It’s difficult to meal plan when you can’t close the cupboards or see what you have available to prepare. A cluttered kitchen can lead us to eat more & spend more, simply because we can’t get to the more healthful options or we don’t know what we already have. You won’t buy duplicates if you are more familiar with what is already in your pantry and you’ll be less apt to buy pre-cut or pre-prepared foods, which are typically more expensive then making them yourself. Organized cabinets will keep those healthier options front and center. Here are 3 insights to consider if you want to make your kitchen a much neater and efficient workspace.
1. Clear Out Space: Clearing out duplicate or expired items leaves more room for more healthy food choices. Start by tossing any old or outdated canned or frozen foods. Triple check the condiments as I always find old salad dressings hiding out in the fridge. Next, go through your spices. These are easy places to start throwing things away and once you get into the mood to toss, you should be exhilarated to do the rest.
2. Know Your Tools: Preparing good food starts with your tools. Do you know which pots, pans and utensils you use most often? Think about all the items you have that you haven’t used in over 6 months. Even if you paid a substantial amount for a pan ten years ago, if you’re not using it, what’s the point of keeping it? Ideally you don’t need more than a few pots and pans at the ready on a regular basis.
Tip: Take all of the pots and pans out of your cupboards and store them somewhere else, preferably not in the kitchen. Over the next month pull out only the pots and pans that you need to use and return them to the kitchen cabinets after use. After a month, take a look at what pots and pans are left that you haven’t used. Now you can make a decision-should you keep them stored away or just toss them? The same goes for serving spoons, spatulas and other utensils. If you need more of these things during the holidays, store them away in your holiday box. They don’t need to be at the ready year-round.
3. Make Way for Useful Appliances: Back away from the waffle maker! You may think that you’re going to use that waffle maker on some lazy Sunday, but be honest, how often is that? If you do actually use your waffle maker every weekend, by all means keep it front and center and call me…because I love waffles! If you are having trouble letting go of an expensive but unused appliance, think about all the space you’ll free up. If you must keep them, store them away in an attic or basement with other seasonal appliances. They don’t need to be front and center on your counter top!
De-cluttering is hard work. It’s an emotional give and take; reward yourself for your hard work. Head out to a nice dinner and when you come home admire your new beautifully organized kitchen!