Kitchen Tips

Read these 11 Kitchen Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home Organization tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Help, my kitchen is cluttered with mugs, how do I organize it?

Wake Up to an Organized Kitchen

Some say the best part of waking up is coffee in your mug. I think the best part is a steaming hot cup of tea in a great big mug –But, if you are like most people, mornings are not the time to move around your kitchen looking for the coffee, the filter, the mug, or the tea bag, and water. So, I have moved all of my hot beverages including all of my mugs, and cups to one central area near my stove. This saves me the hassle of looking for everything in the morning fog which is my brain.

You can do this with other things in your kitchen too. Do you have all of your baking supplies together? What about all of your can goods? Do all of your canned vegetables face you with the label showing, just like the supermarket? Take a hint from your favorite market…everything on eye level shelves in your kitchen are things you use every day. Shelves up high or down below are used to store things that you use once a week, or even less.

Keep only the appliances you use daily on your countertop. And Remember, empty space is okay…makes your kitchen look bigger! Have an Organized Day!

   
What is the best method of refrigerator organization?

Organize Your Refrigerator

Before you go grocery shopping each week, take stock of what is in your refrigerator and clean it out. This will not only help you to determine what exactly you need to include on your grocery list, but will also keep your refrigerator neat and organized.

Other tips for refrigerator organization include:
* Throw away all old food and beverages
* Keep a small container of baking soda in your refrigerator to help kill bacteria and keep it smelling fresh
* Store items in the designated places, fruit and vegetables in separate drawers, etc. This helps to keep food fresher, longer and contributes to keeping your refrigerator organized.
* Keep products that have an expiration date at the front of your refrigerator, so you remember to use them before they go bad.

You can also store things in the space above your refrigerator. Using a kitchen chair, it is a good space for things you would prefer to keep out of reach of children, such as medications.

   
How can I customize my kitchen cabinets for maximum kitchen storage?

Hook it Up

Don't think you are stuck with your upper cabinets as they are. Glasses and mugs take up a lot of space and they don't really need to. Consider a couple of organizational and space saving tips - screw in small hooks at the top of your kitchen cabinet shelves. You can do this at the top of either shelves, or just one. Then hang your mugs by the handles. Then, you can store several on the shelf, and several more on hooks above. You can also be more efficient with your wineglass storage. If you have a handy carpenter in the house, pick up some wood at your local lumber yard and fashion some wine glass kitchen racks. Hang your glasses by the base and, depending on the height of your kitchen cabinets, you may end up being able to store twice as many glasses in one cabinet!

   
I need temporary food preparation space, is a kitchen cart right for me?

Kitchen Carts

At some point, we all have dinner parties, host Thanksgiving and holidays and end up with more dishes to prepare than we have room for in our kitchen. In this case, a collapsible kitchen cart can be a lifesaver.

Kitchen carts can be permanent fixtures in your kitchen, but there is no law that says you can't use one for temporary storage or food prep. If you get one with a butcher block top, for instance, it can be ideal for preparing pie dough, cookie dough and other baked goods. You can also use it for chopping and vegetable prep, or just as a cooling rack for desserts coming out of the oven.

By choosing a collapsible kitchen cart, once your dinner party is over, you can simply collapse it and store it for future use. One thing to consider will be using it for specific dish preparation.

If you use this butcher block for dough preparation and the like, you may not want to use it for chopping spices or meats. Wood does absorb flavors and oils from your foods, so be wary of using a wood food prep surface for multiple uses.

   
Do you pack your lunch the night before, but forget it in the morning?

Remembering your Lunch!

Welcome to my world. At night, after the dinner meal was done, I would pack these wonderful lunches and then the next morning on my way to work I would be bummed that I forget it. I needed to come up with a full proof way to never forget my lunch again. I got home one night and went through my evening rituals looking for the best place to put my car keys near. I decided the handle of the fridge would work like a charm. It did. Every night I hang my car keys on the door of the fridge, or if I am bringing frozen food I put the keys on the handle of the freezer. It's been years now and I am still brown bagging it and saving money. I use the money I save, about $2,000 year for a special trip and as I lie on the beach I think about my lunches. I never feel deprived.

   
How can a pot rack save space in my kitchen?

