SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Thursday, March 18, 2010

Create an Organized Kitchen | Family Economics

By Tanna Clark

There is nothing worse than watching a frazzled cook trying to get a meal ready for a busy family in a disorganized kitchen. Here are five ways you can get your kitchen in order and make meal preparation easy as pie!

Store items within reach and by frequency of use. Think of your kitchen in terms of zones. You want to store the cooking utensils and cookware within reach of the oven and spices in a drawer or cabinet nearby as well. Create a preparation area with cutting boards and knives on hand. Store dishes near the dishwasher in order to quickly put items away when clean. Things you use less often can go higher up on shelves. Use top shelves for infrequently used serving platters or appliances.

Go vertical. Cookie sheets and cutting boards are difficult to access when stacked. You constantly have to shuffle things around to get what you are looking for. Instead of laying these items flat, create vertical storage so you can easily access what you need. You can do this by adding custom storage to a cabinet or take the do-it-yourself approach and build your own.

Rethink the bulky appliances. Small appliances take up a lot of storage space. Have you ever used that bread maker or that little grill that makes everything you cook magically turn healthy? What about the heart shaped waffle maker? So maybe you have used them once or twice in the last year but are they really worth the space they are taking up?

Corral the recipes. Do you have tons of cookbooks but only use a few tried and true recipes from them? You might have several cookbooks taking up prime real estate in your kitchen or have recipes scattered about. Instead of cluttering up your space create a recipe binder to store your favorites and let go of the bulky books. That is, of course, unless you use the books on a regular basis. There are different types of cooks in each family!

Make a meal from your pantry. Once every two or three months try to have an “eat what’s in your pantry week.” Only buy the staples that you need during your shopping trip and try to “shop” for the rest right in your pantry. Try to come up with creative meal ideas from what you already have. You can really keep the clutter at a minimum by simply eating from the pantry on a regular basis.

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