Declutter the kitchen
The kitchen. A room we all frequently use to cook, bake and entertain. It’s no wonder so many of us consider this room to be the heart of the home – all the more reason to keep it in order and make sure your kitchen space is at its sparkling best.
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you’ll know there’s nothing quite so annoying as not being able to find a vital gadget or ingredient when you need it… you know it’s in the kitchen somewhere, but you just can’t lay your hands on it!
Well, we can help you declutter and organise with just a few simple steps.
Make a start, but be brave and realistic – we’re sorry, but you do need to empty worktops and cupboards (it’s true… you really do need to know what you’ve got, but organising one at a time is fine!). Ask yourself, are you keeping collections because they were gifts or do they really get used, even if just occasionally? The key question is: do I use it?
You can save space on worktops by hanging utensils and even knives from hooks or rails under your wall units or even by using a neat knife block. If you don’t have space to hang them, having a utensil holder by the cooker is a useful idea, and any extra utensils will benefit from having more space around them in the drawer.
Plates and other crockery can look great on display if you have a rack to put them on, and that means more space in your cupboards for ingredients! And cup hooks, so aptly named, are the very thing for mugs, cups and small jugs.
Clear the cupboards
Onto the cupboards. It shouldn’t be necessary to rip out your kitchen and start again. Can you stack your pans to save space or do you have head room to hang them above the cooker in a country kitchen way? Would your bakeware be better in a rack rather than a heap? How many chopping boards do you need close to hand? Could you store them away?
Check use-by dates on food – how long have you had that packet of Mexican spices? Will it really have any flavour left? In contrast, you’ll discover loads in your cupboard that you’d forgotten about that’s still in date – so make use of it! Spices work really well stored together in tubs so it’s much easier to find them all at once – it’s best to keep them in a dark place and if you keep them in a sealed box they’ll be safe from any damp created on batch-cooking days. Sachets may just need putting together so they don’t disappear from view or you might find that a caddy or tub is the answer – even a letter rack (perhaps semi-retired since the advent of email) can be brought back to usefulness for sachets and packets.
Tins of food don’t always stack neatly on top of each other so perhaps you could think about fitting more shelves into cupboards ‒ folding versions are very adaptable and can move from shelf to shelf depending on where you need them, until you decide to remodel in years to come.
Dry goods like flour, rice and pasta are often better stored in airtight containers that stack so they’re easily kept together, and if the containers are clear or have windows you’ll have no trouble telling when you need to shop for more.
And of course, if you’re as keen on baking as we are, there are all those dinky pots of flavouring, edible lustre and sprinkles together with icing nozzles that are best staying together in a dedicated space, perhaps in a basket or other type of container.
Freshen up your fridge
Even your fridge will appreciate a bit of a tidy. Sort through any unused or out-of-date jars or condiments and organise the contents so you can see everything available to you, avoiding any unnecessary food waste. Give it a good wipe down with an antibacterial spray and a cloth before moving on to the rest of the kitchen.
Don’t avoid the deep clean
Once you’ve finished organising the kitchen space, it’s time to get cleaning. Mop up any burnt-on mess in your oven using a decent oven cleaner; this should lift stubborn grease and baked-on food to leave your oven the cleanest it’s been. Show your hob the same level of TLC, giving it a good clean to get it gleaming and looking like new.
Wipe down worktops and have a good scrub at the sink – you might just be surprised by the stains you find in there when it hasn’t had a decent clean for a while! Stay at the sink and treat mucky plug holes to a quick scrub before adding a generous glug of drain cleaner to keep your pipes free-running and clear of food-related blockages.
Last of all, finish with a flourish by steam-cleaning the kitchen floor to get rid of up to 99% of germs and bacteria. Now you’re ready to sit back, relax and put your feet up for a well-earned cup of tea as you admire your transformed kitchen space.