What are your goals for 2019? To get more organized? To eat healthier? To cook more? What if getting more organized in the kitchen could help you achieve the eating healthier and cooking more!!! Here are a 5 kitchen organizing tips to get you there!
1) Clean out the pantry! No, I'm not saying throw all the chips and candy away :) Start by removing all the items, toss (or compost) what is old, stale, expired. Items that are in good condition but your family no longer eats can be donated to your local food bank. (Any time I buy in bulk my kids automatically stop eating that food!!) Take stock of what you have and what you need in your pantry. Make the items you want to eat the first thing you see and hide the candy and chips on a top shelf or in the back of the pantry.
2) Check the spice cabinet! Herbs and spices are the best way to liven up a dish. But spices have a shelf life and stale dried herbs and spices won't pack the same punch as fresh ones. Toss anything that is expired, discolored or smells funny.
Labeling is important especially if you have them in a drawer and can only see the lids. I put mine in "order" of what I use most in the front and least in the back. NO WAY would I alphabetize them, because when you have 10 minutes to get dinner on the table no one has time for alphabetizing!
3) Don't forget the Refrigerator! Cleaning out the fridge is very similar to the pantry. Take EVERYTHING out, toss the old, expired, moldy, etc. Wipe down the shelves and put the fruits, veggies and lean proteins at eye level and whatever you vice is store it in the back. In my refrigerator you will mind the fancy cheese at the very back of the cheese drawer! *Tip: When cleaning out the freezer place items into a large cooler if you have it.
Rarely is my refrigerator Instagram ready but here is the one day it was!
4) Pull out the pots and pans! You can't cook if you can't find the right pots or you are missing the lids. This adjustable organizer is great for lids, skillets, cookie sheets and cutting boards. Maybe your problem is that you don't have the basics to start cooking. Beyond the Box Nutrition has a great list of basics for the new healthy home chef.
5) Utensils and gadgets are another area of the kitchen that can REALLY get cluttered. I am not a fan of single use gadgets like mango slicers, avocado slicers, garlic presses and the like. All these things can be sliced, chopped and pressed with a good chef's knife. Sort out what you use regularly and what you don't. Use some prime kitchen real estate to store regularly used items. Keep all the others in a location that is not so prime and if you find you aren't using them at all donate them!
Organizing like eating healthier and cooking more takes practice. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying. If you need some help getting your kitchen in order reach out!