Kitchen is the heartbeat of any home, this is where we cook, eat and come together for meals. It is also the place that attracts most clutter and chaos – collecting dirt and grease. There are many ways to organize and clean your kitchen , making it into a place where your family wants to spend more time. The following are some of the practical tips and tricks, that are simple and wont favour any of those harsh and expensive chemicals from supermarket, making it budget friendly.
Tips for organizing kitchen
1 Counter space is the prime real estate in your kitchen, this is the space that’s most in demand. Go to your kitchen and answer these questions looking at each item on the counter.
Do you need the item to be on the counter?
Are there any appliances that you don’t use daily? Can they be placed somewhere else in the home… or even better can they be given away to reduce clutter?
A clean counter gives you clean view of the kitchen
2 While purchasing appliances try to be smart, consider the ones that use minimum power and real estate for instance while buying microwave look for 5 star energy ratings and also something that can be installed into cupboards.
3 If you are doing dishes by hand, wipe them dry and stack them in cupboards. A rack full of wet dishes causes the room to be damp, an ideal atmosphere for mould and bacteria.
4 Empty all those cabinets and organize items into frequently used, less frequently used, rarely used and never used. Feel free to let go of the items that you have never used this year, it is more likely that you will not use them again, it is a right moment to let go of clutter.
5Arrange your cabinets so that items that are frequently used are in easy to reach zones (top drawers, eye level shelves etc.).Organize pantry so that breakfast cereals are easy to reach this is the area that needs smooth and fast access during busy times of the day.
6 When organizing spices group them logically for instance, you can group spices into daily spices, baking spices and Asian spices.
7 Before you start organizing fridge, remove all items in the fridge, store all perishables and frozen foods in an ice chest and defrost the fridge. Now clean the fridge thoroughly, below I have listed out how we can clean fridge without any harsh chemicals.
8Don’t keep eggs in the refrigerator door, this will expose them to warm and cool air as we open and close the door and also it is more prone to accident, depending on the way door is opened. Instead always store them in the same carton they come.
9Use the same drawers that the manufacturer instructed to use for vegetables, this will keep moisture away by better air flow management and will keep the vegetables fresh.
10Last in first out, on each shopping trip always put newer items at the back of the refrigeration pushing old items to the front. Keep perishables front and centre to attract your attention each time you open the door.
11Middle rack is the coldest part of the fridge, place meat and poultry at this spot to maintain proper temperature, use chill compartments to store cheese.
Tips for keeping your kitchen pristine clean
12Take 1 table spoon of bi-carb soda along with 5 table spoon of vinegar, 1 table spoon of liquid soap and 2 cups of water. Use a spray bottle to store or use any previous rinsed well all purpose cleaning bottle to store this liquid. You can include one table spoon of borax to increase strength.
13You can also clean drain using bi-carb soda, vinegar and hot water. When the drain is dry add bi-carb soda into the drain along with vinegar, this will start sizzling, leave it for a while and add a bit more vinegar. At the end pour hot water to clear out any loosened greaser and debris.
14Everyone wants a shiny sink, its actually the most easiest thing to achieve, sprinkle some bi-carb soda on the sink, wet your cloth with vinegar and wipe it off. If there are stubborn stains, give it a gentle rub with the cloth, reaction of soda and vinegar helps you to get rid of the stain.
15Always clean fresh food splatters in microwave with cloth then and there, or always use food cover before you microwave. You will end up spending far less resources this way than doing it later.
16To remove any dried food in microwave, take a bowl of water and microwave it for 5 minutes till you see the steam inside. Leave it in with door closed for another 5 minutes, this will soften any dried food, take a towel and wipe if off. If you find any stubborn stains, take a paste of bi-carb soda and vinegar, rub on the stain leave it for good 10 minutes before you rinse it.
17To remove any odour in microwave, take a bowl of water mix 3 table spoons of vinegar and microwave it for 5 minutes, till you see the steam inside. Leave it in with door closed for another 5 minutes. This will kill any odour, you can go a step further by doing this again but this time instead of vinegar add lemon.
18If it’s time for your dishwasher to get a wash, you may not need expensive chemicals form supermarket. Take out the filters and wash them separately with dishwashing liquid, collect any debris, replace all the filters back sprinkle some white vinegar at the bottom of the dishwasher and place a cup of white vinegar at the top rack. Now run the dishwasher in hottest mode, this will kill any bacteria and clear out the grease.
19Oven door is the place that usually accumulates food splatter. To clean it sprinkle some bi-carb soda, take a cloth drenched in pure vinegar and wipe the door off.
20If there are dripping during food preparation in the oven, this usually gets hardened with oven heat, it is lot more effort to clean it then and there. Instead sprinkle bi-carb soda at the bottom of the oven and spray vinegar on top of it, leave it overnight and clean it with a wet warm cloth.
