Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find the right ingredients for a new recipe, in a disorganized mess of a kitchen! It's not that you are usually disorganized; it is just something that happens over time. Now it's time to take the time to organize yourself and your kitchen again. An organized kitchen is a lot easier to work in and can save you time, money, and make cooking stress-free.
Don't try to do the whole thing at once, just pick one area of your kitchen at a time.
.Start with your cabinets by moving the pots and pans you use most often to the front, while putting the heavier, bulky items you may not use so often, to the back. Put some of the smaller pots and pans inside larger pots and pans to save space. If you have very deep cabinets, you may want to consider installing shelves that slide out or bins on gliders, to make use of all that space. It may sound simple (because it is), but just pulling everything out and rearranging your cabinets can free up space that you didn't realize you had.
Get rid of any equipment or gadgets that either aren't working anymore, or that you just don't need, because all they're doing is gathering dust in taking up valuable space.
.When you rearrange and your cabinets, make sure you put the items close to where you're going to be using them and where it makes sense for you.
Your dishes and glasses should be placed in the cabinets closest to your dishwasher, and your pots and pans should be somewhere near your stove or prep area.
.Now, that you have freed up some space, remove some of the large appliances from your countertop that you don't use very often; blenders, juicers, toasters and store them in a cabinet below.
It gives your countertop a much cleaner and roomier look.
.Go through your utensil and gadget drawers, and weed out mismatched, broken, or seldom used items. If you don't already have drawer dividers, get some, they're cheap and well worth the few dollars cost. Make sure that you do not store your sharp knives, or any other dangerous utensils within reach of children.
Those items should be put in a separate drawer away from the eating utensils.
.Probably the biggest job will be organizing your spices and food storage. Staples such as rice, beans, flour, or sugar should not be stored in their original packaging, but quality, airtight, plastic containers.
Try not to use the flimsy grocery store containers meant for leftovers, because they are not airtight enough and will not hold up over the long haul. Look over your spices and get rid of anything that's past the expiration or fresh date, and combine any multiple containers you may have the same spice that are still good. You can organize your spices either in alphabetical order, or by most often used. There are many good products out now, that help you store your spices in a way that you can see them easily. There are spice organizers for your drawers, or for your cabinets there are lazy susans, step shelves, under cabinet organizers and spice racks.
This is also a great time to make a shopping list of anything you notice is running low or missing.
.Now would also be a good time to review the contents of your food cupboard! Go through everything and throw out or give away any food that is older than three months. Investing in some quality storage containers will keep cereal, crackers, etc. fresher than storing them in their original boxes or bags.
Not everyone will store their food in the same way, so store things in a way that is easily accessible and makes sense for you and your family. That may mean putting all your breakfast items on one shelf, snacks on another shelf, items for baking and cooking on another shelf, canned items on another, etc. Keep in mind that it's a good idea to store those heavier items (cans) on lower shelves.
.The last area to be reorganized is the cabinet for cleaning items, which are stored under the kitchen sink in many homes. If you have children, this cabinet should have a childproof latch, otherwise you will need to find a better storage area for cleaning supplies, out of their reach.
Keeping cleansers, sponges, window cleaner, furniture polish, and items you would use for other rooms in your home besides the kitchen, could be stored under your sink in one of those plastic tote bins with handle, so that you can carry them all easily with you from room to room, when cleaning. Try not to have too many unnecessary cleaning products. There are many quality multipurpose cleansers such as Murphy's Oil for cleaning wood floors, furniture, cabinets, no-wax floors, tile, painted surfaces, marble, linoleum or vinyl, even laundry and more. There are multipurpose cleaners with special ingredients like orange oil or baking soda that handle a wide range of tasks, thus eliminating the need for so many bottles etc, under your sink. Now you have room to store the most important item in your kitchen??the fire extinguisher!!..
The author presents a website for beginning cooks to aspiring chefs,with tips, resources and recipes. You can visit her site Clumbsy Chef and blog at Culinary Genius .
By: Lisa Tritten