The kitchen is the heart of the home – the place where you prepare meals while discussing your day with your significant other and sit down to enjoy your latest culinary creation, as well as being a space where you can gossip with friends over a glass of wine or a cup of tea.
But, kitchens have started to shrink in recent years; in fact, the average size has reduced by a third since the 1960s. Some homes, particular those in the capital where space is incredibly limited, choose to have a ‘hideaway kitchen’ that opens up to reveal a sink, a drainage area, a fridge and freezer, storage shelves and microwave and take up little more room than a cupboard.
As a result, these smaller kitchens can become just as cluttered, if not more so, than the other rooms in your house. Then there is the time you waste constantly washing up the single mug, bowl and plate you own because you don’t have space for anymore.
If the cupboards are overflowing with pots and pans or the sink is constantly filled with dirty plates and the food is spilling out and taking over your surfaces this can quickly cause the kitchen to become a room you don’t want to spend time in. But the answer to tackling this issue is much simpler than you might think and it doesn’t involve the cost and stress of an extension or a house move.
Keeping your kitchen clutter free is as quick and easy as implementing a few food storage hacks, such as these:
There are a few key things to remember in terms of storage, when it comes to the inside of your fridge. For example; salad, fruit and vegetables should be stored in the tray at the bottom and the first shelf is for raw meat, poultry and fish – it’s a good idea to ensure this is always covered and sealed to avoid cross contamination. Finally, the top two shelves are for ready to eat foods such as dairy products.
However, it is particularly important that your fridge is never overloaded and to avoid this you should make sure that you only store food that requires cooling in the fridge. Items such as bananas, jam, bread, tomatoes, avocados, potatoes and fresh herbs can all be stored in cupboards or even attractive bowls on spare work surfaces.
Glass jars are a great way to store all kinds of dried food, and will look stylish at the same time. Go for a mixture of shapes and sizes – such as washed out jam jars or mason jars. They can then be neatly organised and will utilise all the available space, while allowing you to see the contents at a glance. Their airtight designs will ensure your food stays fresher for longer and you’ll also avoid any spillage. You could also wash out plastic takeout containers which will work just as well and are a great way of reducing plastic waste. Make sure you label your jars with the contents and the use-by-date, so you don’t forget how long you have had it.
Freeze Food Flat
Freezing food ensures that nothing goes to waste and at the same time you have a nutritious meal you can heat up when you don’t feel like cooking. But, your freezer can start to fill up very quickly, which is why you should freeze what you can, flat. Soup, for example, can easily be frozen flat in a freezer bag. Then, you can stack them up so they take up less space and don’t get stuck together.
Secure a magnetic strip on the wall – which can be decorated to fit in with the style of the room – perhaps by using a wooden frame. Then pour your spices into tins with metal lids and label them. Ensure they are screwed tightly shut and then you can stick them to the strip. This will avoid you discovering several half used pots of the same spice at the back of the cupboard, it will keep them tidy and organised and will also make use of the unused and wasted wall space.
Of course, you could also remove those magnets from the fridge that you picked up on your holidays over the last few years and place the tins here instead. An extra magnetic strip is also the perfect place to keep your kitchen knives.
Mesh magazine racks are perfect for storing all kinds of food across the kitchen. Stick them to the inside of cupboard doors for jars and tins or place them on shelves to separate and store the likes of onions and potatoes – which if kept together can cause the other to spoil quickly. They are also the ideal spot, when placed on the wall or the side of a cupboard, for recipe books and trays.
There are so many storage hacks that will tidy and organise your whole kitchen – instantly giving you back some of the space you so desperately require. But, the kitchen isn’t the only room that can become cluttered, our storage units can help you find the space you need, no matter where you need it.
So, whether you have a popcorn machine taking up valuable space in the kitchen cabinets or boxes of your children’s old toys in the spare room – gather them together to go into storage. You will be surprised how much space you get back and you can access your items, or add to your unit, whenever you wish.