Organize Your Kitchen
Tips for better organizing your kitchen for efficent ease and cooking.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have an environmentally-efficient kitchen. By this I mean place and location of appliances to make the flow of the kitchen more "user-friendly." If the position of your refrigerator, stove/oven, and sink/dishwasher have you running in circles at mealtime, there are ways to make your kitchen more efficient and organized.
First, make a list of where you do the following: bake, mix, chop, blend and season. For example, if your mixer/food processor is at one end of the kitchen, and your flour, baking powder, etc. is at the other, this is not well-organized. Set up your mixer/processor directly above/beneath the cabinet that contains all of your baking goods. Which leads to the next step in organizing your kitchen. While few of us have time (or even care to) alphabetize everything in our cabinets, all of us should make time to organize our cabinets by product. As state above, put all of your baking goods on one shelf – flour, sugar, vanilla, etc. Put all of your packaged "side dishes" on another shelf – rice, boxed stuffing, etc. Place all your "pasta needs" on another shelf – sauce, spaghetti, etc.
If you are short on counter space but brimming with appliances, you might want to invest in a baker's rack. These are sold at any department store, come in various colors and styles and are relatively inexpensive. Place your bigger stationary appliances, such as a microwave or bread machine, on the rack to free up valuable working counter space.
Invest in a spice rack and hang it next to your stove. This not only frees up counters and cabinet space, but also your spices to be right at hand when you are cooking.
Keep your cooking utensils together, preferably right on your stovetop, or hung in close proximity. This will lessen the chances of the bacon burning while you're hunting down your spatula.
Organize your dishes and cookware in the same fashion. Arrange your pots and pans next to your cooking surface, place your dishes and glasses next to your sink/dishwasher, and put your preparation/mixing bowls in the cabinet with your baking supplies.
While organization is essential in the kitchen, we are also creatures of habit. If you have kept your dish towels in a drawer next to your stove (instead of next to your sink) and you have done this forever, leave it that way. It's easier to locate the towel in an out-of-the-ordinary location that you're comfortable with than to find it in an obvious location that is foreign to you.
Having what you need in your kitchen at arm's length can mean the difference between a burnt-out cook with a burnt meal and a gourmet chef with satiated diners!