Published: 04/24/2016 - Updated: 04/01/2017
Author: Miriam Reyes
Organising our home is essential to maintain harmony in our lives and the kitchen is no exception to the rule. Keeping a clean and orderly house not only allows us to make our house look nicer, but it can be helpful to improve our health and culinary skills, as well as avoiding food waste.
Speaking of waste, avoiding it can bring many benefits to house and home, since so much food is wasted in both industrial and small-scale homes around the world, which could in fact be used to feed other people. By avoiding waste, we become more responsible people and of course at home we will begin to optimise what we buy, ultimately benefitting our pockets as well.
However, it is not a simple process to maintain order in our kitchen, so to facilitate this process we want to offer some advice, which I'm sure you will find to be very helpful and useful when keeping your kitchen spotless.
Tips for organising and avoiding waste in the kitchen
1. Review the storecupboard before shopping: Often we do our food shopping and come home realising that we already had some of the same foods we have bought already in the cupboard that we didn't need to buy again. A quick review of our pantry or cupboard(s) and our fridge will allow us to avoid this from happening so frequently.
2. Make a shopping list: This depends on the taste of each person as there are those who feel more comfortable relying on their memory, however it is recommended to write a list, especially if you carry a strict food plan or are wanting to lose weight; without a list we usually end up strolling through the supermarket aisles and end up buying what grabs our attention. Staying focussed on finding the items on the list helps us to better control impulse buying.
3. Measure the portions you consume: This can be a somewhat complex chore because it is highly variable depending on the individual and their needs, but we can make an estimate that will help us to find out if we are buying too much. It will also help us to control the amount of food we prepare each day.
4. Revise your cupboards: Occasionally checking our pantry and refrigerator helps us to know what we have, especially if there are things hidden at the back of shelves. We can thus rotate items to take advantage of everything that is in the cupboard before going to buy new things. In addition, this allows us to keep better control over expiration dates and to know which to consume first and which to save for later.
5. Use bottles and transparent packaging: Try to store all your food in jars and containers where you can see the content as this will help you to find things more easily; Another tip is to keep foods labelled with names and dates to help organise your pantry or storecupboard better.
6. Take advantage of the space in your freezer: We often forget the existence of the freezer or we leave food in it that we never eat again, but learning to freeze foods that are left over from a big meal or that can be used at a later date, you'll be amazed at how many products you can actually keep in the freezer. Do not forget to check it from time to time to take advantage of everything you have stored in it.
7. Plan what you are going to eat: This will help you to only buy and use the food that you will consume in that same week or the month, especially in the case of fruits and vegetables that tend to rot easily. If you make a one-week menu, it is much easier to organise and prepare food without feeling stressed or worried what you are going to eat that day.
8. Order your fridge and freezer efficiently: If you really want to avoid waste and optimise the space in your kitchen, it is important that you know how to sort and organise the spaces that you have to work with. Below are some guidelines which can be put into practice to help organise your fridge better.
Organise the pantry and fridge
To organise our cupboards, we must take the following into account:
- The location of your cupboard: If you do not have a space for this purpose, try to look for a specific space that is easily accessible. If you have children or pets, try to locate this space somewhere that is out of their reach. It is also important that it is well-ventilated and with little to no light.
- Create systems: To take advantage of a certain space, use appropriate boxes, containers or shelves and hooks, baskets and wood separators to make the most of your kitchen space.
- To organise the refrigerator it is important to define what we will place on each shelf, because it can vary depending on the temperature level:
1. On the top level, place eggs and foods which are already cooked such as cakes, stews etc.
2. On the intermediate level, put dairy products and foods that have a shorter shelf life such as meat, fish or seafood which is still uncooked.
3. In the drawers, place fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs.
4. The section of the doors is the most heated area so you can store products which have a longer period of life there, such as sauces, condiments and juices.
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