5 Things You Can Do in Your Kitchen to Make Cooking Easier

If you're looking to simplify cooking in your kitchen, follow these helpful tips (BigStockPhoto.com)

If you’re looking to simplify cooking in your kitchen, follow these helpful tips (BigStockPhoto.com)

Today’s families are operating at light speed which can make it more difficult than ever to cook at home rather than ordering out or running through the drive thru of a fast food joint.  Make sure that your kitchen is in tip-top shape so that you can maximize the time you do have.  These quick fix kitchen organization tips can save you time and make cooking in your own kitchen easier and more enjoyable, both of which increase the likelihood that you will be the one cooking dinner for your family.

1.     De-Clutter the Counter

Unless you live in a Martha Stewart magazine, this is likely the first thing you need to tackle.  We all tend to keep too many things on the counter which often makes it challenging when it comes time to cook.  If you are short on time and/or energy, having to rearrange a bunch of stuff to clear counter space for chopping vegetables might be the final straw that has you reaching for a take-out menu and the phone.  If your kitchen is organized, you won’t need to keep so many things on the counter.

2.     Keep Things Together

One of the biggest mistakes we make when organizing our own kitchens is that we organize for aesthetics rather than functionality.  In a perfect world or a perfect kitchen we could have both but when you have to choose between how it looks and how it works, picking the organizational structure that works matters more.  The most important thing in functional organization is to keep the things that are used together stored together.  An example of this would be creating a coffee station where your coffee grinder, coffee beans, French press, and any other coffee related items are stored.  By organizing in this fashion, you won’t waste time moving around the kitchen to retrieve each of these individual items.

3.     Clean Things Out

Start with the cabinets and go through every nook and cranny in the kitchen.  As you go through each storage area, get rid of things that are expired, donate things you will never use, and look for places where your current organization or storage is not working.  Consider rearranging things to make them easier to see and to ensure you won’t ever again find a 10 year old box of crackers jammed in the back of the corner cabinet.

4.     Divide Up Your Space

Storage solutions like drawer dividers can be a real lifesaver when it comes to keeping your kitchen organized, functional, and clean.  But don’t stop there.  Look for ways to maximize the space available in every cabinet, cupboard, and closet.  Look at using risers or mini-shelves to make better use of shelving space.  Think about installing storage solution on the inside of cabinet or cupboard doors or underneath the cabinets themselves.

5.     Save the Date

One of the most common causes of cluttered refrigerator shelves and over-packed unorganized cupboards is that we don’t always know how long something has been around.  Now that almost everything comes with expiration dates, it is easier to tell if you have had something for years and years but when it comes to things like condiments and spices that don’t get used as often, we don’t always realize how long they have been hanging around.  Solve this problem by adding your own “opened on” date with a sharpie so that you will always know how long you have been holding on to something.

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