Mar
25

Spring Cleaning your Kitchen

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If you’re like most New Yorkers, your kitchen isn’t what you want it to be.  There’s hardly enough space for the usual appliances, and even less space for storage and work space.   Organization is the key to a functional space, but with busy day to day life happening all around you, the kitchen is usually the first casualty.  Realize that unless you never use your kitchen, it’s bound to get messy. 

 One expert advises taking an evening (or two) once a year to ‘cleanse’ your kitchen.  Here are a few tips:

  •  Downsize – Remember the space you have to work with and pare down the non-essentials to a minimum.  Look at your stuff with a critical eye.  Do you really need three corkscrews?  You can only use one at a time, so why not keep the one that works best, and let the rest go.  How about all those plastic containers for left-overs?  Do yourself a favor and sort through them and make sure to keep only the unstained containers with matching lids.  Ideally, you only need a few.  Recycle the rest.  Think about it: do you really need 50 coffee mugs when only one of you drinks coffee?
  • Drawers – if you have internet, you really don’t need takeout menus!  Recycle them as well.  Get rid of the extra chopsticks and little ketchup packets.  Clean out the inside of the drawers with soap and water.  Use your space wisely.  Get a jar or pretty flower pot to store your cooking utensils on the counter or shelf.  Keep eating and measuring utensils in the drawers, and find a new home for the rest of the stuff, like under the sink or hanging on the wall.  Seriously, do you really need a junk drawer if you only have 2 drawers in your whole kitchen?
  • Compartmentalize – Group and stack where possible, like things together; plates, bowls, mugs mixing bowls and cookware.   This goes for food storage too.  Go through your spices and get rid of the old containers.  Open the jar and take a sniff, if you can’t detect the scent, you should purge it.  Keep spices together in one location, and only keep the ones you use most often.  This saves time and money.  Go through your refrigerator and freezer.  Dispose of any science experiments (spoiled foods) and wipe the shelves with soap and water. 
  • Surface area – Counter space is at a premium in most Manhattan apartments.  Get rid of that bread maker (and other little-used appliances) – you don’t have space for it.  Store less-used cookware and serving pieces on top of the cabinets. 
  • Dead space – Install a shallow shelf above your stove to keep cooking oil and salt and pepper for cooking.  If you have extra wall space, buy a nice medicine cabinet or spice rack to hang your spices on the wall.  Find a shelf for your cookbooks

 Remember, this is a process, and even if you only do this once a year, for at least one day, your kitchen is neat and organized.  

 

Inspired by an article on DNAinfo.com by Elizabeth Wolff

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