3 Kitchen organising tips

LEM Image 067First in a series of targeted quick tips, today I start in the kitchen with three quick ways of getting more space out of your cupboards and pantry while tackling some frustrating problems.

Plasticware

If you have plastic storage containers and lids breeding in your kitchen cupboard and sprawling all over your valuable kitchen cupboard real estate here’s the fixer. First grab every item and have a good sort. If there are containers missing lids or containers you don’t use anymore decide to get rid of them or give them a new job. Containers missing lids can be reused in pantries for example housing sauce sachets, also useful in a drawer in any room for housing small fiddly objects. Throw useless lids out.

Once you have matched and decided what you need to keep, designate a shelf to keep them on and buy a plastic dump bin to house them in. Once you have a quantity you will know what size bin. Plastic crates are lightweight and easy to clean. Then separate the lids from the containers and nest the containers inside each other from largest to smallest. Slide the lids largest to smallest next to the nest. Depending on the size, you can have more than one nest inside your dump bin. One bin for square shapes; one for rectangle shapes and one for round. You can also have more than one bin if you feel you need to.

Extra Hot Tip #1: Avoid buying round containers. They aren’t the best shape when it comes to fitting and stacking them into lunch-boxes, fridge or pantry shelves.

Extra Hot Tip #2: If you have tiny containers, it is best to keep the lids on them in the dump bin to avoid frustration.

Appliance Cables

If you get frustrated with pulling an appliance out of the cupboard only to find that the cable gets caught up with other appliances or worse, causes another to fall out, then it’s time to take charge. There are a few methods to employ depending on the cable, however here is a quick, cheap and easy fix for any cable. Buy a packet of pipe cleaners. Twist tie a pipe cleaner onto the cable at the end closest to the appliance, then gather up the rest of the cable and then twist the rest of the pipe cleaner around this with one or two (max) twists. The idea here is that the pipe cleaner remains with the appliance constantly (no need to take off and get lost) and easy to undo and redo. Or try this great idea I recently came across on Jen Grant Morris’s Blog, it’s one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments.

Extra Hot Tip #1: Avoid plastic covered wire twist ties that come with the product, they’re too small and fiddly and usually break over time. The same goes for rubber bands, those too often get lost and perish over time.

Extra Hot Tip #2: Store appliances on low shelves, especially if heavy and cumbersome. Smaller appliances may also benefit from being stored in a crate if a drawer is not available.

Baking Trays & Cake Tins

How noisy can these be when you’re trying to find the right one? If you don’t have a drawer available, create one. Again, find yourself a good plastic crate or dump bin to keep them all together. Resist the urge to stack the trays on top of each other, instead file them standing upright within the crate and work largest to smallest. Then when it comes to choosing the right one, you will be able to see it at a glance.

Extra Hot Tip #1: If you don’t do a lot of baking you can store this crate somewhere else to save on kitchen cupboard real estate. Just label it well and put it in a cupboard near your kitchen. You will need a lid for this kind of crate to prevent dust and remember to label it.

Extra Hot Tip #2: This method can also be used for frying pans, saucepans and chopping boards and cook books. Just remember that any heavy crate should be stored on the very bottom shelves. It’s easy to look into it, and slide it out when it’s on a bottom shelf.

Final De-cluttering Tip

When deciding how much of any kitchen item to keep set aside a box and for a month put into it any item that is used during the month (after washing). You will soon see which items remain unused and which are favourites.

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