Tuesday 1 April 2014

How to organise food in your kitchen

Let’s face it — an organised kitchen makes a happy household. There’s nothing worse than digging through the cupboard or fridge looking for something you know you bought but can’t seem to find. However, with a few tips and tricks, you’ll never have to search high and low for that red onion again. 

Here are some suggestions for how best to organise your kitchen:

Just chilling
Certain foods should go in certain places — that’s what fridges are designed for. However, very few of us manage to stick to that (a prize for the person who does!). Rearranging your fridge so foods go where they’re meant to go will help keep everything as fresh as possible and also ensure you don’t find an unidentifiable item covered in mould hidden away in the back (which is never pleasant!).  

Raw meat is best kept on the bottom shelf, and fruit and veggies stay fresher in the drawers at the bottom of the fridge. Milk can also go on the bottom shelf and is best near the back, where it’s coldest. Use the on-door dairy compartment for cheeses and — this holds true for all refrigerated goods — place the soon-to-expire foods at the front so you use them first.  

Keeping your cool
The two keys to keeping your freezer organised are wrapping and labelling. Wrap meat and fish in foil, rather than placing them in containers, to save space and reduce the build-up of ice crystals. Label the wrapped goods with what the item is and its best before date. Again, put items near the front or back of the shelves according to their expiry dates so that they don’t go to waste.

If you have a side-by-side freezer, make sure desserts and liquor go on the top shelf, out of reach from hungry little arms. Pop leftovers in the middle so that you’ll see and eat them before too much time goes by, and put bags of frozen veggies in the bottom drawer. If you have a small, top freezer, consider putting in a cabinet shelf to help you divide the space and keep like-foods together.

Staying under wraps
Rearranging your pantry will be the final touch to creating an organised kitchen. Sort your foods into categories, such as dry goods, canned goods and boxed items; vegetables that aren’t refrigerated, like potatoes and onions; and snacks. Keep the snack items on the top shelf so that the kids can’t reach them and munch on them without your say-so.

Just an hour or two of work and you can organise your kitchen easily. No longer will you have to go raking through all your cupboards for those tinned chopped tomatoes you know you had somewhere in there. Better still, you won’t have to tolerate that inevitable phrase: ‘It’ll be in the last place you looked’!

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