Pot Racks

A simple and incredibly effective space saver is always the pot rack. Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, and in many cases there is not sufficient storage for the pots and pans we use on a daily basis.

Rather than keeping your cooking implements in a cabinet where they will most likely be stacked and difficult to access, why not consider grabbing yourself a proper pot rack? They come wall mounted or ceiling mounted and you can get them large enough to hold every pot and pan in your kitchen or small enough to hold around 5 or 6 of your favorites.

Now, if you decide to take the plunge and grab a rack, make sure you don't scrimp. Your pot rack needs to be sturdy, made with solid materials like cast iron, steel and strong wood. You also need to measure your space and make sure you choose the right option. By really thinking about your organizational choice before you buy, you'll ensure that you find the right piece and it will make all the difference in your kitchen organization.

   
How can a kitchen island improve my kitchen storage?

Kitchen Islands

Old school kitchens were usually designed with cabinets and counter space running on all walls and sides of the kitchen, leaving the floor relatively open for mobility. In some cases this just becomes useless space, especially in a larger room. The right kitchen island can make this space more usable and if you grab one with a butcher block top and the right storage, you can meet several needs with one piece of furniture. Many of us have pets and small children and we need to isolate the kitchen trash - why not find an island with trash storage? Additionally, if you incorporate a cutting board, you can chop and merely push your kitchen garbage right into your trash without all the hassle of counter cleanup. Kitchen islands make sense if you need additional storage or workspace.

   
How can I customize my kitchen storage without it costing an arm and a leg?

Customize Your Kitchen

Is your kitchen out of control? We can't all rip out our cabinets and storage and replace them with a new and more efficient design and kitchen furniture. This is why you really need to customize the kitchen storage over which you have control. If you have the space, some customized shelving which incorporates different kitchen storage modules can make all the difference in the usability and comfort of your kitchen. For instance, how about a shelving unit that can hold cook books, bottles of wine and glasses all in one? Or shelves that can act as a pot rack and incorporate drawers for your table linens? The key is looking around and finding the option that really meets all of your needs. Don't be afraid to take your time and find the right solution. It really can make all the difference in the world.

   
Are there wall mounted kitchen storage solutions available?

Wall Mounted Kitchen Storage

If you are really pressed for space in your kitchen, wall mounted storage may be the best option to get your kitchen organized. You can easily obtain a large spice rack to mount on the wall and if you look in the right stores and online, you can find wall mounted dish racks, and other creative storage bins, racks and cabinets. If you decide to use wall mounted kitchen storage, pay close attention to any weight restrictions and maximum loads because you may have an idea of what you want to store in these pieces, but the last thing you want is for the whole thing to fall to the floor. A great kitchen organizational tip: incorporate a chalk board or a dry erase board into your organizational plans - then you can keep lists of what you need to avoid duplications in your kitchen supplies.

   
How can I create seating in my kitchen without taking up a lot of space?

No Matter Where I Serve My Guests….

We've all heard the saying, "No matter where I serve my guests, they always like my kitchen best." Well, we know it's true. If you are the hostess, everyone wants to visit and hang out with you while you are preparing the meal and there is nothing wrong with making them comfortable, in an efficient way. For instance, stackable stools for your kitchen can answer your need for seating without taking up valuable space. These are also a great solution if you have a wall mounted folding table that you only use when you need to or when you have guests. You don't have to leave them out in your kitchen either - if you choose a set that is well designed, they can easily fit in a utility closet or pantry.

   
What can a kitchen island incorporate to make my kitchen more efficient?

Permanent Kitchen Islands

Kitchen design has come a long way since the old days and now kitchen islands are really becoming the norm. Every year kitchen islands can incorporate more and more culinary gadgets. For instance, kitchen islands can now incorporate sinks for washing, preparing and cleaning food and dishes. It can also provide for additional storage for dishes, pots, pans, linens and other kitchen accessories. Kitchen islands can also incorporate wine glass racks, wine bottle storage and small appliances - the possibilities are really endless. One way to plan your kitchen storage effectively is to see, once you have the prep space, where you seem to do which aspect of your cooking. See how you use your kitchen and try to keep track so you can plan what you keep where for maximum efficiency. A great kitchen storage tip: don't fill every space you have. Leave some room for the growth of your kitchen collection.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Joe Wallace