It’s hard to keep a kitchen clean and organized. This can not only be frustrating. It can actually be unhealthy.
Kitchen sinks often contain more germs than bathrooms and toilet seats. You don’t want to be eating from a dirty kitchen.
Keeping a kitchen organized will help you keep things clean. Here are some tips to having a pristine kitchen.
Clean regularly so that germs don’t accumulate.
Don’t leave dishes on the counter or let them pile up in the sink.
Put them directly in the dishwasher. Leaving them out attracts bugs. It can also lead to mold development.
Create a schedule so that you clean on a regular basis. Divide chores if you have roommates so that things aren’t uneven. Find a task for each person.
Prioritize things that you are likely to forget.
Clean the fridge at least once a week. Clear out old food and dump anything that’s going bad. Do the same for your other foods.
In your kitchen, you don’t want to use chemicals that are too strong.
You wouldn’t want to eat these chemicals. Pouring them over your counter will only get them in your food.
Vinegar based organic cleaners are the best way to go.
2. Proper Storage
You need to store food properly.
Do some research so that you know how to store things.
For example, wine needs to be stored differently than olive oil. Cannabis is another product that can go bad if it isn’t stored properly. It could also make your kitchen smell bad.
Here’s a guide on how to store cannabis properly. As with wines and spirits, it should be stored in a cool area away from direct sunlight. Ideally, you should use an airtight container.
The same goes for teas, coffees, and spices.
Exposure to oxygen will interfere with the flavor. The shelf life on most products is longer than usually listed. However, if you aren’t storing things properly, they will go bad quickly.
If you’re really dedicated to proper storage, see about building a cellar.
Basements and cellars are naturally cool places. They don’t require much upkeep once they’re built.
Investing in a freezer isn’t a bad idea, either. That way you can keep meats and other foods for a long time.
Improper storage will lead to unnecessary waste.
Most processed foods last longer than their shelf life.
However, they don’t last forever. Dairy products and other animal-based foods will expire quickly once opened. Don’t take risks with expiration dates.
Baby food is another product you don’t want to use past its date.
Nuts and non-dairy milks like soy and almond milk don’t last forever, either.
Go through your fridge and pantry frequently to check that things haven’t expired. Use things before the expiration date runs out.
If you have too much, give your extra food to food banks or homeless shelters. Or have a party and give away gift bags.
There’s nothing worse than wasted food.
You need to know what’s stored where.
Create a labeling system that works for you. See about getting a label maker like one of these.
Real labels are less likely to smear than permanent markers. They are also less likely to peel off than taped labels.
Make sure everyone can read the labels. If you have poor handwriting, use typed labels so that there’s no confusion. Use a system that everyone understands, too.
If you abbreviate things, tell people what the abbreviations stand for.
Don’t forget to label basic products.
Mixing up sugar and salt can have huge consequences.
Your system might not work forever.
If you get new kitchen gear, you’ll need to move things around.
New roommates can also mean new organizational systems. You need something that works for everyone in your household and not just for you.
If you find that your system isn’t working, identify the problem.
Maybe someone can’t reach the things they need on a daily basis. Or maybe you’ve hidden something that you forget that it’s there.
Having too rigid of a system will just lead to problems and conflict.
A clean, organized kitchen makes your life so much easier. You’ll enjoy cooking, and you’ll be able to find the foods you love.