Monday, September 13, 2010

Tips on Organizing Your Kitchen

This is sponsored content by BlogHer and Samsung.

Asking me for organization tips is a bit like asking Bernie Madoff to lecture on the ethics of business. There is some basic understanding of how things work, but the principles are rarely put into practice. That being said, I spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, developing recipes for my blog and cooking meals for my family. Even though I am not the tidiest person - just ask my husband about the little piles of paper on various countertops - I am rather picky about the set-up of my kitchen.

For me, the ability to reach necessary kitchen utensils and pans quickly is essential. The time it takes to walk to the other side of the kitchen to reach the tongs, for example, can make the difference between a perfectly seared shrimp and a rubbery, inedible specimen.

The tools that are used the most - tongs, wooden spoons, spatulas, knives - stand proudly in ceramic containers immediately to the right of my stove. I am right-handed, so this makes reaching as convenient as possible. Likewise, my saucepans and skillets are in a drawer on the other side of the stove.

Yes, I still cook on electric. How I yearn for a proper gas stove! Someday.

A couple of years ago, when my mum was here for a visit, she decided to tackle the job of organizing my pantry. Believe me, she deserved a gold star for this! Using a mixture of wicker baskets and plastic containers, she divided my (very large) collection of condiments into manageable sections - oils, vinegars, mustards and so on. Baking ingredients were nestled together in two boxes with pull-out drawers, and dried pasta was neatly arranged in one small section. When she was done with it, I almost felt like I was living a scene out of Sleeping with the Enemy. Now that guy knew how to organize a pantry. Too bad he was completely off his rocker.

One of my friends owns a label maker and puts that little machine to very good use. I tease her that her kids are going to have labels on them if they don't run from her quickly enough. I borrowed the handy little tool one day and had a ball labeling all of my dried grains containers. Alongside the name of the grain are the cooking instructions. If I am running late, my husband can get dinner started without calling to ask me how much water gets added to the brown rice.

While I am on my way to better kitchen organization, I would really like to hear your tips.

How do you keep your pantry organized? Do you have any tips on making your kitchen function more efficiently?

For tips from 6 other bloggers on organizing your kitchen, head to the BlogHer round-up page.

Check out some of Samsung household products:

Samsung Washers & Dryers
Samsung Refrigerators


Amy said...

What a great idea to label the rice with the measurements and cooking times. I'll totally have to use this in my pantry! Now to find someone with a label maker...

Debbie said...

That labeling idea is great. We tend to write it on the package but your way, you only have to write it once instead if each time you buy more rice. Good idea.

Patty said...

I invested in racks that allow my cans to roll to the front. Sitting on the shelves in my tiny pantry, I have them organized--broth in one, soup in one, canned tuna or chicken in another. I can see what I have, when I need to buy more, and they allow for rotation--helping me use the oldest first. Ohhhh, they make me happy!

kristen said...

I love the wall storage that some of the IKEA products provide. I hang all of my cooking utensils on hooks from a rod on the wall. I also invested in a knife magnet, and so all of my knives are on the wall as well, high enough so my kids can't get them, but in a ver convenient place for me. They even have mixing bowls that hang on the rod with the other stuff. I love it. Love your ideas. We just moved into a new house and I have to organize my kitchen better.