Lordy, lordy! The kitchen….give me strength! How is it, that this one room seems to accumulate clutter faster than any other? Food, paperwork, childrens’ artworks, cleaning stuff, shoes, gifts, birthday candles, vases, blah blah blah. Every day countless items enter our kitchens and I guess this is the room needing the greatest effort to stay on top of the mess!
One easy place to start is the fridge. Every few months, check the expiry dates on food packaging and toss anything that’s over. Get rid of fruit or vegies weekly that are looking sad. Wipe out the internals with vanilla to remove any stale odors and even leave a freshly cut lemon inside to keep it fresh for a little while.
Repeat for the freezer. When you put food into the freezer – make sure it has a used by date on it. Otherwise, you should write the date you’ve put it in there. There’s nothing worse than not knowing how long that frozen mince has been in there! Sharpies are extremely handy to keep in the drawer for this!
Don’t forget the outside. Take everything off. Wipe it down. File or photograph the kids’ artworks and merit awards. Return any current invites or notes. Toss the rest!
Another easy target is the pantry. Similar steps, really. Throw out items passed their expiry date. Wipe down. Ensure foods that are returned are in sealed containers.
Regarding the pantry, I think this is one area we have to have a serious conversation with ourselves(stay with me, here!!!). Are we REALLY going to commit to authentic Indian cooking where we’ll need 101 different spices and flours and other bits and pieces. Or is this a fantasy we wish we could attain? Are we REALLY going to get into cake decorating and therefore need all these molds and food colourings etc etc? If you’re being brutally honest with yourself, the answer is probably a resounding “no”. Unless you can honestly commit to diving in to various culinary specialties, then save yourself the money of buying various accoutrements and filling the pantry with expensive items you’ll only use once or twice. Explore Indian restaurants or festivals or find cute cake shops and divulge there. It will save you bundles of money in the long run!
Only keep staples that you KNOW you’ll use in the next couple of months. Do a weekly meal schedule – use it to put together your shopping list. It will help you save money (no impulse buying) and avoid having to throw out unwanted foods down the track.
Remember, in terms of decluttering it is sometimes best to go for the low-hanging fruit (so to speak) and feel good about progress – it spurs you on to tackle other areas. So the pantry and fridge area great place to start!
Until next time!