Housekeeping Your Kitchen: The Major Hub

Housekeeping: Your Kitchen: The Major Hub for cooking, homework, and, if you watch Netflix – all kinds of drama. This post is about your kitchen and how to organize it.

While all parts of a house are integral components of the cleaning process, the kitchen is the center from which all activity emanates. (it’s like the Star Trek bridge – all the domestic decision-making takes place here .) Therefore, it’s important to become familiar with the layout and design of this primary refuge in any house. For ease of access and movement, your kitchen should be laid out so that it represents a triangle. This triangle is the geometric figure that represents the placement of your sink, refrigerator, oven, and stove.

The Ideal Kitchen Work Area: Making Sure You Have Enough Space

The ideal triangle should not measure much more than 25 feet, with each side measuring about eight feet from the middle of each surface area. Any section of this triangle should not run into another area of the kitchen by any more than a foot. By following these parameters, you can move more easily in your kitchen whenever you are cooking, cleaning, or preparing meals. So, if you plan to remodel your kitchen anytime soon, keep the foregoing measurements in mind before you make any renovations.

Organizational Rules for Kitchens

If you have your kitchen designed to provide easy movement, it will also make it that much more motivating for you to organize the area. The organization is key if you want to make preparing meals a more pleasant experience. If you find yourself constantly siphoning through things in your cabinet in order to find one item, you’ll need to immediately implement an organizational plan right away.

Take the first step by following the rules below:

  • Store items near where they are used. For example, don’t store your pots and pans next to the refrigerator. Keep them in close range (no pun intended), next to the stove. Flatware, glasses, cups, and plates should be stowed in close proximity to the dishwasher. Any items that are used for preparing food, such as a mixing bowl, should be stored next to the food preparation area.
  • Organize your kitchen utensils and items so that all similar items are housed in the same spot. For example, place all your cutlery in the same spot and hang pots and pans together.
  • The items that you use the most often should be placed in easily accessible areas. Therefore, keep frequently-used items in areas that can be reached without difficulty. Heavy items should be placed in lower storage areas, and items that are rarely used should be stored up high.
  • Make it a point to get rid of superfluous stuff annually. Get rid of any rarely used items, damaged utensils, or duplicate cookware.
  • Kitchen items that are small should be kept in either see-through storage containers or containers that are neatly labeled.

Cleaning Supplies that Should be Store in Every Kitchen

Now that you understand basic organizational rules, you’ll want to make sure that your kitchen is stocked with the proper cleaning supplies. Always make sure you keep cleaning supplies near or under the sink.

These supplies should include the following:

  • Dishwashing liquid;
  • A mild all-purpose cleaner; in a spray bottle)
  • A mildly abrasive cleanser;
  • A glass and mirror cleaner;
  • Baking soda and vinegar;
  • Sponges;
  • Microfibre cotton cloths for cleaning;
  • A variety of brushes for cleaning bottles, pots, and pans;
  • Rubber gloves;
  • Metal polish;
  • Scouring pads; and
  • Paper Towels.

Kitchen Cabinetry

A well-organized, well-laid-out kitchen should contain the right cabinets in the right amount too. Typically, cabinets are designed in three styles in a functioning kitchen. This cabinetry includes:

  • Wall or upper cabinets;
  • Base or lower cabinets; and
  • Pantry cabinets, which are designed to stand high.

You should try to maintain about six feet of cabinetry along with a hefty amount of drawers. Try to include one drawer for each base cabinet in your kitchen plan. Base cabinets are great additions in the area where you cook, and wall cabinets work out well in the eating areas.

Kitchen Storage Aids

You can increase your storage area by making full use of storage accessories in your kitchen. These organizational aids come in the form of:

  • Baskets and bins (which can be used for small items or cleaning supplies;
  • Pull-out type baskets, which provide storage for cleaning supplies, or pots or pans;
  • Drawer organizers, which help keep your flatware and kitchen utensils segregated;
  • Spice racks;
  • Stacking shelves; and
  • Lazy Susans – turntables that are used to organize spices or condiments inside corner cabinets.

How to Organize your Dinnerware, Pans, and Glassware

You can also make better use of space by knowing how to stack and store your pots, pans, trays, glassware, dinnerware, and utensils. For example, nest pots and pans in order to maximize storage space. Trays and platters should be stacked by size, and glassware and dinnerware should be organized by type. Stack plates in groups of no more than four at a time. Place your crocks next to the stove and organize wooden and stainless steel kitchen utensils into separate groups.

Kitchen Shelf Liners

To keep the inside of cabinets and drawers cleaner, always make sure they are lined. The various kinds of liners are featured below.

  • Cork liners are durable liners and offer good protection for glassware. The liners are great to use in a kitchen as they also are resilient to mold and mildew.
  • Rubber liners offer non-slip protection for items that are non-corrosive. Because they contain sulfur, you don’t want to use rubber liners around silverware.
  • Cedar liners provide repellant protection against insects and moths. Therefore, the liners are recommended for use in storage areas where dry goods, linens, and spices are placed.
  • For your silver pieces, felt liners will provide the needed protection. Just make sure that the liners are made with agents that keep the metal from tarnishing.
  • Although affordable, adhesive liners can be difficult to remove. Therefore, try to find liners that are the light-tack variety.

Removing Adhesive Liners from Shelves

If you do have to remove adhesive liners from shelves, then remover solvents, such as turpentine, rubber cement remover, and acetone, are often used. Begin the removal process by placing just a small amount of the remover under the paper, all the while pulling on the corner. Sand the shelf with sandpaper of medium roughness after the liner is removed.

Caring for Kitchen Cabinets

When caring for the outside of cabinets, make sure that the spray you use is always applied to a damp, white cloth. Never apply it to the surface of the cabinet. You also never want to use any type of abrasive, whether it comes in the form of a cleanser or scouring pad. Any household cleaners containing silicone should be avoided too, which is known to damage cabinet surfaces.

Don’t Use Any of These Products

Also, never use cleaning products that are exceptionally alkaline or acidic in nature. Therefore, don’t use products containing ammonia or chlorine bleach on cabinet finishes. Polishes containing petroleum substances should not be used either, which can increase the risk of fire. In addition, stay away from wax polishers, as the wax can build up on cabinet surfaces.

Don't Drape Wet Clothes on the Doors of Your Cabinets
Don't drape wet cloths on the cabinet doors, as doing so can lead to water damage.

Again, part of having a beautiful home is cleaning it so it’s spotless and Home&Garden ready. After all, admit it – you like your friends to look at your space with a bit of envy and intimidation. Plus, using the wrong cleaners can cause some expensive mistakes. Therefore, it’s a good idea to obtain basic knowledge about the cleaners you use, as not all solvents are appropriate for what you’re cleaning or polishing.

The Cleaning Coach is a nationally-recognized green homekeeping expert dedicated to educating people on keeping their homes, schools and work areas GREEN.