How to Simplify Your Kitchen
And enjoy cooking more.
An organised kitchen will not only look clean and neat, it also makes you a better cook by making meal prepping a lot more enjoyable. We often find ourselves buying kitchen items we think we need only to realise later we have so many spares of the same thing hidden somewhere deep inside the cupboards, unloved and forgotten. We also have a bad habit of accumulating things because of ‘just-in-case’ situations which makes it difficult to throw them out when the time comes for us to declutter. (Just take a look at our mountainous takeaway box collection, which we're working on)
Decluttering your kitchen is both a cleansing and cathartic experience because every decision is a mindful one which will affect the way you prepare your food and eat them later on.
How do you begin? Here are five simple ways to keep your kitchen clutter-free.
- If it doesn’t belong there, do not leave it there.
Ever find yourself too lazy to put away the disposable cutlery that came with your take out but didn't use? Every item has its own place, so start cultivating a habit of placing items in their respective spots immediately. Not only will you know where to find what you need when the need arises, but they are strategically located for efficiency and less prone to accidents. Imagine knocking over a pile of bills and dusty serviettes and random rubber bands while you were searching for a recipe card you swore was underneath that pile from eons ago.
- Only purchase items that you need
Did you watch that episode of FRIENDS where Monica has eleven types of towels, including one for when the Queen comes to visit? Just in case you're a Monica, it is time to realise the Queen may not be coming after all.
Think about rearranging your kitchen around your most frequent activities. Frequently used appliances should be placed on the kitchen counter while the rest are to be stored in the cabinets. If making coffee is your daily morning routine, create a coffee station with your grinder, coffee filters, pour-over and kettle all in one place. Remember, meal and beverage preparation should be enjoyable. You shouldn’t have to reach into multiple cabinets and drawers just to make your daily cup of coffee.
That said, you only need one grinder, not two. So make sure you only purchase appliances you will use and invest a little more for good quality products that last and last.
- Make drawer organisers your best friends.
Compartmentalise your kitchen items by using transparent containers and label these containers neatly so that you can easily track each item for easy re-stocking. We recently found a stash of ziplock bags in three separate drawers, thinking we needed to buy more. So we placed all of them in a large clear box and labelled them by size before storing the box in a specific spot inside the cabinet.
You'd need organisers for even the tiniest things like rubber bands and toothpicks.
- Do not leave dirty plates in the sink
For some, it's probably daunting to have to wash the dishes immediately after a meal. However not doing the dishes in our Singapore climate is a fast way to spread germs and invite unwanted guests into your home. Since your kitchen is where you prepare your food, it only makes sense to keep it clean to prevent spreading bacteria around which can increase a person's chances of getting gastrointestinal problems.
So here's a great tip for those who do not have the time to keep up with the washing up - empty the dirty dishes by clearing out every grain of rice, wipe away gravy stains with used pieces of tissue, and stack them neatly in the sink. Next, place utensils inside a dirty cup, and then rinse. Yes, give everything a rinse to clear out food stains and then soak them with a little bit of dish washing detergent.
You should then attempt to wash the dishes up within 24 hours.
Remember, a sparkling clean sink has no place for creepy crawlies and bacteria.
- Remember to keep it simple.
Keep decoration to a minimal by using a neutral colour palette. Neutral colours are aesthetically pleasing and makes you mindful of your next purchase. Remember if you’re not going to use it, it does not belong in the kitchen. (Don't get seduced by appliance demonstrations!)
Consider using plants to soften hard surfaces and rough edges in a space. There are plenty of indoor plants that you can choose from and layer them to create a visually appealing group of textures around an otherwise plain space. You can even rotate your plants around the house from time to time.
Apart from your usually herb collection these are great to have too:
-Chinese money plant
-Queen of hearts
Simplifying your kitchen helps to improve the function of your daily activities and makes better use of your space. But let’s be honest, a neat kitchen gets you excited to turn on the burner and get cooking. What better way to feed yourself with soul-nourishing meals than one that you’ve prepared for yourself and your family.
Written by Elfe Reyanny
Edited by Cynthea Lam