The kitchen should be a sanctuary, but sometimes it can get a little daunting. Here are some tips to make it more user-friendly and inviting.
1. Magnets are your friends.
Mount a magnet on the wall and use it store knives, tools, and anything else that sticks. Glue magnets to the bottom or side of a spice jar and never again rummage through a drawer for the paprika.
2. Divide drawers.
A drawer can be a thing of beauty with a little separation between utensils. Do one drawer at a time, empty it, get rid of everything you don’t need, and then divide utensils and tools by usage and size.
3. Mount a tablet on the wall.
It’s your modern day chalk board. Use a wall-mounted tablet to look at recipes, keep track of a grocery lists, set a timer, or catch up on a podcast, all while keeping the counters free of clutter.
4. Hang pots and pans.
It frees up shelves for other things, protects pans from getting scratched, and just looks nice. Hooks are great for hanging dishtowels and aprons too. Just keep them away from the stove.
5. Store plastic wrap in the fridge.
Hate it when the plastic clings to everything except the thing you’re trying to wrap? Chill it to make the plastic stiff and less likely to get all tangled up when you use it.
6. Microwave those sponges.
Pop your sponge in the microwave every couple days for a few minutes. It kills a lot of the bacteria accumulated from all that scrubbing.
7. Keep milk from going bad before the expiration date.
Store the milk carton in the main part of the fridge, possibly on a middle shelf. The door of the fridge can warm up quickly when you open it, which makes your milk go bad quicker.
8. De-clutter your shelves.
Group similar objects together. Plates with plates. Bowls with bowls. Enjoy a good pot of tea? Put all the necessary tools in the same place.
9. Clean your blender in 30 seconds.
After you’re done with the blender, pour in warm water and dish soap, turn it on, and rinse. No need to get all up in there with a sponge.
10. De-rust your kitchen utensils.
It’s bound to happen after lots of use. To help get that pesky rust off of forks, knives, and anything else, soak in lemon juice for a couple minutes to loosen up the rust. Next step: scrub!
11. Maximize space in your freezer by freezing soups flat.
Pour soup into a sturdy plastic bag, remove as much air as possible, lay flat on a baking sheet, and place in the freezer. When frozen, frozen slabs can be stacked so they take up a minimal amount of space.
12. Keep brown sugar from hardening.
Place the sugar in an air-tight container and throw in an orange peel or two. Like magic, the granules won’t stick together.
13. Bid farewell to fingerprints and smudges on stainless steel surfaces.
Ditch the sponge. For stainless steel appliances, use glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to get rid of any stubborn streaks.
14. Keep herbs fresh.
Preserve fresh herbs in the freezer by putting them in ice cube trays filled with water, olive oil, or stock. Then, when your recipe calls for a few leaves, thaw an ice cube or two. Great for cocktails too.
15. Get rid of that trash can smell.
Everyone’s least favorite chore just got a tiny bit more bearable. After hosing down the trash can, sprinkle the bottom with a few tablespoons of baking soda – it’ll keep the smell at bay.