Friday, 04 October 2013 10:51

Your Kitchen: Keep it Cooking!

By Jordana Turcotte | News

The kitchen: where everything happens. It is the spot where you cook, eat, store food, entertain, drop mail, do homework, pay bills, stage returns, lay work papers down and more. No place is used more.

The kitchen is the hub of the home.

With all that is happening; whether or not it should be, there is no room more than this one that thrives on organization and functionality. If you can’t efficiently prepare and cook meals and clean up after making one, chances are you won’t be cooking at all in your kitchen. And that is the primary purpose of the space.

Having an organized kitchen can really save. More and more people are going out or ordering in, but you can save so much money by making meals at home, as well as eat healthier overall. Plus, you can save yourself some stress when someone knocks on your door unexpectedly.

So, what belongs in here? Only items used for preparing, cooking and serving food and possibly a mail/bill paying area. If there is another function that must take place in the kitchen, evaluate the space and set up a spot for it. An example may be a children’s homework spot. Now it may just be the table or peninsula, but make sure you have a caddy to hold the supplies that can be tucked into its home or away when they are done with their work.

When setting up any space, think of what zones (or centers of activity) you need. In a kitchen, typical zones are: a prep area, cooking center, everyday-use dishes, eating area, clean up, food storage, entertaining items, coffee station.

Some kitchen specifics to think about are paying attention to your “Magic Triangle” sink, fridge and stove. Items relative to food prep should be in this area for efficiency. Store items like with like; all plates should be together, all pots and so on. Claim vertical space with some great tools such as lazy susans, mini-step shelves, racks or “back-of-door” systems. Remember when purchasing food, to rotate the newest to the back so you use oldest first. Every six months, purge your old, stale and expired food products. Always consider clear containers which will make finding things easier.

Touch each item once to really fine tune what is in the space. Infrequently used entertaining items and appliances should be stored in a hutch, closet or basement shelving unit. Some of the least used kitchen items are fondue pot, bread-making machine, crepe maker, ice cream machine, juicer, crock-pot, waffle iron, propane torch, cookie press, banana-ripening rack, pizza stone, egg slicer, apple corer, pizza cutter, grapefruit spoon or anything costing $19.99 on a late-night TV ad.

A functioning and organized kitchen makes a happy home. Get it in order and then make sure you do your space maintenance (items back to their homes and pantry purging). You will then be able to use and enjoy your space daily as the true hub spot it is.

 

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