Kitchens are like opinions…we all have one, and we usually take them for granted. Whether you like to see things out in the open, or you like things to be stowed behind doors, you are probably making at least one of these mistakes in the kitchen. Here are three kitchen organizing mistakes and solutions that’ll take you no time.
Did you register for my next free organizing event? January 31, 2022 7pm- SORT and Succeed for with Clutter Control Strategies,Take Care of You in 2022 through Organizing free registration, event via Zoom hosted by the Haverford Township Free Library.
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Kitchen Organizing Mistakes and Solutions
Kitchen organizing mistake 1- Loading up on diet food
Why it’s bad- Most shelf-stable packaged food isn’t nearly as appetizing as real food, which means that you are more likely to go for your favorite food and “save” the diet food for “later.” When it expires and you’ve thrown out those pricey packages, you’ve wasted a lot of money.
How to stay organized- Instead of buying pre-packaged health food, clear out your fridge and pack it with bright, appetizing fresh fruits, vegetables, and pre-cooked grains in small batches that can provide a base for your next real food meal. I’m frugal, but I’d rather see you spend more for small batches of pricey peeled-and-chopped veggies from market than buy diet bars, shakes, mixes, and frozen glop you don’t love. If you crave convenience, at least get real food for what you are spending. Leave a pretty glass bowl of fruit on your counter and remove the packaged snacks from your counters. A Cornell study showed that women who did this were more likely to be within normal weight ranges, compared to women who left cereal and snacks on their counters and were more likely to weigh in at obese levels.
Before you fall for another diet, make this ONE change. I really personally follow that old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I have a bad habit of eating in my car, so I always grab one or two apples on the way out the door because they are right on the counter next to my keys. It’s just enough to take the edge off, any time of the day. Having fruit on the counter also makes it easier to make a fruit smoothie at home. Add in yogurt and chia seeds, and you’ve got way more taste and nutrition than a diet snack bar.
Kitchen organizing mistake 2: Cluttering up your pantry
Why it’s bad- If you can’t find your food, or if you pile up more than you can use before it expires, you waste not only the food, but also the money it cost and the time it took to shop for it. Americans lose between $640 and $2,200 each year on food waste. That’s a lot of clams.
How to stay organized- Use shallow shelves, shelf risers (affiliate link), and small bins to keep your pantry organized. Keep similar food groups together so you can tell at a glance if you have more than you need. Make sure your pantry is well-lit so there are no dark corners where food gets lost and forgotten. Load your food into the pantry from the rear like a restaurant does, using FIFO inventory management (First In, First Out). Use 1″ labels so you can see your stock without having to squint.
If you need more space for pantry items, have you throught about what to store in the cabinet above the fridge? You don’t have to use the entire space up there, as it’s hard to get to the back, but extra staples, like pasta, beans, and tall bottles can fill out that space. Of course, this works best if you have some tall folks in your house, less well if you are height challenged.
Kitchen organizing mistake 3- Storing single-use kitchen gadgets
Why it’s bad- The dreaded uni-taskers take up precious room in your kitchen and pantry. They take time to learn how to integrate into your favorite cooking routines. If you aren’t using those appliances or utensils regularly (once a week) within the first three months that you own it, re-gift or donate it. You don’t need the guilt or the clutter. Remember from SORT and Succeed that research tells us that once you own it, your brain will feel the loss of it more keenly than potential gains. The different parts of your brain will really fight with you about letting go something that you don’t even use!
How to stay organized- If you buy or receive a new kitchen gadget, immediately take some time to learn how to use it. Convert your favorite recipes to use the new gadget or find some new recipes to try. Keep the new appliance out on your counter for the first month, rather than storing it in a pantry or cabinet. If it’s visible, you are more likely to use it…or decide to lose it. Feeling guilty about that Crockpot in the corner? Put it to good use with one of my favorite easy slow cooker recipes, like Slow Cooker Fish Corn Chowder or Butternut Squash Slow Cooker Curry. Or see all my easy recipes for busy people here.
Are you ready to change your kitchen ways? When you organize your kitchen for healthy, nutritious meals, you can change your entire life. I dare you to prove me wrong. 🙂
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