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November 16, 2010, 10:17 am betterhomesgardens
Try these top tips, hints and handy products designed to get you organised so you delight in spending time in the hub of your home – the kitchen
Take time to purge, sort and maintain your kitchen and you’ll find it’s a pleasure to be in. So when you’re whipping up another delicious meal, all your basic equipment and ingredients will be in easy reach.
You’ll need an action plan to help you maximise the space and, even before you de-clutter, invest in several storage solutions for your cabinets, pantry and benchtops. Once you’re organised, it’s much easier to stick to your new system because the hard work is behind you. Happy sorting!
You can make your life a whole lot easier by getting rid of all the clutter that seems essential but is actually a hindrance. Your kitchen will not only sparkle and function more efficiently, but will also be easier and faster to clean. To soften the look, put flowers and fresh fruit and vegetables on display.
Clear shelf and drawer space by storing utensils and tea, coffee and sugar in holders and canisters. Pick an accent colour to coordinate with your kitchen’s colour scheme.
Drawers can quickly get messy and out of control so you’ve no idea what’s in them. A neat fix is to buy drawer dividers that let you customise each drawer to suit your needs. So next time you have to chase someone around the kitchen with a rolling pin, you can find it in double-quick time!
When you’re re-packing your pantry, it’s a good idea to clearly mark the expiry date of food, spices and condiments with a permanent marker.
Dedicate a shelf or two to pots and pans. If you have a big collection, store them inside each other to make better use of the space. And you can put things such as lids, pizza trays and baking tins in a holder on the inside of the cabinet door.
Create more usable storage space in your pantry by investing in pantry racks and shelves. You’ll find that using the full height of the shelves will help you keep foodstuffs organised and easily accessible. Check out the various types available. They range from plastic to wirework – some are stackable and others extend.
Are you forever reaching into the back of the pantry looking for a certain sauce, marinade or condiment, and in the process knocking everything else over? Or maybe you’re totally frustrated because you just can’t find what you want – even though you know it’s there! You’re better off loading all these items onto a lazy Susan so you can rotate it. Then everything’s at your fingertips and so much easier to access.
Store your herb and spice sachets in alphabetical order in a recipe box with a flip lid. Any opened sachets can be securely closed and tagged with paperclipped labels, and as they’re tagged, you can go through the box and quickly identify the herb or spice you want.
Choose a stylish spice rack to keep frequently used spices within easy reach when you’re cooking. This also frees up more valuable storage space in the pantry.Tiered storage can be your kitchen saviour as you’ll never have to clear
a shelf to find the jam or maple syrup at the back. Several types of tiered storage units are available, and some even extend in width. How good is that?
Your pantry is an excellent spot to keep medicines and a first-aid kit. It’s cool and dry, which are the best conditions for storing things like tablets, and a better place to store them than the bathroom, where they may be exposed to heat and moisture. Put everything in a box or medicine chest, clearly labelled and out of reach of children.
Keep your spuds fresher for longer by storing them in a cool, dark, dry spot that’s well ventilated. A canvas bag will block out the light, let in air and help stop spuds sprouting or going mouldy.
Clear, airtight containers with flat lids and straight sides let you see their contents at a glance. They stack easily, make good use of space and help eliminate food wastage. It’s handy to make appropriate labels with a label maker, and note any use-by dates.
1. Empty each cupboard and drawer that needs sorting onto a drop sheet. Include appliances.
2. Go through all your pantry items, chucking anything that’s out of date.
3. Sweep the empty shelves, then wipe clean with a lint-free cloth dampened with vinegar. It’s a natural antiseptic.
4. Analyse your storage needs. Do you have enough space for all your pots, pans, food and other essentials?
5. Don’t have any more than five cookbooks in the kitchen. Move them to a bookcase to free up space.
6. Do you need all those gadgets you have never used? If not, get rid of them.
7. Keep as many items off the floor and benchtops as you can. Shelving, hanging racks and slide-out storage create space, and can even be part of your kitchen decor. Mount as much on the wall as possible without cluttering it. Hang pots and pans from pot racks.8. For plastic food-storage containers, use a large bin to store the lids. Toss any incomplete or mismatched items.
9. Have a go-to spot, such as a large storage tub, for miscellaneous items.
10. Large labelled baskets on top of wall cabinets can hold items less frequently used. These areas are dust traps so lidded baskets are best.Photography: Phil Aysnley
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