Creating a Motivating Kitchen Space
If you have running water, a fridge and a flame your kitchen is technically ready and good to go. 🎉 Even so, we can do better than that! Having a kitchen that's more than just a place of necessity, but is also a place that motivates you to create beautiful meals, is definitely the ideal. 🙏🏻 I am a fan of making whatever the space you're working with more enjoyable and inviting for you to cook in.
Fred's Lifestyle Blog
Start by de-cluttering!
Having a de-cluttered kitchen can help put you in a good mental headspace even before you start. One of the most obvious places that seems to get noticeably cluttered is the kitchen benches. If you're anything like me, you need all the space you can get! I manage to "destroy" the kitchen every time I cook 😅
If your kitchen feels in need of some de-cluttering, put stuff on the bench you actually use, not just knick knacks you have on display purely for show. 💁🏼♂️ If you do enjoy your knick knacks though, see what you can do to reduce them! Everything on my bench I use every other day and it serves a cooking purpose.
You can still take pride in the way your kitchen looks but your first goal ✅ should be to make your kitchen functional, usable and practical so that it doesn't frustrate you.😤 It is absolutely no fun having to search through every cupboard, draw and shelf to find something you need. That would test the patience of any cooking enthusiast!
Once you have your bench spaces de-cluttered and cleared, the next area to focus on is those cupboards and draws... Resist the temptation to move everything from the bench to the back of cupboards or thrown into a sea of utensils in a draw. 🤫 Otherwise, it defeats the purpose.
A kitchen that looks de-cluttered and organised from the outside, but is a disaster behind "closed doors" isn't a great motivator...You'll likely avoid those areas which doesn't help to get you in the cooking mood! 🙅🏼♂️
Get everything out of the cupboards, draws and shelves and go through it. Time to be tough on what you actually need and want and what hasn't been used in years... You might even re-discover some cooking gadgets from the past which might inspire you! 🌈
If there's stuff you don't need anymore, that is broken or maybe you have bought an updated version of, put it in a box and donate it to your local charity shop. You're decluttering your kitchen and giving your old stuff a second chance! 🤞🏼
You knew it was coming... Clean. 🙄
Now that you've removed the excess from your kitchen through doing some serious de-cluttering - woo, go you 👏🏼 - the idea of cleaning the kitchen should hopefully be a less daunting chore. Yep, it's a chore - there's no getting around that! 🤷🏼♂️ But, the rewards of having a clean kitchen are so satisfying and definitely worth it!
There's two types of cleaning I'm talking about here - short term and long term cleaning. Short term is your more every day tasks, like wipping the benches, doing the dishes and vacuuming food from the floor. 🥒 There's not really a delicate way about saying it... This cleaning has to be done if you want to create a nice kitchen space. ‼️
There is simply nothing less motivating than a messy and dirty kitchen. Work out a system that works best for you so that the cleaning process after cooking isn't a constant drag. 😫 A general rule that works for many households is that the person who has cooked isn't solely responsible for cleaning.
Depending on your household dynamics, you might be able to sit down with everyone and work out a roster 📝, or a way of working it so that the person who has spent the time cooking, isn't left to clean the kitchen up by themselves after.
Cleaning as you go is also a great habit to be in! If you're cutting up lots of fruit or vegetables 🥑🍊, have the compost bin right next to your chopping board and put the scraps in straight away rather than leaving them on the bench or thrown into the sink to clean up later. While you're waiting for things to cook on the stove, in the oven or microwave, ⏰ use that little bit of time to put ingredients away, put things in the bin or even start clearing the bench.
What's going to make your "short term cleaning" easier, is keeping on top of your "long term" cleaning... Think a good old fashion spring clean 🍃🌸 and aim for 2 - 4 times per year. This is when you do a massive, full on and hearty clean up. Get into those cupboards, shelving space and draws and wipe down everything!
Your long term cleaning also includes the food pantry and the fridge! You'll likely be surprised and even shocked at how much filth builds up. 😳 Get rid of any old food sitting in the back of the fridge and any food spillages or leakages. Or, instead of doing everything at one time, choose one part at a time and spring clean in sections over a longer period of time.
For example, do the fridge one weekend, then the pantry and the cutlery draw 🍴 the week after that, etc. We all lead busy lives and cleaning isn't the most fun thing to spend your time doing... So work out what works best for you!
This takes your decluttering to a whole new level and will make it easier to find what you need when you're cooking. 😍 My spice draw for example can get out of control and I make the effort to re-set it as often as I can so that cooking is a smoother process!
Labelling & Organisation
Spend that extra bit of time and effort and bring some organisation to your kitchen ✔️Even after de-cluttering and cleaning, if you don't have some organisation it might not be long until the kitchen descends into chaos. ☄️
Firstly, make sure you have a firm idea of where everything in your kitchen "lives" and make sure everything gets returned properly to their "home" after it has been used 🏠 You might even need to do a quick tour for others in the house, showing them what goes where.
Where possible try organising your kitchen with your most used equipment or ingredients at arms length 💪🏼 and in the most convenient place for when you're cooking. I know that this stuff is mainly just common sense but it's easy to forget the importance of basic organisation!
Investing in some glass jars is a fantastic way to organise your flours, beans, pastas, spices, nuts... Basically everything! ♻️ There are so many homeware shops that sell these at affordable prices, or you can even have.a look through some second hand shops and build up your collection slowly. I've found some awesome kitchen pieces of the years in the most unsuspecting places! And, it's so much more affordable 🤑
Another fantastic way to build up your collection of glass jars is simply reuse the glass jars that you buy food in! I use to recycle the jars when I was done with them, but then realised how useful they could be to use for storage in the food pantry! A random tip from this is that you can then buy in bulk, saving you money (and the environment with less packaging!) ... But that's another lifestyle piece all on its own! 😄
Labelling doesn't need to be a big deal either. If you're not too fussed, it's as simple as some masking tape and a vivid pen to create labels for your jars 🏷 This will help you locate ingredients quickly and keep your pantry organised. Otherwise you can use a label maker or some places sell the labels with the glass jars!
This way, there is less likely to be spills and messes. 🙌🏼 Having everything displayed and organised well helps you to see the ingredients your working with and might give you that extra bit of motivation when thinking about what to make for dinner! 👀 💭 It's also more hygienic than having opened ingredients thrown into in your cupboard unorganised.
Invest and upgrade where you can
I'm not neccasily promoting spending a bundle of money on your kitchen. That's not a feasible "tip" for most people. My kitchen has been in need of a paint for years. 😪 🙋🏼♂️ So I get that this is easier said than done. But, I do think upgrading where you can is a good idea to keep in the back of your mind when creating the best possible space for yourself. I built my kitchen myself, 🔨 finding deals where I could and putting the work in to create a nice space to have for cooking.
It doesn't need to be an overnight transformation, it can be small projects that you undertake over a longer amount of time. If you can do a lick of paint 🎨 here or there, upgrade an appliance you use every day like the toaster or jug, or even purchase some nice light bulbs, this stuff all adds up to the overall feel of your kitchen space. 😌
For the meantime, some freshly picked flowers 💐 in a vase or a plant, a burning kitchen candle 🔥 or some music playing while you cook 🎶 can help make your kitchen a motivating place to be and a space you feel inclined to use, to make yourself some delicious and healthy food! 👊🏼
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