Whether you’re the most passionate cook or you’re more into microwave cuisine, everyone has to spend time in the kitchen throughout the day. When life gets busy, you need things to be streamlined and simple.
That’s why it’s useful to have a well organised and functional kitchen in your home. Optimising this room means every meal time is a smooth and simple process. Even if you love spending hours baking, having what you need to hand makes it a much more enjoyable experience.
Not many people were better in the kitchen than legendary cook, Julia Childs. While it’s well worth checking out her kitchen organising tips you don’t have to be an expert cook to follow them.
With Julia in mind, here are some simple and easy ways to transform your kitchen and reimagine the cooking experience.
Keep what you need within reach
The last thing you want is a huge pot boiling over on the stove while you search every drawer for your wooden spoons. Even if you know exactly where something is but you have to trek across the kitchen or bend down to fish it out, you are not having fun. Where you place your implements is the first step to an organised kitchen.
It’s not always the case that kitchen drawers are in the right places. You might have to get creative and find new ways to store your tools. Hang a rack next to the stove and all your cooking utensils will be ready for you. Rather than keeping them in a drawer, a knife block next to your primary cutting surface can keep them at hand while you slice and dice. If you need more inspiration, check out this fun video.
Create a work triangle
The kitchen ‘triangle’ is the stove, fridge and sink. If you can create a kitchen that allows easy movement around the triangle, you will have a much more streamlined cooking space. Naturally, not all kitchens will accommodate so this is largely a point when renovating or building your kitchen.
Need to work with what you’ve got? A rolling bench can help you optimise space.
Think about appliances
Appliances can make or break your cooking experience. For example, a high-quality blender can make it easy to prepare soups, smoothies, dips and all sorts of other goodies.
The trick is to hit the sweet spot. There seems to be an appliance for everything at the moment but are they really necessary? If you get carried away, you can end up with no bench space to get the work done or cupboards that are so cluttered with appliances that you can’t get to the one you need.
Some people prefer to splash out and invest in an all in one appliance like a thermomix. If this is out of your budget, you’ll probably find a quality food processor will perform most of the jobs you need.
Increase your freezer space
Who has the time to cook elaborate meals every night? Batch cooking is a huge trend because it can save you time and money. Spend your Sunday evenings preparing meals for the week and freeze them in reusable containers.
If you’re in the market for a new fridge, think about how you can make the most of your freezer space by following a routine and planning ahead.
Organise your pantry
Utensils aren’t the only thing you need easy access to. A cluttered pantry will slow you down as much as stuffed drawers. Julia Childs had three pantries but most mere mortals can make do with one. Take time every couple of months to do a clear out and categorise (e.g. baking products, spices, cereal, packet-based treats etc) your pantry with the help of containers and labels. It will make life much easier.
Here’s a list from the woman behind the wonderful Smitten Kitchen blog, who has a tiny NY kitchen, explaining what she keeps in her pantry. It’s great for inspiration (remember, nothing has to be perfect).
Don’t overlook comfort
Make things easier for yourself. Have decent lighting over your benches and stovetop and use proper ventilation. Linoleum flooring makes for comfort underfoot if you have the opportunity to change your flooring.
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