I am not a fan of the kitchen and most of my family are not fans of much that comes out of my kitchen. While I am in the habit of making my lunch for work, I’m nowhere near ready for My Kitchen Rules. My oven hasn’t worked since 2015 and to be honest, I don’t miss it. It usually takes me at least 85 minutes to produce anything from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Cookbook. And that usually leads to about 15 seconds of awkward silence before any poor sucker at the table can figure out how to ask diplomatically for something else to eat.
As a professional organiser, however, I do love organising what’s in the kitchen so others can better enjoy their experiences there. So, as the holiday season draws to a close, and daily routines start again, including weekly meal planning and preparation, I thought it timely to 8 ways to create a clutter-free and organised kitchen.
8 ways for organising your kitchen
1. Remove anything out of date
This goes for food items, medicines, take-away menus and coupons. You’d be surprised how much real estate out of date items take up in the kitchen. If you can’t find a best before date on the label then it’s probably time for it to go as well.
2.Transfer dry ingredients into airtight containers
Half-empty open boxes of staple dry ingredients spoil quicker than those in sealed containers. Stacking uniform containers at the front of your shelf will also help you see and reach what you need, rather than trying to grab a half-empty upturned box at the back. Before you toss them out, see if you can repurpose empty boxes into organising dividers.
3. Label your containers
If you’ve ever used Gravox instead of cocoa, you’ll appreciate this tip. My Dymo labeller is my best friend when labelling everything in the kitchen, especially as I live with others who depend on (me and) the labels to find everything. Remember to add the date you bought the item to the label (refer to tip 1).
4. Store frequently used items in cupboards or shelves that are at eye to hip level
Why we put drinking glasses on shelves we have to stand on tippy toes to get is beyond me, especially if said vessel is a wine glass! I also find keeping items that are frequently put in the dishwasher or in the sink in cupboards near the dishwasher or sink saves time and energy.
5. Remove duplicates from your kitchen (and life)
When was the last time you laid a table for a dinner party of 25? Do you really need all those plates/containers/measuring cups/empty water bottles? Have enough of what you use frequently. If you are planning an out-of-ordinary soiree and need more, borrow from a friend or your family.
6. Remove never-used kitchen gadgets and utensils
You know the ones that you thought were a great idea at the time but have now become space eating clutter. I bought a spiral vegie peeler once that almost took me to the hospital for stitches. The old fashioned tools your Grandmother used to cut and prepare food are more than likely better than an expensive gadget. Really, who needs a mechanical salt grinder with a built in torch?
7. Declutter the fridge door
When you walk past a cluttered fridge door, chances are you’ll miss the important reminder note, the bill you need to pay or invitation that needs your RSVP. Take to the recycling bin anything out of date, unimportant, or that you’ve never looked at again (including the plethora of magnets from local tradies you’ve collected over the years).
8. Audit your junk drawer
We all have one, probably filled with out of date menus from local restaurants you ordered fried rice from once upon a time, an out of date gift certificate you forgot you had and hair elastics you used before you got that pixie cut 10 years ago. Clean it out, add dividers to the drawer and re-organise. All for nothing!