9 Organisational Tips to Keep Your Kitchen in Tip-Top Shape
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home – so naturally, a disorganised kitchen isn’t going to make many home cooks or chefs happy. Making your kitchen as accessible and easy to use as possible is a fantastic way to enjoy the time you spend cooking at home, and might make you feel more inclined to use your facilities to whip up some delicious meals.
We’ve done the first step for you by compiling 9 easy tips help to organise your kitchen – now all that’s left to do is kick-start your kitchen overhaul.
1. Do A Deep Clean and Declutter
To start off, it’s best to visualise all of your storage containers, dishes, cutlery and utensils. The best way to do this is by removing them all from their shelves and drawers, and placing them on your counter.
While they’re out of their usual place, do a deep clean of your bare kitchen to make sure your surfaces are as clean and dust-free as possible.
Then, do a declutter to donate or throw out any excess dishes or utensils you aren’t using.
2. Define Different Kitchen Zones and Re-Place Your Items
Before putting your items back in place, take time to optimise your kitchen’s layout by splitting it into distinct zones. These zones could include:
- Everyday use, including mugs, cutlery, dishes and glassware. Consider locating this zone close to your sink and/or dishwasher.
- Cooking gear, including pots, pans, measuring equipment and spatulas – shift this zone close to your stove and oven.
- Pantry and storage, including dry goods and spices, as well as food storage or wrapping gear.
- Cleaning, including your kitchen’s cleaning supplies, bin bags and additional dishwashing liquid or hand soap.
Once you’ve considered the amount of zones you’ll need, strategically place your items into their new zones to maximise your storage space, and ensure you have easy access to the items you’ll use the most often.
3. Use A Label Maker for Similar Looking Ingredients
Before re-homing your pantry items, make sure you’re aware of the ingredients you have – particularly if they look similar in their containers. Invest in a label maker (or if you want to go old-school white stickers and a sharpie) to differentiate between your self-raising and regular flour, or even your similar spices or spice blends. This will save heaps of time – and potentially, some unfortunate baking or cooking errors.
4. Use Vertical Separators
If you’re finding yourself short on space to store cooking boards or other large utensils or pieces of cooking equipment, consider a vertical storage option to organise this gear. Storing these items in a vertical fashion is not only a great way to make the most of your kitchen’s storage space, but also makes for a convenient ‘grab and go’ option if you’re rushing around the kitchen and need to access your equipment quickly.
5. Use Pop-Up Shelves and Racks
For another handy storage option, pop-up shelves are a great way to stack your dishes, mugs and glasses in an accessible spot that suits everyday use. They are also a great way to declutter the appearance of a cabinet or pantry, and can optimise any unused space you have.
While pop-up shelves are a fantastic storage solution, pop-up racks are an extremely useful way to dry your dishes, and allow larger dishes or pieces of equipment to drip-dry if you’re short on time to dry them yourself. Stack your rack next to the sink for easy access.
6. Strategically Stand Your Wine Glasses
To make a little more space in your cabinet for glassware, stack your glasses in an alternate top and bottom order – this will allow you to fit more glasses on your shelf, and will buy you more space for other glassware items or kitchenware.
7. Use Air-Tight Food Storage Containers
Unfortunately, when it comes to food in your fridge or pantry, wastage is a part of the kitchen upkeep game. While you won’t be able to stop food from expiring, you can reduce the chance of insects infiltrating your cabinets by investing in air-tight food storage containers. The most common pantry pests you may encounter include moths, weevils and small beetles in grains like cereals or flours – so make these ingredients a priority when it comes to allocating your new air-tight containers. Though they’re less susceptible to bugs, consider using air-tight containers for food in your fridge, too – this is a great way to keep it fresher for longer.
8. Consider Upgrading Your Appliances
Notice your energy bill is a little higher than usual? This may be because of your kitchen’s electric stove or oven. If you’re eager to cut down on your energy bill (and give Mother Nature a little love while you’re at it), consider switching your electrical appliances to a natural gas stove or oven. Natural gas is a cheaper and cleaner energy source than electricity – and for a small family, the switch to natural gas could translate to nearly a one-third reduction in energy bills compared to their electric counterparts.
Natural gas stoves also offer an extremely precise cooking experience thanks to easy to use gas stove dials and the fact that they fire up immediately, whereas natural gas ovens offer extra reliability through the use of a pilot light (that will continue to work in case of a blackout or power outage), and remove the need to rotate your food during the cooking process. It’s not hard to see why upgrading to natural gas is such a popular move here in Australia!
9. Declutter and Do Monthly Spot Checks
Once you’ve completed and organised your initial kitchen overhaul, it’s important to do a few follow-up spot checks to make sure your kitchen stays organised, and your items are easily accessible. Make a monthly kitchen spot check a habit so your area stays squeaky clean and optimally organised – and where possible, complete a monthly declutter so your kitchen’s build-up of ingredients, equipment and other items doesn’t become overwhelming and lead to another overhaul or long declutter session. Trust us, your future self will thank you for it.