How to Organize Your Kitchen for Easy Cooking
With the hectic and fast paced lives that most people lead today, it is important to have a well-organized kitchen to avoid clutter. If you have difficulty finding various ingredients in your pantry and fridge as you prepare your meals every day or your kitchen looks messy, here are some tips on how to keep your kitchen organized.
Give your kitchen a restaurant-level organization
Restaurants often prepare meals each night in their kitchens which are barely larger than the ones you have at home. You may wonder how this is done - by adopting functional and proper workstations, one may borrow this similar approach. Put away all the dirty utensils in a washing station; a sink. Then, in your washing station, have a prep station in which all the chopping can be done. Your oven and stove top should be designated for cooking only. But make sure the cooking station is close to the prep station.
Use prep bowls
Purchase collapsible prep bowls as they are awesome and can be collapsed for dish-washing or storage. Open them up for usage (and put on the lid if prepping or refrigerating the ingredients before meal). Everything from the prep station must be put in the prep bowls to make them ready for movement to the cooking station. This way, even if the cooking and prep stations aren’t close to each other, you will have an organized way to get all the ingredients there.
Put everything you need in place
Instead of moving up and down, get everything you need to prepare your meals from your pantry, freezer, and fridge before you begin to make your meal. Moreover, remove all the necessary tools (such as, cutting board, pans, pots, knives) you'll require or at least ensure that they are all within arms reach from where they'll be required.
Reorganize the kitchen to optimize the stations
Optimization is a common word in business. With regard to kitchen organization, simply make sure that all you'll require for a given station is within easy reach. You can have a prep bowl drawer right at your feet, to be able to reach one easily in case you didn’t put enough. You may have one drawer for all the tools you will need (such as tongs, wooden spoons, and spatulas) within arm’s reach. You may also put the main seasonings in the closest cupboard to be able to easily grab whatever you need to ensure your dish tastes right.
Use fewer dishes as possible
Some people love washing dishes while others don't and hate seeing a packed dish rack. If you don't like washing dishes, try to minimize the number of dishes that you use. For example, in case you're simply roasting your vegetables, just transfer them from the cutting board to the baking sheet/parchment paper instead of using multiple dishes. Moreover, season them on the baking sheet to save yourself more prep bowls that would need washing (if careful, your parchment foil/paper will leave the baking sheet clean). Before grabbing another bowl, spoon, pot, ask yourself if you can reuse something that's already out (probably requiring a quick rinse) or just re purpose one box/ bags that the groceries came with.
Put a trash bag/bowl at the prep station
Put a big prep bowl, a plastic grocery bag, a compost container or a paper bag near the prep station. Every food trash can be dropped right into the trash bowl/can to avoid moving between the prep station and the trash can. By doing this, you will have saved yourself a lot of time.
Clean up as you go
You will find yourself having some extra time in between as you make your meals; for example, as you wait for your pot to heat for a while or for your onion to become soft. Use this extra time to make the kitchen tidy again. Put back what you don't need to their original places; put the utensils or dishes in the dishwasher or sink. You will surely have a faster cleanup at the end.
You could be as traditional or quirky as you want when it comes to organizing your kitchen. But make sure your kitchen is organized in a way that enhances your cooking experience. The aforementioned tips will certainly work for you.
Adam Evans is a blogger for redstonecatering.com. He likes to write blogs for restaurants, improve catering business and in his free time likes to try various food recipes.