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July 11, 2012, 11:12 am betterhomesgardens
Taking the time to organise and unclutter your kitchen will do wonders to revitalise the look of your home, creating more space while also helping you to feel less stressed when cooking.
In most households, the kitchen has become something of a hub. We tend to do far more than just cook here; it’s become our study, dining room and playroom rolled into one. This means that surfaces are often littered with paper, bills, mail, homework and dirty dishes.
When organising your kitchen, be systematic in your approach. Start with the surfaces first and clear them. Find other places to put necessary items – use magnets to pin things to the fridge, hang items like keys on hooks, knives on a magnetic wall board and use shelves to hold cookery books.
Next, grab some black bin liners and be prepared to be ruthless. If you haven’t used anything in your cupboards (or on the worktop, like that bread maker you got for Christmas) for over six months, then bin it – or better yet, freecycle. This goes for food in the freezer and the pantry, as well as for bits of crockery or kitchen implements.
Freecycling is a brilliant way of disposing of unwanted (but still usable) food items, implements or appliances. You’d be amazed what people will take off your hands. Alternatively, donate anything you no longer need to a charity shop. Cut down your kitchenware to just the essentials. If you own six saucepans, get rid of two or three. Do the same with ovenware.
Look at your storage options and then think about how you could be more inventive. Could you use drawer dividers, cabinet carousels or hanging containers – all of which can be found at IKEA – to free up more space? If you’re looking to buy new saucepans or plastic containers, think about buying stackable ones.
Work out where your centres of activity are in the kitchen and then organise around them. All kitchens need a prep zone, close to which should be the cutting board, knives, pots, pans and other utensils. Store items you use regularly closest to the front of the cabinet, and things that you rarely use at the back.
If you like to bake, it might be an idea to keep everything you need for baking – from ingredients to bakeware – in the same place. Cooking essentials like salt, olive oil, herbs and spices should be kept on a shelf close to the stove so they’re easily accessible.
A dishwasher is a brilliant way of uncluttering your kitchen and keeping the surfaces clear. If you stack dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher, you avoid having them piled in the sink and all over the benchtops.
Think too about storing washing up rags, soap and scourers under the sink, rather than beside it, and make sure your waste storage system is located close to where you prepare food and clean up your dishes.Once you’re done organising your kitchen, you’ll be amazed at how much it’s transformed and how much more at peace you feel.