The Organized Chef

An organized kitchen is the first step in preparing great food at home. Keep your cooking space orderly and become more efficient using these tips.

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If you're reading this, it's probably safe to say that you spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen and we’re sure you’ll agree that there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a clean, well organized kitchen. It’s a space that deserves your TLC! 

LABEL EVERYTHING

It’s a great idea to use masking tape to label everything in your pantry and freezer so that you’re never guessing how old something is or whether that spice is paprika or cayenne powder. Deli containers are another item that help with organization because they’re easily stackable and the lids are guaranteed to fit, unlike the torturous game of ‘find the matching tupperware.’ They also save you a lot of precious space. Mason jars are always great to have on hand too, not to mention easy to clean. 

Depending on the size of your kitchen, real estate is limited, so you need to prioritize what it is that you want to display.

SPACE SAVERS

The smarter you are about how you use your space, the more you’ll save. You likely don’t need a set of twelve water glasses in your cabinet, or various cooking gadgets that you barely ever use, like a garlic press or avocado slicer, often found jammed in kitchen drawers. Culprits like these can either be donated or stored elsewhere, like in a storage closet bin (labeled, of course). 

One of the best kitchen space savers is a magnetic knife rack! Knife blocks work well, but take up precious counter space. Depending on the size of your kitchen, real estate is limited, so you need to prioritize what it is that you want to display. Appliances like toasters, stand mixers, blenders and coffee makers are large in size so choose the things you use most frequently. It might also be important to you to display aesthetically pleasing tools and appliances, those items that house guests will see first when they enter your kitchen.  

Another great way to save space, especially if you have a limited number of cupboards is to hang pots and pans overhead, using a rack. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, you can hang pots above an island or underneath a shelf. They’ll look great and will be easy to reach. As for drawers, use drawer inserts instead of haphazardly throwing items in there and you’ll thank yourself later, when you can easily find what it is you're looking for. 

Depending on the layout of your kitchen, you can hang pots above an island or underneath a shelf.

ORGANIZED COOKING

Organizing your home space will prepare you for more efficient home cooking and save you time, but it is just as important to stay organized while you’re cooking. For instance, it helps to place a large bowl on the counter to toss scraps, eggshells, and other garbage into. This will contain some of the mess that comes with cooking. You can line the bowl with a plastic bag to make cleanup even easier. 

Mise en place is your bestfriend when it comes to staying organized. Mise en place is french for “put in place” and refers to setting up all of the ingredients and tools you’ll need before you begin cooking. Ingredients like chopped garlic, herbs, measuring spoons; really anything you will need. Think of it as your final checklist. Not only will mise en place keep you organized, it will also ensure that you have everything you need so that you don’t find yourself part way into preparing a dish and then realize you don’t have an ingredient. Above all else, continuously clean, clean, clean! Especially your sink, as it carries more E. coli in it than a toilet after you flush it!