Chaos. It’s one of the greatest enemies of peace and comfort at home. And it’s more common than most of us would like to admit. Chaos can descend at any time in any part of our homes, but the kitchen is definitely one of the hotspots.
It only takes a few minutes to keep a kitchen clean and tidy. But the levels of activity and the sheer volume of items stored there make it easy for it to become the miscellaneous drawer of the house (quite literally – who doesn’t have a drawer in the kitchen where they put everything they don't know where to keep?) and it’s the room most likely to get messy.
It’s a good idea to take some time every now and again to restore order, put things back in the right place, check your cupboards and eat up the tins at the back, buy anything you need and avoid accumulating too much of the things you've already got... Lots of you probably do this already, but it’s always helpful to have a few extra tips for making your kitchen tidier.
- Step 1: take everything out, make an inventory and clean
It’s impossible to bring order to your kitchen if you don’t know what you've got, if the insides of the cupboards are a complete mess or if everything’s dirty (it’s easy for mess to accumulate in a kitchen with packs of food or sauces leaking onto the surfaces).
Before you do anything else, take out everything you’ve got and decide what to throw away. Get rid of anything that’s out of date or that you bought on a whim and aren’t going to eat. Keep what you’re definitely going to use.
Make an inventory of what you've got. Draw up a list in a format that you’ll find easy to read so that you always know what you’ve got without needing to rummage around. This is a very useful solution if you have a big family and you go through lots of food.
Finally, take a few moments to clean before putting the food back in the cupboards. Make sure you clean properly. Take out the heavy-duty cleaning products and get right into the corners of your kitchen you didn’t even know you had. Having a clean space is key to bringing order to your kitchen.
- Step 2: clear all visible surfaces
Something to bear in mind when you're trying to create a clean, tidy space is “less is more”. The fewer items you keep on the surfaces, the better. It’s important to avoid having more equipment than you need on the kitchen counters – tidy it away neatly in the cupboards instead.
Avoid decorative items that get in the way. Are they really useful in a kitchen? There’s already too much stuff on the tables and counters. Decoration is great for creating a homely environment, but it’s better to go for elements that you can hang or place on top of cupboards.
- Step 3: organise, optimise and classify
Last but not least, it’s time to organise your kitchen using a handy classification system. Whatever suits you best. There are no rules. Use a system that meets your needs and those of your home.
But choose a method, classify everything (perishable products, long-life products, etc.) and organise it according to how often you use it. That’s the question to bear in mind as you go. What do I use most? Make sure those items are closest to hand. The things you use less often can be kept at the back of the cupboard or out of sight.
According to Marie Kondo (the tidying guru), you should identify what you use and get rid of anything you don’t use. If you think about it, how many cake tins do you really need when you only make a cake once a month? How many bowls and plates do you use regularly? You’re sure to have more than you need.
Your kitchen needs to breathe. Like the other rooms in the house, it’s important to sort, clean, tidy and classify to make it a comfortable, usable space. Just like your bedroom with the seasonal wardrobe changeover, your kitchen also needs a spring clean – after all, you spend a lot of time in there and it’s a hub for gatherings with family and friends, so make sure you're getting the most out of yours!