As we all prepare our kitchens for the upcoming holidays and the dinners we will serve, we may be thinking that there has got to be a better way to do some of these things! Over the years I have gained a bit of kitchen wisdom. Lately I have been observing the things that I do most often in the kitchen that I feel are helpful tips to share when it comes to keeping your kitchen tidy or being able to accomplish a task quickly and easily. Maybe some of them are no brainers but I still felt them worthy of making the list. Here we go!
SILVERWARE: Teach this one to the kids! When loading the dishwasher, put like silverware together in the same section in the holder. When you go to unload the dishes, you just take the bunch of like silverware and place it in the drawer without having to sort it all out!
HOOD VENTS: I always notice that, after a long relaxing weekend of the family being over and cooking, my hood vents over the stove have tiny grease beadlets over the top of them. I don’t want to take the time to soak/scrub them, but I want them clean. Could you imagine those little beadlets dripping into whatever you are making on the stove? Gross! So, once a week I take them off, place them in dishwasher and let IT do all the work. Easy peasy!
STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES: I like to polish my stainless steel appliances in the kitchen with lemon oil. I use Doterra Essential Lemon Oil. Just place a few drops on a clean cloth and the appliances shine right up! Lemon oil also purifies and cleanses surfaces as well as the air. For a bonus, it uplifts your mood. Don’t have any lemon oil on hand? You can use just plain old lemon Pledge. YEP! Pledge! (Not multi-surface) It smells great and leaves a beautiful shine! NOTE**When spraying, don’t spray directly onto the appliance or the Pledge will make your floor really slippery. Instead, opt to spray onto a cloth over the sink.**
HERBS AND SPICES: In your cabinet or pantry, group like spices together either on different shelves or little baskets for easy accessibility. There are certain spices/supplies you use for baking and certain seasonings or herbs you use for every day cooking. If you keep them separate and contained together, you will find them faster and easier. Take it a step further and alphabetize them! You can also take a label maker and print out labels to add to the outer rim of the lid. If they are in a cabinet you won’t have to lift each bottle up to see what it is.
PANTRY: This seems like a no brainer, but it is important to place your least used items at the top of your pantry or cabinets. When you do that, you will realize just how little you really use them. You will find it so much easier to just keep a little step-ladder close by to reach those rarely used items than to move around items that are taking up valuable real estate on your pantry shelves! You may even find out that you never really needed that automatic lemon juicer in the first place and can’t believe you held onto it for so long. No? Just me?
TRASH: Keep a few extra garbage bags in the bottom of the trash can or recycle bin. It is so nice to take out the garbage and see another bag folded up in the bottom of the container ready to be put into place. It just takes out that little extra step and it gets done right then!
DISH GLOVES: Have trouble opening a jar? Use rubber dishwashing gloves to help open those jars. You will be able to grip the lid easily and your hand won’t slide around the edge of the jar. You don’t even need to put them on!
OVEN: Lay a sheet of tinfoil across the bottom of your oven to keep the mess of overflow from cooking to a minimum, as well as clean up time. Also, line your baking sheets or baking dishes with tinfoil. When you’re done cooking, clean up will be a breeze! Just pull the tinfoil off and the mess will be contained in the tinfoil. Confine the mess and toss it into the garbage! You may only have to gently wash the pan instead of soak and scrub it.
COUNTER: Keep a tray on the counter to organize often used items instead of having them all over the kitchen. I keep a tray with my most used items for cooking on it next to the stove. It makes it really easy to grab the things our family uses daily and keeps them organized. Everyone knows where they go so there is no hide-and-seek with the salt. I picked up this tray from HomeGoods. They have a really good selection and great prices! In addition, they have a huge variety of wooden cutting boards you could pair with the tray. We also have an automatic salt/pepper grinder. Love it!
BAKEWARE: Set baking dishes vertically in a cabinet or large drawer so they don’t have to be stacked. Those Pyrex dishes can be heavy. I took a tray divider and placed my baking dishes vertically so they are standing up instead of being stacked. It is so much easier to access what I need without unstacking heavy dishes piled on top of one another. I have a drawer that is deep enough for these, but you could install a tray divider in a cabinet, too.
Friends, I hope that your kitchen will be a blessed place for you to be this year. I also hope that you find some (if not all) of these little tips and tricks helpful all year round! If you have a favorite tip, please share. I would love to hear from you! Have a happy day!