The kitchen is a place that can be overwhelming or inviting, intimidating or a place for creativity to flow freely. For some of us, cooking comes easily. Perhaps cooking was something you did with your family or friends regularly and had the chance to experiment with different ingredients. Or it was a place that you knew well and could accomplish easy meals in no time. For others, the kitchen might intimidate you. Maybe you didn’t do alot of cooking while growing up because time was spent elsewhere or maybe your parents burnt everything they attempted. There are tons of resources and videos on the internet to help you, however we’ve identified a few keys to a joyful kitchen that can help kickstart (or further prove) your love for the kitchen.
Organization is key
First things first: organize. It doesn’t matter if you rent or own your home, organization in the kitchen is key. Where are your most used countertop appliances? Where are your utensils and cooking gadgets? For the most part, these items should be easily accessible, unobstructed and only what you need. Tempted by a time-saving gadget or another spatula to add to your collection? While these items are nice to have, they only work if you use them. Invest in pieces that will encourage you to use them or will help to make your life easier – don’t just buy because you think it’s what you need. This method will help you reduce clutter and leave you with quality items to build your kitchen arsonal.
Learn your basics
What are the basics you ask? The most common ingredients in kitchens range from eggs, butter and flour to baking soda, baking powder and vanilla extract. But maybe not for you! What you end up using on a day to day basis is determined by the recipes that you’ll create. Read through the recipes that you’re planning and purchase what you need. You’ll begin to notice that most of what you like will begin to use a few of the same ingredients – especially if you align your diet a certain way or have an eating restriction. From there, you’ll begin to collect the items that you need the most without having to purchase the things you don’t. Sure, you might buy cornstarch for one recipe and it might sit in the back of your pantry, it happens!
Meal planning reduces stress
Meal planning sounds like a no-brainer, right? But it’s not always possible in our busy lives. You might have hectic evenings full of after school activities with the kids or a packed social calendar. But, when it comes to your kitchen, you’re in control! Know you’re going to be busy for the next three nights? Cook extra taco meat so it’s easy to reheat, add your ingredients and eat in just a few minutes. On the go all day? Keep easy snacks on hand (prepared or prepackaged) to toss in your bag as you’re out the door. The key is to not feel overwhelmed and think you have to create a five-star meal every time. Do what is right for you and your schedule.
Enjoy the experience
Now that you’re organized, you’re able to quickly navigate your kitchen with ease to create your next meal. No longer will you have to open each cabinet to find what you’re looking for, you’ll know exactly where your favorite spatula is or you won’t have to go digging for the teaspoons. Next time you have a few hours, try giving your kitchen a quick once over and determine what could be organized and simplified!