21To remove tea stains from china ware, take a wet warm cloth with bi-carb soda and gently rub on the stain area, once removed rinse the ware with warm soap water.
22If the kitchen towel starts getting distinct smell, wet it with vinegar and bi-carb soda, place it overnight in a container. Both the container and cloth will be fresh after washing with soap water.
Everyday tips and tricks to save money and time
23Place a waxed paper at the bottom of shelves, that way when you have to clean the cupboards you don’t have to scrub. I use newspapers or junk mail that I get (tonnes of it) instead of wax paper, I can throw away with no expense to me.
24You can also use wax paper to stop your cast iron pots from rusting between uses. Rub the wax paper across the pot when warm, place the paper in the pot and close the lid for storage.
25How about using small aluminium tins to make perfect cylindrical loaves of bread.
26Place aluminium tins next to your sinks to hold small scraps of food while washing your vessels, depending on how frequently use these tins, you can either throw them away or place a bag to reuse again and again, and this will save you multiple trips to bin.
27Place aluminium foil at the bottom of the container with water, pour some bleach free sop into the container, and place your jewellery for few minutes. This will create a chemical reaction called ion exchange and will make your jewellery shine.
28Another benefit of aluminium foil is you can sharpen scissors by folding aluminium foil multi folds and cutting it into pieces. You don’t have to use new foil for this but a scrap one will do the same job.
29You can also use sandpaper to sharpen the scissors, take a sheet of paper and cut it with scissors, this process aligns the tiny edges of the blade and sharpens it.
30Or start cutting a fine grade steel wool this will also do the job of sharpening your scissors.
31I have been storing my potatoes next to onions and wondering how quickly they are turning green, I wish I know this before. Store potatoes away from onion and garlic to stop them from turning green or sprouting.
32Another tip to extend the life of potatoes is place an apple or lemon among potatoes for longer shelve life, as apple absorbs excess moisture, thus delaying the sprouting process.
33You can also place half cut apple next to you cake, this will keep the cake from drying up and moisture is kept at balance.
34If you find yourself with bunch of ripped bananas, wait don’t throw them away how about some delicious banana bread and muffins from ripped bananas or freeze them for later use.
35Have a container in fridge, that could collect those half carrots, leftover onion, celery ribs, and veggies, add them to make delicious stockpot.
36If you find avocados on sale, buy in bulk peal, mash and freeze them for later use.
37Have stale bread, place it sun, and make bread crumbs by placing in a food processor or you might as well crush them with hand.
38To squeeze more juice from lemon, roll it on kitchen bench with medium pressure and microwave the lemon for 15 seconds this will break the membrane and will give you more juice.
39Place a damp kitchen towel under your cutting board to stop slipping away while cutting.
40To bring grungy sponges and mops to pristine life, soak them overnight in salt water, this will bring their original state back and feels new.
When you are boiling something in a pot, place a wooden spoon across top of the pot this will make stop the boiling over and spilling mess.
41No matter how careful we are accidents do happen, if you cut yourself while chopping, salt or molasses are good to stop bleeding.
Tips and tricks to eliminate kitchen odour
42To remove odours from rubbish bins, hose down the bin, once dry sprinkle borax at the bottom to prevent mould and bacteria growth.
43To remove odours from fridge, place some amount of bi-carb soda into a cup and place it in fridge. This technique can also be used to de-odour cupboards or any enclosed areas. If the smell is strong you can use charcoal or coffee beans for this.
44To remove stale odour from food containers, place small amount of vinegar in the container and place it in microwave for 2-3 minutes with lid closed. If the container is not microwavable then place a cloth soaked in vinegar and leave it in there with lid closed, wash it next day morning.
45To remove odour from a jar or any container, you can use the above method or simply place coffee in the container and leave it in fridge for overnight, next day take coffee off and rinse it in soap water.
46If your oven is having a strong odour where vinegar is too weak to do the job, mix water with ammonia and place it in oven for 10 minutes, take a wet cloth sprinkled with bi-carb soda and wipe it off when warm.
47To get rid of those onion and garlic smell from your chopping board, rub lemon and wipe it with paper towel.
48Rub some salt with bi-carb soda on to the chopping board and leave it in sun for 10 to 15 minutes, this will make it shine with freshness.
49To disinfect chopping board, place the chopping board in a full strength white vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the shape of the board you might want to pour the solution intermediately to kill all the bacteria. Vinegar is good at killing harmful bugs like E.coli, salmonella and staphylococcus. If you want to deodorize add some bi-carb soda before adding vinegar to the board.
50Similarly if you want to disinfect wooden spoons, place them in a mixture of bleaching powder and water for 10 to 15 minutes, rinse them with soap water.
51Make your own freshener- peel off lemon or orange, place the skin in a container of vodka. After a day of soaking you can separate the vodka from the lemon skin. Now use the lemon skin by itself by placing it in corners of kitchen.
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