Declutter! (2) : Kitchen
I will start with the kitchen.
I’ve got a very spacious work top area because I only own and leave out things I use all the time. There are a chunky wooden chopping board, a microwave, a kettle and a toaster. That’s probably it. I think I’ll put away the toaster very soon as Mark seems to enjoy cereal bars more these days for breakfast. I would never have bought a microwave myself but it was a present from my friend and somebody in the family uses it. I drink lots of herbal teas, hence a kettle is a must.
I don’t have upper cupboard units. Instead, I’ve installed a square utensil rack and a small herb rack on the wall to the right side of my cooker. I’ve got countable plates, utensils, pots and pans and they are all well used. I buy a new thing because I need to replace the existing one or I absolutely need it for a long-term period.
Once you’ve done minimising the number of things you own, the next most important thing to keep your kitchen tidy is to clean used plates and cuttleries immediately after using them. Wash and dry them. Then put them away in their place. That way, your sink and the area around is always nice and clean. Also you can heat the water in the used sauce pan (using the remaining heat of your cooker) and use it for a washing-up, it even saves your electricity bills. I spray dettol afterwards and later scrub the whole sink.
I don’t like a crowded fridge. I do a weekly grocery shopping on Saturdays. I buy a certain items in Spain and others in Gibraltar depending on the quality and the price.
I tend to plan ahead and buy what I need. I briefly jot down what I’m going to cook over the week . Then I decide what I need to buy and make a list. I also check what’s left in the fridge and see if there’s anything I can add to make the leftover useful. What I buy every week are eggs, soya milk /milk, various beans, pasta/rice/root veges, fruits, breakfast cereals, drinks/water, and chicken/fish/meat. Unless necessary don’t jump at ‘buy one get one free’ products. They tend to go to waste and are less precious to enjoy. Likewise, don’t be tempted to overstock. The world is not going to shut down tomorrow and no tuna company is going to stop making tuna tins.
Oh, don’t go to a supermarket on an empty stomach, you will end up making loads of impulsive purchases.
Since we both work full-time, I always go for something very simple and quick to cook. If I cook from a recipe and it’s delicious, I write a little note and any variations I’ve made to the recipe. If I improvise from whatever I’ve got left in the fridge and it’s successful, I write down a recipe on my iphone note app. That way I can cook again sometime later. Well, if I have a chance, I will post a list of recipes separately.
When I don’t feel like cooking at all, my saviours are pasta or rice in a sachet and Korean instant noodles. They are quick and yummy.
In summary, to keep your kitchen tidy and clean:
1) Only own what you need and when you buy let one or two go. It applies to plates, cuttleries, electronic appliances, utensils, you can name it.
2) Plan it before going to a supermarket. Buy what you need and don’t be fooled by buy one get one free products.
3) Be efficient. Clean along as you cook.