OK, so we've been working on our attitudes about our kitchens this week. If you agree with me that you would like your kitchen to be more of a blessing to your family and others and less of a chore...then we need to get some things in order.
And unlike the world, I am not going to tell you to "do this for yourself." Because that attitude is not found in scripture. We are going to work hard to improve this very important room in our homes for the purpose of honoring God and blessing others.
When you don't use your kitchen very much....any old set-up is just fine. If you actually start using your kitchen, like I did recently, you might need to get organized.
I always thought food went in the pantry. I wondered why there didn't seem to be room for everything. I just blamed the pantry for being the wrong size. As it turns out, some stuff I had in my pantry should have been in other zones.
The Baking Zone--ideally located near the oven. My baking stuff (flour, sugar, food coloring, etc.)is now all together in the cabinets above my Cooking Zone. The muffin tins, pans, etc. are under the oven all together. The measuring cups/spoons, etc. are in a drawer right nearby. I hardly even have to take a step away from that area while I'm working. And getting all the flour, etc. out of the pantry really helped!
The Prep Zone/Cooking Zone--You can make these one zone or two depending on how serious of a cook you are and also your kitchen space. Here are the goodies: colander, food processor, mixing bowls, timer, measuring cups, ladle, peelers, graters, wooden spoons, whisks, measuring spoons. I'm sure you can think of a few others. These should ideally be near the sink as you will need the sink while you are preparing dishes.
For the cooking zone, you will want to make sure your pots and pans are near the stove. Also, potholders, spoons, etc. You will also need to store your large serving dishes nearby.
The Clean-Up and Storage Zone--Here I have my baggies, foil, plastic wrap, and storage containers.
I got this information (extremely paraphrased) from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Decluttering. If you already knew all of this and I am showing myself to be what the title of that book says I am, then please forgive me. This was ALL new to me. Now that my kitchen is set up in a more usable way, I have found cooking to be more enjoyable. There is also a need to organize your pantry and refrigerator, but I will leave you to do that on your own.
As the mother of two daughters, I think it is important to have a really excellent kitchen so that they can use it as well and learn from it. One day they will have kitchens of their own. Also, we must be willing to let others into this room. I know some of you like to keep your things "just so" and believe it or not, that could cause some people to not want to help you in the kitchen. I have known relatives like this. I knew I would do something "wrong" so I didn't even want to try. I WANT help cooking and cleaning, so my family is always welcome in this room! The other thing I think about is what if I had to have surgery or something and my family or others had to get in there and run the show. Could they find anything? Would it be usable?
So, if you need to...let's work on getting our kitchens cleared out and organized into usable areas. It makes our job easier. If not....and you are one of those really organized people with a great kitchen...leave us a tip in the comments!