How To Declutter Your Kitchen
|Cleaning : Kitchen Cleaning|
Regardless of how much time you spend in your kitchen, you can make life a lot easier by organising it and getting rid of all the clutter that seems essential but in actual fact is now a hindrance.
1. Firstly you should get rid of any dirty dishes and wipe down all the counters. Then move onto your cupboards and give them a proper clearing-out. Throw away all the old ingredients that have sat in the back for years - you haven't used them more than once so it's more than likely you won't use them again. Alternatively, throw them away and buy new ones eg. Spices or baking staples like baking powder; things that last for some time.
2. Once you have worked out what you are going to keep, organise them into categories, such as all the baking ingredients like flour, sugar and dried fruits on one shelf, tinned food on another, and jars and packets of sauces should also be stored separately. This way there will be no more rooting around the back of the cupboard trying to locate the container you need. Make sure any ingredients which you remove from the original packing and place in storage containers are clearly labelled, especially with regards to flours and sugars.
3. You might also find it helpful to designate certain worktops in your kitchen to certain tasks, eg. Mixing, rolling pastry, and if possible keep all the utensils you need close at hand. Either way make sure you store your utensils properly, don't just fling them in any old drawer. Some people like to keep them hanging on the wall, or in a pretty storage jar or container.
4. Make sure you have the right equipment and use it efficiently. An irritating problem when cooking or baking can be measuring dry and sticky ingredients on the scales. Either invest in another bowl for your scales, or make sure you measure the dry ingredient first, then the sticky one. If the recipe says you must add the sticky ingredient first, then measure the dry one and place it in another bowl and add it when required to the main mixture. This saves having to wash and dry the measuring bowl for the scales as remnants of the dry ingredient will not affect the sticky one.
5. Make sure you stock your fridge and freezer properly. It is tempting after every shopping trip to simply load the food in on top of what is there, but this means that you forget what you bought a few weeks ago and it lies at the bottom until it inevitably has to be thrown out. To prevent this wastage, each time you add food, check the dates of what is already there and move certain things to the top if they must be used within a quicker space of time. Throw away anything that you find that smells bad or that you know has been in there for some time. Never take the risk of using it even if it "looks/smells okay". Even frozen vegetables and butter can go bad so try and use things in order of best before dates.
6. Some people find it saves a lot of time during the working week if they prepare the meals for the following week in advance, or at least work out what they will cook and make sure they have the right ingredients. If you have some time at the weekends, use it to cook things that have a long preparation or cooking time, like casseroles or roasting large pieces of meat. If you make double quantities you can freeze them and defrost during the week too.
7. Before you start to cook, read the recipe and assemble all the ingredients and utensils you will need beforehand. Remember to check if you need to preheat the oven or start boiling water. If you have to leave something to simmer for a while, remember you can use this time to peel potatoes or even just set the table.
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Line the scales with a sandwich bag or foil before measuring margarine, butter etc, you'll then have a clean bowl for other things.
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