Washing up, wiping down surfaces, putting away cutlery and all the rest. They all sound like such dreadfully dull ways to be whiling away our lives, and yet would I be alone in saying that I actually quite enjoy my laborious kitchen-bound chores? As long as I can do it all listening to an album, podcast or radio show of my choice, I’m more than happy to be stacking the dishes and cleaning the hob.
That said, not even Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review can save me from the desperate sense of being stuck in a rut when only two minutes after having left the table tops sparkling and the wine glasses gleaming do I find mess, disorder and kitchen chaos once more.
This is where one or two kitchen organisation strategies come in to play to save the day. Check out these 3 classic answers to the age-old question of how to keep a tidy kitchen that way:
1. Tubs, bins, Tupperware, shelves
Anything that deserves to be in your kitchen also deserves its own proper place. Use sticky labels, tabs and markers to designate (not sticky office notes, which will drop off, or worse, get mixed up with each other) so that related foods, utensils and tools always get returned to the right spot. You can find super-handy household labels here.
A drawer and compartments are, as we know, a basic requirement for cutlery, but what about spatulas, slices, hob lighters, knife sharpeners, pepper mills? If there’s more than one place for any of them, that’s at least one place too many. Be sure that whether we’re talking processors, salad spinners or rolling pins, it has one place, and that everyone knows just where that place is – no excuses.
2. The final frontier
Struggling to cram it all in? Space is what you need. And, assuming a new kitchen is off the agenda, be prepared to be brutal in how you achieve it. If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it. If your heart sinks and you catch yourself sighing a little each time you see it – juicers, bread makers, banana slicers: we’re looking at you (frankly, why did we ever even go there?) – get rid of it.
Also, start hanging out more. If it can go on a wall, that’s more room for your surfaces, drawers and cabinets. Pegs on walls are our friends, and they’re perfect for aprons, dish towels, pots and ladles. Magnet strips are also very practical for quick, easy-to-reach items that you might need at any moment. When grouping kitchen items, make everyday ones the easiest to reach. Also, keep towels, aprons and such suitably distanced from naked flames. Similarly, keep cookbooks away from where they’ll come into contact with grease and steam.
3. Lay down the law
Perhaps the most important of all actions you can take to preserve the integrity and good condition of your kitchen is to lay down the law and lay it firm. The first and last rule is: leave as you should like to find it. Being disciplined is key, here. It may seem like a drag but keeping a clean kitchen clean actually doesn’t take all that much effort – just a few minutes of your time. Make sure everyone knows where to find the cleaning sprays and towels, just as they should know where to place everything that they use.