From chalkboard paint to storage: 20 tips for creating an organised kitchen
If you are spending more time cooking or baking these days, it may be time to give your kitchen an overhaul
If the dwindling flour stocks on UAE supermarket shelves are anything to go by, this period of self-isolation has ignited a baking frenzy across the country.
You may be trying your hand at preparing this time-tested peanut butter loaf recipe from 1932, you may be anxiously coddling a sourdough mix, or you may be using the extra time you have to rustle up Michelin-worthy dinners. And if you are spending more time in the kitchen, here are some hacks to ensure your space is operating at optimum level.
Start with a purge
Take everything out of your drawers and cabinets. You may be shocked at the number of wooden spoons or chipped mugs you’ve been hoarding. Work out what you actually use and bin everything else.
Wipe it down
Give everything a good wipe down. Now is the perfect time for a deep clean of those out-of-reach cupboards, so get the disinfectant out.
The temptation to stockpile is high when you are only allowed to visit the supermarket every three days. So you may now find yourself with 12 tins of tuna and nine boxes of unopened pasta. Do a stock take of what you already have in your fridge and pantry, to avoid unnecessary purchases on that next trip to Carrefour.
Once you’ve taken stock, start using some of that excess. Look for recipes that include those ingredients – it may force you out of your comfort zone.
Create an organised space by allocating zones. Zone one should be things you use every day: this area should be easy to access and, ideally, close to the dishwasher or sink. Think plates, glassware and cutlery. Zone two should focus on cooking: all your pots, pans and baking items. Zone three would be your pantry: a dedicated space for dry goods, herbs and spices. Zone four should be dedicated to accessories: foil, Tupperware and the such like.
Out of sight...
Keep items you use regularly at eye level. The same applies for items that may go off and need to be used sooner rather than later.
When you’re emptying the dishwasher, put clean items at the bottom of the pile, so that all your plates, bowls and cutlery get equal use. Otherwise, you’ll just end up using the same four things over and over.
Give appliances a dedicated home
Keep appliances off the kitchen counter unless you are using them daily. Otherwise, they’ll just be taking up valuable space and gathering dust.
Utilise your walls
Why not introduce a hanging rack for your pots and pans; magnetic holders for your knives; and hanging pots for fresh herbs. Your walls are likely underutilised, and your cupboards and counters could probably do with some extra breathing room.
If your cupboards have enough vertical space, attach hooks to the upper surface and hang cups and mugs from them. If your cupboards don’t extend up to the ceilings, use that extra area as storage space.
Decant dry goods, such as pasta, rice, lentils and beans, into individual see-through, space-saving containers, so you can keep track of how much you have left.
Turn a seldom used serving dish into a fruit bowl, or use a long-forgotten mug to store make-up brushes. If things aren’t being used for their current purpose, think outside the box to give them a function. Otherwise, get rid.
And repurpose again
Turn empty egg cartons into a storage solution by separating the top and bottom sections, placing them in your fridge and then using them as a place to store your condiments, top down. Old muffin tins can also be transformed into mini organisers.
Get on top of Tupperware
Do an inventory of your Tupperware. How many stray lids do you have? Make sure you have full sets and dispose of any stragglers.
Toss those takeaway menus
Throw away all takeaway menus immediately. You’ve heard of Talabat, right?
Turn the insides of kitchen cupboards into chalk boards with a few swipes of chalkboard paint. This is the perfect place to jot down shopping lists, reminders or even secret messages. A cork board will also do the trick.
Sneaky storage solutions
Attach empty rectangular tissue boxes to the insides of your kitchen cupboards and use them to store things like plastic bags or dish clothes.
Colour code your recipe books
Yes, we know this sounds a little OCD, but humans are visual beings. This will help you keep track of where everything is, and will also make your kitchen look more orderly.
Your kitchen doesn’t need to be a purely utilitarian space. If you’re spending more time in there these days, why not make it more visually appealing by introducing a piece of art somewhere? Similarly, introduce unexpected design elements – hang up a fancy pendant lamp or line cupboards with an eye-catching wallpaper.
If all else fails…
Invest in a slim, lightweight trolley or rolling cart that can be moved about the room with ease. Think of the display cart as a mini kitchen, which houses the ingredients, utensils and serve-ware that you use most often.
Updated: April 22, 2020 12:30 PM