If you’re anything like me, cleaning the kitchen is not your idea of a fun time. You spent one two many nights “forgetting” to do the dishes after the big meal you made and you may have officially run our of “prep” space for tomorrow night’s meal. The thing is, if your kitchen was organized, it would not be the chore to clean the way it is now. So, with that said, I want to throw out a few quick tips for guys to organize your kitchen and make clean up a bit easier.
Take Inventory: Before doing anything, you should know what you have and what you don’t need.Take an inventory and catagorizeing everything in your kitchen and then you can figure out how to organize from there. Come up with a plan of action by putting things into categories. Pots go with pans, forks go with knives, plates go with bowls, and pop tarts go with oatmeal. You kitchen won’t get audited so you don’t have to be exact, but it will let you plan accordingly before you start moving things.
Throw Things Out: You may have picked up the orange juicer or the garlic press for one instance, but I doubt it sees a whole lot of use. Cutting an orange in half and squeezing it with your bare hands is not difficult or compressing it with a tablespoon will yield the same results. You can also just put garlic in a pepper grinder if you really want it fresh (Try it with sea salt or crushed red pepper). You probably have a half dozen kitchen gadgets that barely ever see the light of day. Really think about the items you have and if they deserve the space in your home.
Put Small Appliances Away: What do you use EVERY DAY? I cannot wake up without a cup of coffee and the microwave is almost always on for a minute or two a day be it for leftovers or a bag of popcorn. Other than that, I don’t use anything else. Sure, your George Foreman grill gets it’s fair share of use, and you do enjoy juicing some vegetables every few days, but that may be only two days a week. How hard is it to keep in a cabinet the other 5 days a weeks. The rule of thumb is to keep it under three small appliances at any given time, so prioritise. Clearing off that “utility shelf” where you keep everything from junk mail or disposable napkins and keeping your electric can opener there instead is the smart move.
Get a Dish Drying Rack: This one should be pretty common sense. I know you don’t want to put the damp plates onto the wood shelves, but if you dry every dish on the counter you won’t have a counter anymore. A plastic dish drying rack that stands plates up vertically only takes up about 3 sq feet of your counter. Pick one up for about $10 and stop drying your silverware in your colander.
Be Logical About Placement: For amateur chefs, the kitchen can be complicated. There are a lot of things to keep track of and not always a lot of space. The best way to look at it is if you ask your girlfriend to make you something when you are sick, she should be able to figure out your system without too much difficulty. Putting your silverware under the cabinet with your plates and bowls is easier than grabbing a bowl and walking across the room for the fork. Put your coffee cups above your coffee pot and your dish rack next to the sink. Keep your paper towels away from the sink. Yes, this may be where you need it most, but they won’t do you any good if the are wet.
Think About the Obvious: You have a boiling hot bowl of pasta on the oven and you need to grab the strainer. Now if your strainer is directly above the stove, it could pretty easily end poorly. Now, instead of the chicken Alfredo you were planning on having for dinner you have a handful of antibiotics to make sure your 3rd degree burn doesn’t get infected. Think about things logically. If you are going to need something while you are cooking, keep it a safe distance from anything hot. The same thing goes for anything flammable. Keeping your paper towels or cookbooks next to your hot stove could mean you no longer have a kitchen to keep organized. Its better to take ten seconds to walk across the kitchen will be better than the twenty minute wait for an ambulance.