What makes a kitchen great is not so much the space itself but rather how you organise it. Even the smallest of kitchens can support a healthy lifestyle. It may seem like a tedious task for some but a tidy kitchen can actually be super helpful when it comes to running an organised household, and helping you create healthy and happy meals for yourself and your family.
Here are my top reasons for giving it a go:
You’ll have quick and easy access to ingredients
It makes cooking at home fun and easy
You’ll save time and money.
You’ll minimise waste
You’ll enjoy more variety and control
If you are ready to take the reigns and make some necessary tweaks to bring more joy, balance and health into your kitchen let’s get started.
CLEAR SOME SPACE
If we truly want to live a healthy life, we need to de-clutter it first. Break the task into small achievable ones and instead of decluttering drawer by drawer or cupboard by cupboard, work through your items category by category. This makes it easier to see how much of something you actually have. Plus your brain can actually focus better when you work on one thing at a time which means you’ll be able to work more efficiently.
I break items into categories such as things you eat and serve with, items you store food with, items you cook and bake with, and lastly items you eat. (click here for a free checklist. You might surprise yourself with how much easier it is to reach your healthy goals by creating an organised kitchen that allows you more time and space for the things you enjoy most.)
As you move through the categories, keep only the items you love or that makes life easier, including any that support the healthy lifestyle you want to live. Check used by dates and empty anything that has expired. Whatever is left can be recycled, sold or donated.
If you find have two or three of anything, ask yourself ‘how many do you actually need?’ Choose the better quality items and enjoy using them every day. This might sound silly but using items we enjoy can actually impact us both physically and mentally and inspire us to make healthier choices.
GIVE EVERYTHING A HOME
Now that you’ve finished decluttering, it’s time to start giving everything a home. That way you’ll know where to find it and tidying up will only take a minute because everything already has somewhere to go.
As a rule of thumb, store similar items together – for example keep your bakeware together, crockery together, your appliances together, your utensils together, sauces and condiments, and breakfast items and so on.
When putting appliances away, consider how frequently you use them or want to use them, and store the ones you regularly use in an easy to reach spot in a cupboard or drawer, so it becomes easier to make healthier meals. Other appliances that you use or want to use less frequently can be stored up high or down low.
If like me you have deep cupboards, pantry or fridge shelves, one of the tricks to keeping everything organised is to use pull out containers, baskets or bins for storing similar categories of items. The reason here is that allow you to make the most of those hard to reach spots and help anchor items so that nothing becomes free floating or jumbled.
Lastly if like me you want a kitchen that is easy to clean, keep number of items you store on your kitchen bench or workspace to a minimum where possible. This will also allow you to reduce the visual clutter you see everyday which will help create an inspiring space that is easy to use.
If you don’t have a lot of kitchen storage or you find it’s just not practical or possible to remove every item from your benchtop, just give each item a home and give them a good wipe down when you can. You also can pop a bay leaf near or under them, as they act as a natural repellent to keep creepy crawlies away.
STAND UP & GET CREATIVE WITH STORAGE
Some of the biggest space-hoggers in a kitchen can be food containers and baking items. There is a way however that you can store them which can save a great deal of space, time and effort and that’s upright. Take for example bakeware, by standing them upright in a basket, deep tin or office file holder make the most of your space than if they are piled. It also becomes much easier to get items out and put them back and you’ll avoid the dreaded issue of avalanche.
The same concept can be applied to food containers. Store all of your lids together standing up inside a basket, shallow box or the base of a container, and nest the remaining bases inside each other. For awkward items that won’t nest such as lunch boxes or drink bottles, standing them up keeps them easy to access and put away.
Also don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to organising other items vertically. For example, in your fridge, try storing carrots or other veg standing up in a container, or in your pantry you can repurpose items such as magazine holder to store onions and potatoes. This gives you the added benefit of vertical storage but also keep items accessible and save space.
STOCK UP & KEEP HEALTHY FOOD VISIBLE
Stock your kitchen with healthy essentials you and/or your family need and keep your everyday healthy foods easy to access and visible. This appliance both in and out of the fridge. The reasoning here is: What you see…is what you eat. It also makes meal planning and prep much easier because you can see what you have a glance.
If you can’t help but have treats in your home, don’t worry. Use the trick of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and storing them all together in a small bin, basket or box so you limit how much you can store and place them on the highest shelf or in a harder to reach place. That way, if you have to pull out a step stool every time you want a handful of chips or jellies, you might be less likely to eat them, than if they are the first thing you see when you open the pantry.
If you have deep shelves in your cupboards, pantry or fridge, pull out bins or containers can be a good investment so you can easily reach items stored at the back of shelves so they don’t become lost. If you need a low cost option, old shoe boxes can be a great solution. Not only are they often they sturdy, they usually comes with two parts to them (the base and the lid) and can look very neat positioned next to each other, creating two compartments in one space. Most of my clients find they have spare shoe boxes once they have finished decluttering their clothes which they can use to store a variety of kitchen items from utensils to spices, to sauces to cookie cutters.
ADD A LABEL
One of simplest things you can do to keep a space organised especially if you have a family is to use labels so that everyone in your home is on the same page. You all know where to find what you’re looking for and perhaps just as importantly, everyone knows where to put something back! Just remember, your labels don’t have to be fancy, they could be handwritten on a gift card or a sticker to do the trick.
MAKE THE KITCHEN A PLACE FOR COOKING & EATING, NOT FOR BILL PAYING OR PILING PAPER
Often when we arrive home, we head straight to the kitchen and unload any mail, our keys and other items from our day. The problem with this is that clutter attracts clutter. To break the cycle, see if you can create a home for the items you would usually drop on the kitchen bench. This might be as simple as a small basket or hooks near your entryway where you can put your keys or wallet, shoes or bags, or a magazine file holder on your office desk where you can drop off any mail or other papers such as school permission slips you need to action or file.
INVITE SOME SPARK INTO YOUR KITCHEN
One way to increase the enjoyability of your kitchen is decorate your space with items that make you smile. It could be as simple as decorating a corkboard with your favourite photos or mementos or displaying sentimental postcards, inspiring quotes or trinkets inside a few of your kitchen cupboards. This might sound silly but the effect of creating your own personal space whether big or small can be immense. It can actually impact us both physically and mentally and inspire us to make healthier choices. I’d encourage you to give it a try.
THE WRAP UP
One the best ways to kick start a wellness regime is to create an environment that supports your wellbeing both on the inside and out. In your home, the most important place you can do this, is the kitchen. An organised kitchen whether big or small makes cooking easier and can help you and your family make healthier food choices. So what are you waiting for… get your organising ninja on go get organised!
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE DECLUTTERING CHECKLIST
If you’re ready to create your beautiful, healthy kitchen, download your free decluttering checklist and get started!
Ciara is a Professional Organiser who works with busy mums who are ready to get out from under the stuff that is weighing them down, so that they can invite more joy, balance and freedom into their home and life, all whilst freeing up time for the things they most enjoy. With over a decade’s experience working as a nurse, Ciara has an insatiable passion for helping and supporting others achieve their goals so they can live their best life.
Ciara combines her own personal and professional experience helping others declutter and get organised with her coaching skills to provide a unique service to her clients so they can bring more ease into day to day life and live a joyful life without the clutter.
You can connect with Ciara on face and Instagram @simplysortedpo or via her website and blog at www.simplysortedpo.com.au.
© Live Love Nourish 2019.