Around the Kitchen – Tips and Organization

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Credits go to google for this picture – Obviously it’s not my kitchen LOL. But don’t we all have a dream kitchen? Or if not, perhaps a beautiful, clean kitchen? I think sometimes we all forget that just because we don’t have a state of the art gourmet kitchen that we can’t achieve a clean, sleek look. The truth is that we can, and it takes just a few simple steps to do so, along with some self-control and tips. And…I will say some of them are VERY BASIC but everyone’s different so…you never know 🙂

1). The key to having a clean and beautiful kitchen is first creating an atmosphere that you like/love. If you don’t first create that, you’re not going to want to be in your kitchen, let alone want to keep it looking nice and clean. Try to hide all the unnecessary gadgets, equipment/device, pots and pans, dishes etc. And also I would want to try and keep one theme to make your kitchen flow better, like I wouldn’t mix silver/metal finishes with wood, or multi-colored utensil and product holders. Lastly, flowers! You have no idea what that does to a space. Not only does it bring a pop of color but it also gives a sense of freshness, beauty, and tranquility to a space. Walmart and select Sam’s Club carries a very affordable arrangement of bouquets, and of course buy something in season to save on cost! Try it next time.

2). Routine, routine, routine. Having a clean and beautiful kitchen does require some work and you’ll be more inclined to cleaning if you make a habit of it. Clean it every time you use it, such as the stove. I suppose if you’re a very clean chef you wouldn’t have a lot to clean, but if you’re anything like me and spill and splatter, just remember to clean it up right away. And another example; wipe your sink area clean and dry to avoid calcium and deposit built up. So in other words do spot cleaning throughout the day everyday to avoid a huge pow-wow cleaning on the weekend or in one day

3). Invest in plenty of kitchen towels and wash cloths because it’s more cost efficient than wipes. You’re more inclined to cleaning up spills and miscallaneous things having access to towels and wash cloths. On a busy day I go through one or two wash cloths. I fold and store all of mine in a nice wicker basket that I place either on the counter or inside my pantry (whatever works for you)

contemporary-baskets

To add to this (we had a small half bath right next to our kitchen) I placed a small little laundry basket in our bathroom and when ever I get a towel/wash cloth dirty, I’ll just throw it into the bin. I’ll let it add up for a week or so and then bring the whole thing into the laundry room to wash (in addition to my hand towels and anything else that I use in the bathroom). Convenient right?! And just remember, all these things can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be.

Oval-Wicker-Laundry-Hamper

4). Storage and organization – just briefly as it can be a whole article on its own. If you have a big kitchen, by all means, store and display all your things. But we had a fairly small kitchen so I picked out the dishes that I use most and stored the rest away. One of my cupboards was entirely designated for my dishware and 1 tip that I’ll share for all my anal friends is to store them upside down. I know most people store the dishes upward(?) but I’m so afraid of dust and yes..I’m lazy so to avoid the most work possible, I store my dishes upside down to avoid dust so I can use it right away without worrying about needing to wash it. Below is a picture of my cupboard. The dishes that I use most is obviously in the lower tier because I’m height challenged 🙂

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And…for the rest of my dishes. Well that’s what my dishwasher is for. LOL. I am a firm believer of not using the dishwasher, I mean why? Especially when you still have to rinse off food deposit from the dish and then load it into the washer? Your work is already half done, but side tracking here, the dish washer is an exceptionally smart and nifty place to store/hide all of your dishes, even utensils and silverware and you can save A LOT of money by not having to run so much water throughout the day.

5).

Envision Home Dish Drying Mat Black Damask_1

Next, I HIGHLY recommend investing in 1 or 2 (more so 2) drying mats. I grew up in an asian house hold, and we used a drying dish rack. I hated it (sorry Mom) because there were ALWAYS dishes in it, and when you can’t keep up with it enough, filth starts depositing on the bottom due to access water. Not only are drying racks a nuisance to clean, they’re honestly not very pretty to look at and take up additional space, especially if you lack counter space. Drying mats come in S-XL and is available anywhere. Because I live in a household that has such a high level of traffic in the kitchen/sink, I use 2 drying mats in order to be able to change them out and wash them frequently. Once my work is done, I just store my mat away in the pantry; clutter-free. It works so well for me

6). Sanitation – most of us use dish sponge to clean our dishes, and I think a lot of us forget to think about how much we use it and how much bacteria and scum builds up on it, we just keep using it till it looks like road kill or smells like road kill LOL. So to get the most out of your sponge I recommend ringing it dry after every use. Personally, I throw mine in the microwave for 2 minutes every night after my cleanings done to thoroughly sanitize it. Our household only consists of me, my husband, and my son so I’m pretty much the only person using the sponge so it lasts for a good while with my method. I change it out about 1x a month (depending on its condition of course) and I usually have a reminder on my phone to change it out! I know…..

7). Reminder system:

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We have a small dry erase board on our kitchen wall for reminders etc but I also use it as a “light bulb” moment grocery list. How many times have you come home from the store and forgot something, or how many of you hate going through your entire kitchen to figure out what you’ve been out of or is running low on. I do, so when I’m cooking or whenever I’m doing something in the kitchen and figure out something is low or empty I quickly jot it onto the board. This way, when I do my grocery list, everything is already set for me

8). “Work smarter not harder” – most of us that grew up in asian house holds know what a mess cutting boards and cooking can be, but 1 method I learned from my mom is to NEWSPAPER it. When she does her cutting/chopping on the board she places a large sheet of newspaper under it to catch anything and everything off of the board. Once she’s done she just removes the cutting board, wrap up the newspaper tightly and CAREFULLY, and wa-lah, no need to clean off the counter! Convenient and environmentally friendly – reusing! 🙂

9). Budget budget budget – I’m all about saving as much as I can, and using 100% of the things I buy and you can cut costs from simple things like your dish soap. I usually store my soap in a pretty little pump and just like anyone else I’ll use 1-2 pumps while I clean my dishes but if I’m doing a fairly large load with big pots and pans, I’ll use an “already” dirty bowl, rinse it out, squeeze 2 pumps of soap into the bowl and pour in some hot water (the hotter the water, the soapier the solution). You’ll find that the solution is very soapy and still does the job very well and at the same time it’ll last through your entire load. How efficient is that right?! You would have used at least a dozen pumps to get you through a large load of dishes. And to save even more, when I empty a container of soap, don’t just throw it away. Open up the cap and pour some hot water in and make a solution. You can still use it for days!

10). Lastly – smells. Once again, my Asian readers, you all know what I mean by a house that wreaks of ramen and stir frys LOL. We cook all the time, which is a great thing, but can also pay in a stinky way. Now for those of you that can afford an air purifier, great! However for those of us that haven’t gotten around to that..well, there are candles! Not only does that add a beautiful and simple touch to your kitchen, they’re so aromatic! I light my fragrant candles whenever I cook and it helps to bring the smell down a notch.

So there you have it, my 10 tips around the kitchen. If you’re already doing these things or something similar great, if not, maybe some of them can help you in your daily routine. I know that cleaning can be a culprit for some of us, but trust me, once you start doing it and making it a habit/routine, you won’t even notice that you’re doing “work” or additional work!

Happy cleaning! 🙂

– Cyndie –

 

 

 

 

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