It’s tough to spend a lot of time in your kitchen when you hate it, when you loathe opening a drawer for fear of what you will (or won’t) find or when tidying it up becomes the double chore of trying to quickly reorganize enough so you can squeeze the clean dishes in.
The trouble is that for most families, the kitchen is the hub of your home, where you spend three meals a day, prepare school lunches and snacks, and create special memories out of chocolate chips and cookie dough. So how do you tame that kitchen clutter so it’s not only the hub of the home, but the heart as well?
7 Tricks for Clearing the Kitchen Clutter
#1: Decide and then do it! – Even if every space in your home is giving you stress, a kitchen is a great place to start. It will become your oasis or your inspiration. Either way, it’s a good thing so decide you want to get organized, set aside the time and do it.
#2: Match your kitchen to your cooking style – Are you a baker that bakes every week? Then have a cupboard full of baking supplies. If you are an occasional baker (birthdays, holidays, etc), resist the urge to “save money” on the bulk size and buy only what you need. If you don’t you will be throwing away “dough” or worse yet, when you make the effort to make something special, it will fail because you ingredients are too old. Not sure how long you should be keeping items? www.eatbydate.com will have your answer.
#3: When in doubt, throw it out! – If you find something in a corner or a cupboard and don’t remember when you bought it, first check the expiry date. If none, throw it out. You don’t want to take chances with your family’s health
#4: Recycle food containers – Are you reusing the plastic containers in an effort to be environmentally friendly? This is one instance where the 3 R’s does NOT apply! Reusing containers that are not intended for reuse can introduce toxins, such as BPA, DEHP, styrene and so on. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
#5: Clear out the cookbook cupboard – Cookbooks can be our downfall – we tend to keep them because they were gifts or because they contain that one favorite recipe. More and more we are using the Internet or recipe apps so instead of cluttering up that cupboard, tear out your favorites and recycle or donate the rest of the book!
#6: Remember: Near is Dear! – Think about how you use your kitchen gadgets when you decide where to store them. Store dishes and utensils near the dishwasher. Cutting boards near the knives and your counter space where you will do the cutting. The one exception to the rule is cooking oil and spices. People often put them by the stove, which actually shortens their life. Keep them lower and away from heat and you will keep them fresher and longer.
#7: Stock up, but don’t stockpile! – Resist the urge to stock up for the apocalypse. Yes, it’s important to have a supply of non-perishable food in case of emergencies (or for those weeks when you just can’t get to the grocery store). The recommendation though is enough food for 72 hours, not 72 years. Trust me, as much of a deal as it is, you do not want to be passing on cans of tuna to generations to come.