…and yes you need those spinning spice racks in your life.
Juggling household chores is something that is tricky to balance. Whilst Mark and I groan each time we have to do the weekly clean (this weekend we had to do two week’s worth because we were away last weekend which meant the house was particularly grim and covering in approximately an inch of dust), but we have nailed most tasks in the kitchen department. You win some, you lose some, eh? From organisation, to shopping lists and meal planning and prep – WE ARE ADULTING GOOD.
Turns out when your kitchen is running smoothly, it makes life a whole lot easier. You eat well, order takeaways less, enjoy cooking as you can actually find what you need and the whole food aspect of running a household feels way less stressful. No groaning and no arguing over whose turn it is to do the weekly food shop as it can practically be purchased with the click of a button, it’s awesome. So if you’re going to edit any aspect of your home, make it your kitchen. Here’s how…
IN THE ZONE. To begin your edit; organise and group utensils and tools close to where they are used. Put your baking sheets and roasting tins near the oven, store-cupboard goods near the space where you prepare food (keeping spices and seasonings nearby too), home your pans and cookware near the hob, your dishes, plates and cutlery close to where you serve meals, cleaning products under the sink (mainly as you don’t want to be keeping anything else under there) and any storage containers close to the fridge. It might not be possible to follow these rules to the tee, but getting as close as you can will mean that you don’t spend half your time in the kitchen darting from one side to the other and running a mini marathon each meal time.
MAKE MORE SPACE. Last September I had a *major* kitchen clear-out. It took me about four hours and at the end I made Mark get out of bed just so I could show him the end result which I was VERY proud of. I’ve done many of these over the years, but this one was different. Instead of just sweeping away the old grains of rice at the back of the cupboard and ditching tins of out-of-date tuna, this time round I really focused on organisation and making the most of the space we had in our cupboards, creating more efficient methods where possible. Have a read of this post for the low-down on every single item I purchased online which came in handy and helped to create more space; but because of these changes I’ve been able to keep things tidy and organised since. Almost one year later and there’s no need for a major clean-up anytime soon. Making the most of the space that we have has meant that everything has a proper home and I’m no longer lobbing bags of sugar on top of bags of flour, raisins, nuts and grains and hoping that they don’t avalanche out next time I open the door.
INVEST IN TUPPERWARE. This might seem like a bit of a rouge one, but kitchen organisation is basically a dream when you have sturdy, non-baked bean stained Tupperware to store all your leftovers, baking goods and miscellaneous items in. We have the IKEA Glass-Bottomed Storage Containers and are always complemented on them because we are boring adults now who just talk with our friends about pensions and house deposits and how we love our glass Tupperware boxes because it means we can reheat food in them. Buy a range of sizes and store them in a drawer if possible, so they’re easier to access. If you’re an avocado fiend like I, then invest in a Avocado Fresh Pod* too. They seem like a gimmick, but they do actually work and solve the whole conundrum of one whole avocado being too much for one person, but half a brown avocado going off in your fridge being even worse.
RECIPE LIST. Because my Mum is the cutest woman ever, she has a list of dinners that she likes to cook and we all enjoy, written down on the back of an old re-used birthday card. Whenever she’s not sure what to cook, she revisits the list and decides what one of the ol’ favourites to cook. See? I told you she’s adorable. We do a similar thing; adding post-its to our favourite recipes that we’ve tried from different cookbooks and bookmarking recipes that we like the look of online, or saving posts on Instagram, so that it’s easy to spot what dishes to try our hands at each week. Need some recipe inspiration? Check out this post for my veggie cookbook recommendations. Find your favourites and create your own master-list, which should make meal planning even easier.
GO ONLINE. Our weekly food shop has gotten so much easier since we started doing two things. Firstly, purchasing a weekly recipe box service that delivers the exact amount of ingredients for three dinners directly to our doorstop (we use HelloFresh, who I frequently work with but we pay for our own box and this mention is not part of any work I’m doing with them). Secondly, buying the rest of our groceries online at Ocado. Although we opt for the ‘three dinners a week’ option with our meal box, the leftovers can often do us for lunch the next day too and for the other evenings sometimes we’re out or have friends round ours for dinner, so it means our weekly shop just needs to contain breakfast supplies, a couple of lunch options and then ingredients for a dinner or two. If you pay for a meal box service too, then download the app so you can switch out recipes and skip weeks with a couple of swipes. If you do online food shops then use the tools they offer to make it SO QUICK. Create shopping lists featuring your frequently purchased products so they can be added to your basket in one click – I have ones for ‘Breakfast items‘, ‘Mark’s lunch‘, ‘Household essentials‘, ‘Cleaning stuff‘ – you get the gist. It takes a bit of time to set-up, but saves you some serious minutes on the clock in the long-run.
Photos by Emma Croman
‘An Edited Life’ is now available to purchase worldwide HERE