5 Ways to Simplify in the Kitchen: Tip Tuesday

Natural Cleaning Recipes for Home

Do you avoid your kitchen because it seems so complicated and is full of too much stuff?

If so, it's time to simplify!

For Tip Tuesday, I've put together a list of 5 things that I do in the kitchen to simplify, and you can, too.

1) Get Rid of Unnecessary Equipment and Utensils

A cluttered kitchen is a disorganized kitchen. The best way to beat the clutter is to get rid of it once and for all. Don't buy extra stuff to organize all of the things that you hardly ever use!

The rule of thumb that I use is that if it hasn't been used in 6 months and you can't say for sure that it will be used in the next 6 months, you need to find that item a new home.

Another way to tell if you need to get rid of an item is if you have a similar item in your kitchen that can do the same thing. Try to always opt for “dual duty” equipment and utensils. For instance, I have a rice cooker that also works as a slow cooker and food steamer. I keep my kitchen aid because of its versatility, but if you need extra space a hand mixer would do just fine.

I keep only one version of each item. I have one pair of tongs, one can opener, one whisk, etc. Keep it simple, and you will be less overwhelmed in the kitchen.

2) Clean as You Go

How many times have you been busy cooking or baking in the kitchen, only to finish and realize that you are NOT in the mood to clean up the mess?

Save yourself the trouble by cleaning as you go. If you rinse measuring cups, spoons, and mixing bowls right after you use them, you will rarely need to put them in the dishwasher or scrub them. The only exception to this rule would be when measuring oils, eggs, etc.

Just put something on the stove or in the oven? Take a moment to wash any equipment and utensils that you are finished with and leave them to dry on the counter. When you go to do dishes later, your dishwasher will not be too full and the cleanup will be easier, so you'll be less likely to put it off until later.

3) Clear the Counters

Between microwaves, bread boxes, mixers, toasters, coffee makers, and more, the counter tops of today's day and age can get very cluttered. Just the visual of clutter can make time in the kitchen seem overwhelming, let alone the practical issues with having less counter space.

Do yourself a favor and take a serious inventory of what is consistently left on your counter. What can be stored out of sight? What do you keep on your counters that you could probably live without?

You don't have to make it complicated. I simplified by getting rid of just one thing on my counter. I decided to get rid of my knife block and store my knives in the utensil drawer. I made room for them, and I haven't missed it since. I have a little extra counter space, which makes me very happy in the kitchen.

4) Play Container Match Up

It happens to the best of us. Our cupboards are full of containers and lids, but we can never seem to find a match. One afternoon, spend some time getting out all of your food storage containers and lids. Play a game and see how many of them you can match up.

Any container or lid that does not have a match should be donated or go to the trash. You've just freed up some extra space in the cupboards!

5) Deep Clean in Stages

Feel overwhelmed at all of the deep cleaning that needs to be done in the kitchen? Is your fridge a mess and nooks and cranies dirty?

Here's a simple solution: Stand in your kitchen and write up a list of all of the deep cleaning tasks you can think of that need done. Make these digestible tasks, though.

Example Quick Deep Cleaning Tasks:

  • Clean one shelf/drawer in the fridge
  • Wipe off the top of the fridge
  • Wipe down the cupboards
  • Dust the ceiling fan
  • Clear the cobwebs

Now, post that list on your refrigerator. The next time you have some extra time in the kitchen (like while that homemade pizza is in the oven), do just ONE of those tasks. Over the course of a month or so, you will have deep cleaned your kitchen and you can start over with a new list for the next month.

How do you simplify in the kitchen?

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS