dip into more often so you aren’t creating as much food waste!
Glass containers are perfect for storing leftovers. We all know how it goes with opaque, random containers: you wind up opening lots of lids just to see what you’ve got to work with. Not exactly inspiring for creativity!
If your glass containers are stackable, even better. And you can use labels with a dry-wipe pen, so if you change your mind about what you want to store inside that huge jar, just wipe and rewrite.
2. Have a checklist on display
Get yourself a whiteboard and keep a running list of everything you’ve got in your fridge and freezer. It’s great to have labeled containers in the freezer, but when you’re wondering what to put together for dinner, you don’t want to be standing in front of an open freezer scratching your head.
As you use up items, tick them off so that you know what to buy next time you’re at the store. Easy!
3. Make sure everyday items are close to hand
Take stock of what you use daily, and put those items forward. A multi-tiered basket of veggies like potatoes and onions is an attractive yet easy way to keep food prep time to a minimum.
Cooking oils, common spices, and starches such as pasta and couscous can be at the front of your cupboards or within easy reach.
4. Store heavy items on shelves or drawers that are lower down
If you have beautiful but bulky items such as cast iron cookware, store these beauties on lower shelves or large drawers. You want to have these items on hand without having to heft them down from a tall shelf.
5. Hang up what you can
Knives, pots and pans, and other utensils are handy to have on hooks or rails so that you can get to them without having to open drawers.
You can even hang an over-the-door organizer for smaller items such as packets of spices and seeds.
6. Have one of each tool, not more
You don’t need five chopping knives that are all the same size – if you’re like most people, you wind up always using the same one. Make sure you’ve got one of each item that you need, and donate the rest.
7. Use horizontal racks for flat items
You can put flat items like baking sheets, muffin tins, and lids into horizontal racks, instead of piling them on each other. No-one wants to hunt through a pile of sheets and tins in a drawer to find what they want.
8. Sort items by their function
If you have a lot of utensils, consider storing them by function. For example, you could have all of your baking equipment in one place. Or you could arrange your spices and dried foods by types of cuisine: Indian spices in one place, Mexican in another.
See what works for you, as everyone is different.
As you can see, there are many different things you can do to organize your kitchen. It’s about how you like to work. Think about what types of foods you prepare most often, what equipment you use the most, etc. See if you prefer to sort items by function or cuisine.
Start looking at how you store items and begin to collect glass containers. Consider using dry-wipe labels with a marker pen, and look at using a whiteboard.
Look around your kitchen to see how efficiently you move within it. By making sure items are stored where you can reach anything quickly (and you can see what it is), you’ll save yourself lots of time. Better still, you’ll be able to have more time for creating inspiring dishes for everyone to enjoy!