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How To Set Up Your Kitchen For Cooking Success

The kitchen is typically the most used room in the house, it’s vital to ensure that it’s organized and functional if you want to make it easy to rustle up tasty meals!

Last week I shared the many benefits of having an organised kitchen which include making cooking and shopping easier, preventing food wastage and saving time.

Here’s an easy step-by-step guide on how to set up your kitchen for cooking success:

To begin, pull everything out and lay it all out on a table (or two).

Wipe down your cabinets, cupboards and drawers.

Food items

Check expiry dates – especially for spices and items you don’t use very often. Throw out anything that’s expired. Make a list of anything you need to buy.

If you’re cupboards are overflowing then also throw out anything that you seldom use. This is tricky because the frugal part of you will want to keep everything–waste not, want not–but you have to engage your inner Zen master: the more you get rid of now, the more peace you will find when you open your cabinets later and boxes and bags don’t come tumbling out.

Arrange by category – now you know what you have to work with it’s time to get organised. You can choose to organise by type of food tins, pastas, grains, etc or by time of day: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, etc

Distribute according to zones – for instance you’ll want to have tea, coffee, sugar and mugs in the cupboard above your kettle, bread and spreads near your toaster, spices by your stove, etc

Other zones you might want to consider are baking (perhaps dedicate one shelf to flour, baking powder, paper cases, etc), serving, recycling and waste, cleaning supplies and mail.

Easy access – ensure that the items you use most often are the most accessible ex at easy arm’s reach. Place the items that you don’t use much towards the back of the cupboards or on the higher shelves. They can even be stored outside the kitchen, just don’t forget where you put them so you’re not frantically looking for the roasting pan when you’ve got friends over for a roast dinner.


Equipment and crockery

Start with going through everything to make sure you really need to keep it. Throw out anything that is broken or chipped, and anything that you never use.

Be honest! When did you last use that apple corer, ice-cream scoop, or garlic peeler? Do you even know what the gizmos do? Do you really need two? Could a more general tool do the job? If you get rid of it, you will not have to hunt past it for things you do use or find a space to store it.

Make sure every item in your kitchen has earned its right to take up your valuable space!

Check that Tupperware containers have their matching lid and ensure it still fits, dishwashers can warp lids, throw out anything that is no longer useful. Make a list of anything that needs replacing.

Arrange by category – again you can choose whether you want to organise things by category e.g. dinner plates, mugs, small plates or by meal type e.g. having the mugs with the hot drink ingredients.

The most frequently used items should be on the bottom shelves of a cabinet near to where they’ll be used. Place the items that you don’t use much towards the back of the cupboards or on the higher shelves.

Keep your counters clear! The counter is your primary workspace so pay particular attention to reducing the number of objects stored permanently on the counter. The more stuff you have on the counter, the more you have to clean and the less room you have. Find another home for knickknacks and anything else that doesn’t absolutely need to live there.


Your challenge this week

Choose an area of your kitchen to organise. You don’t have to do the whole thing in one go. Perhaps just start with the food cupboards, or that kitchen drawer that you have to rummage through every time you want to find something.

Let us know how you get on in the comments!


This is the second of a two part series. Part one looked at the benefits of having an organised kitchen.


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