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The Joy of the Process: How to organize your kitchen for cooking

There’s nothing quite like cooking in a fully-stocked and organized kitchen. You know that feeling right after you clean when everything is in its place? It feels like your kitchen is truly a canvas for your cooking creations! Plus, studies show that decorating and cleaning your space can make you happier. So if you’re looking for a reason to tidy up and organize your kitchen, this is it. ;)

Of course, your joyful cooking environment will look different from your neighbor’s. Some love to have every kitchen gadget imaginable, others prefer a minimalist setup, and many find themselves somewhere in between. Wherever you fall, we compiled some tips to help you refine your kitchen and organize your setup. 

From tips for setting up your kitchen to organizing projects to kitchen tools to keep handy, we’ve got you covered for the ultimate and most joyful cooking process. 

Tips for setting up your kitchen:

It’s not just about what cooking tools you have, but it’s how you use them. And as most cooks would probably attest, storage makes a huge difference in the way you experience your kitchen. 

Spices

Here are some simple tips for places to store your items for successful and efficient cooking:

  • Put your most-used cooking pans easily accessible near the oven & stove (check out this blog for creative storage solutions)

  • Keep baking trays near the oven

  • Organize your dishes for ease. For example, place your fancy plates on higher shelves and everyday plates on lower shelves; be mindful to put your heavy pots and pans in reachable places so you don’t hurt yourself. They shouldn’t be too high or too low. 

  • Spices should be in a dark, cool, and dry area of your kitchen (cabinet, pantry, etc)

  • Put flatware near your dishwasher, which should also be close to your kitchen sink

  • Store knives and cutting boards near the area you food prep

Essential organizing projects:

Spring cleaning is NOT just for the spring. Put a clean start to your 2022 with these kitchen organizing projects. 

Organized Kitchen

  • Clean your refrigerator and freezer (shelves, bins, exterior, handles)—if you'd like help with this one, check out our Kitchen, Food, & Mind Reset Exercise

  • Take inventory of your pantry and throw out food that has gone bad 

  • Label jars & containers

  • Thoroughly clean your countertops 

  • Organize your food storage (Tupperware, etc) and pair up the dishes with the proper lids 

  • If you have a microwave, scrub it down 

  • Clean the floors (even those pesky hard-to-reach places)

  • Scrub your backsplash & grout (if you have it)

  • Organize your kitchen cleaning tools

Kitchen organizing tools:

Before we get into the tools you need, here are helpful organizational products that can make your kitchen a more enjoyable place to navigate. 

Wooden Spoons

  • Fridge baskets

  • Cooking utensils holder (Epicurious calls it a cook’s tool belt)

  • Utensil organizer

  • Over-cabinet kitchen organizer

  • Air-tight food storage containers

  • Drawer liner

  • Spice rack

  • Fruit basket

  • Drawer dividers

Must-have kitchen tools (& what you can skip):

No matter if you cook once a week or three meals a day, these are must-have kitchen tools you’ll need to make cakes, sandwiches, and pasta. Plus, we included “nice to haves” and items we think you can probably skip. 

Cutting Board

Must-haves:

  • Chef’s knife (and a knife sharpener)

  • Cutting boards (2-3)

  • Measuring cups & spoons

  • Blender

  • Glass storage containers

  • Wok 

  • Cast iron pan

  • Pots and pans

  • Grater/Microplane

  • Wooden spoons/spatula

  • Baking sheets/dishes

  • Oven mitt

  • Mixing bowls

  • Can opener

  • Hand mixer

Nice-to-haves:

  • Food processor

  • Digital thermometer

  • Vegetable peeler

  • Metal tongs

  • Whisk

  • Kitchen shears

  • Slow cooker

  • Colander

  • Salad spinner

What you can skip:

  • Garlic press (knives will usually work just fine)

  • Dutch oven (if you have a heavy and deep pot, that should be just fine)

  • Apple corer (again, a knife will be just fine)

  • Citrus zester/juicer

  • Ice cream maker (unless you’re a homemade ice cream fiend, this probably won’t get a whole lot of use)

  • Standing mixer (a hand mixer will usually do just the trick)

  • Popcorn maker (a pot with a lid is all you need)

Whew! We know that was a lot of information. But let us know what we missed! If you have any comments or essentials you'd like to share, let us know in the comments. 

Ready to get cooking? Check out these kid-approved meals packed with veggies and tips for roasting vegetables for maximum flavor.

And take our quiz to find out what you should make for dinner tonight

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Tags: Cooking Tips Meal Prep Joy Of Cooking
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Jacqueline V. ( 10d ) – Very practical.It helps you focus on what essential