Is your kitchen left looking like it has been hit by a tornado after you cook? Mess and clutter everywhere? As most of us are doing much more cooking at home these days, it makes sense that we could all benefit from some tips for making our kitchen—big or small—a more efficient space.
Here’s how to scale back and use your kitchen to maximum effect, so you can look forward to cooking again!
When it comes to maximizing efficiency, where everything is located is essential. A well-planned kitchen harnesses the power of the work triangle—the area between your sink, stove and fridge. Remove clutter and obstacles for easy access between them. That way, you can move with ease between the different work areas.
Thinking in terms of stations is a clever organizational trick to improve efficiency in your kitchen. Divide your kitchen into its main stations. Maybe there is the coffee- and tea-making area, a food-prep station, a cooking zone and so on. The idea is that you want everything related to that station to be close by. For example, your mixing bowls and knives should be near your food-prep area, mugs and coffee beans should be near the hot drinks station.
We tend to do this naturally, but it’s good to mention! Move your most-used and favorite items to the front of cupboards and drawers for easy access, whether that is your favorite breakfast cereal or your best bowl.
An efficient kitchen is an organized kitchen. Use painter’s or masking tape to label everything, especially items in the fridge. Dating items—either on the packaging or on the storage container they are stored in—will help you know when to use up leftovers. Color coding your labels is optional, but makes it very aesthetically pleasing.
This is especially good for small kitchens. Hanging up utensils and pans is not only a handy storage tip if you lack cabinet space, it also makes grabbing the wooden spoon, whisk or frying pan quicker when you are on a roll and cooking up a storm.
You can’t work efficiently when the counters are cluttered and messy. A good rule of thumb is if an appliance is used daily, it can be kept on the counter. If not, think about storing it out of the way.
Do yourself a favor and keep your knives sharp. Not only does it allow you to work faster when preparing food, but it is actually safer. A sharp knife is more easily controlled—no skidding off a tomato skin. It makes preparing meals more efficient! Always make sure to keep knives out of reach from children.
Start creating good habits. And while these aren’t kitchen organizing tips per se, they will make you more efficient in the kitchen.
- Clean as you go. Don’t leave it all till the end.
- Create a scrap bowl. Fill it with peelings and organic matter as you chop, then throw it all at once into the compost bin.
- Just as you would prep a room before painting, prep before cooking by getting ingredients ready, cutting and pre-measuring, which will save you time.
By following these organizational ideas, you’ll be well on your way to having a kitchen that saves you time and energy. And, if you want to start small before doing a big reorganization, you could always start by clearing out and the fridge and pantry.
Clean kitchen, clear mind can’t lose!