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How To Organise Your Kitchen Space
Anyone for Tetris? Here's How To Organise Your Kitchen Space Like An Absolute Pro.
An intimate kitchen. This phrase may elicit an eye roll or a look of gushing adoration, depending on the type of person you are. It suggests everything from sappy amore to spatial awareness. Eyes locking across a candlelit table for two and, bodies battling to push by each other in a cramped kitchen-come-dining-room-come-homework centre for four. Sure it's up for interpretation. And though things may feel, at times, tight to say the least, those 10 square metres are still yours. And what you do with them, is your choice too. Thankfully we are here to give a helping hand.
According to Sarah Reynolds of OrganisedChaos.ie, it's all about the zones. As outlined above, there can be a lot going on in your kitchen. Add a little method to the madness, by allocating specific zones to specific tasks such as cooking, cleaning and homework etc. “The space in your kitchen needs to be mapped out to accommodate each zone,” she says. Joseph Joseph are champions in the zone field. Aside from each tool or utensil adding a fluorescent flair to your kitchen’s aesthetic, their colour coordination ensures everything is in top tip shape too. As your Index Boards dominate your chopping spare, your Utensil Plus holding will signify that no-go stirring zone next to the cooker.
It’s Gotta Go!
Your zones can only truly be mapped out, says Sarah, “once you know what you are keeping.” No, you don’t need those leftover tupperware lids whose boxes have long been lost. Nor do you need that ridiculous Pepper Prepper gifted to you in last year’s office Secret Santa. And no, you definitely don’t need yet another mug painted by your five-year-old Picasso in training… but, in saying that, you’re extraordinarily proud and should and will 100% keep it. The rest of the things mentioned are only fit for the recycling bin.
A process like this begins with prioritisation, says Sarah. Not just between what to keep and what to dump, but also what belongs in the kitchen and what doesn’t. So that means knives, forks and spoons are in, while hairclips, gardening tools and tennis balls (how and why?) are out! It may sound a little brutal, but it means that when you do get around to investing in that gorgeous Le Creuset storage utensil it won’t end up full of junk.
An assessment of your non-perishables, tins, cans and spices, is also a must. Spices can definitely be an easy win in this regard – in How To Organize Your Kitchen Like A Pro in Everyday with Rachael Ray, New York chef Brad Farmerie says to “toss what you don’t remember buying”. That means bidding farewell to your archaic Chinese Five Spice and binning that off-colour basil.
When that’s all said and done, it’s about the arrangement, says The Little Green Spoon author, Indy Power, who suggest putting everything you do keep into labelled kilner jars. “That way there are no half empty bags spilling everywhere and everything is easy to access. It’s really satisfying to have them all labelled and tidy and it’s much easier to keep track of what you need as everything is on display.” The clip high standing kilner jar is a perfect example of organisation genius, and will look even smarter placed next to one of T&G’s Pride Of Place coffee jars.
While we are not here to challenge your culinary prowess, we do have a few suggestions of where to place your most-used utensils. Indy Power tells us that the best practice is to have the things you use every day in reach and easy to find. For example, while nobody can dispute the success of your bi-annual fondue fiestas, they are just that: bi-annual. So your fondue set does not need to take pride of place for the other 363 days. At the bones of it you are far more basic than melted gruyère, so if it makes more sense for your Oil Fryer and Multi Cooker to be in plain sight, then so be it. Find the fondue pot a safe spot at the back of your cupboard when it is off-duty and give it a nice long rest for the rest of the year.
Feel it out
Notions and unnecessary appliances aside, it’s time to give your kitchen a test-drive. Though you’re no stranger to the ins and outs of a Sunday Roast or a late-night supper, this time as you’re cooking, you need to take note of what you’re actually doing and how your kitchen is accommodating your needs while doing it. To begin – are you left handed or right handed? How handy is there the nearest dish cloth at all times? And why the hell is the spice rack nowhere near the cooker? Move your T&G Nordic Mini Crate filled with your favourite spices into reach. Whether you’re making the piece-de-resistance or a plate of home-cooked chips, things should never be over-complicated. A Judge Stainless Steel Cookbook Holder could be as fancy as it is functional next to your chosen cooking space. Figure out your culinary needs in terms of access to appliances and the spaces of your spices.
It may be the most hectic room in the house, but that doesn't mean it can't exude a sense of clarity and calm. It won’t change the world, but who knows? With an Elevated Knives Carousel from Joseph Joseph or Tefal 3 Tier Steamer you kitchen could transform into a place of kitchen zen.
“A place for everything and everything in its place.” Indy Power, who instructs us to “give everything it’s proper place”, is in agreement with this staple of organisational theory – and how can we really argue? Seriously though, what’s the point in perfecting your kitchen/life balance if you’re not going to maintain it. A reshuffle like this is necessary but does not have to be numerous. “A kitchen is a high traffic area and therefore it will get messy everyday,” says Sarah. So it's up to everyone to chip in and follow the format for keeping kitchen spick and span. Sometimes this might mean an additional few minutes during clean-up time to keep things neat and tidy 'behind the scenes' – the difference between tossing everything mindlessly into the cupboard, and carefully placing things where they're actually supposed to go. But trust us. It'll be worth it.