For the uninitiated, KonMari is the method of decluttering and tidying up that was developed by Marie Kondo. It centers on removing the things from your life that do not spark joy for you. She has written several books
and has a series currently available on Netflix about using the KonMari Method to organize and declutter your home. If you really want to embrace her technique in changing your home I would highly recommend you look into the books and series. But if you want to just take a few simple steps to organize your kitchen let’s review a few basic concepts.
- Begin by getting rid or all the things you don’t really need. For many people no one place in your home becomes cluttered faster than the kitchen. Over time we collect kitchen gadgets that only do one thing (that we have only used once in 3 years), dishes that don’t match, appliances and gadgets received as gifts that we never use but keep because they were a gift, and cookware… I don’t even know how we end up with so much cookware. But most of us don’t need 3 crockpots and 4 of the same size skillet. Make a list of your needs, fill them from your current stock, and get rid of the rest.
- Most of us have limited storage and counter space in our kitchens. One way to make the most of the limited space is to focus on appliances that multi-task. In our kitchen, if you want to live on my countertop you have to compete for the honor. Currently we use our limited space for:
- The InstantPot: Slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, autoclave (yes, autoclave). It is the Master of Multi-taskers. We will talk more about the InstantPot later.
- The Air Fryer: While most true southerners will tell you it isn’t the same as a deep fryer or pan frying (and to be fair, it’s not), its ability to mimic the functionality of a small oven or a grill won it a spot on the countertop. While the size is limiting (even on the large models) compared to an oven it is faster than an oven and does a better job crisping and browning than a microwave. It does awesome baked potatos and fries of all shapes, and competes with a grill for steaks, burgers, hotdogs, chicken, and chops. And the cleanup is easy and simple!
- KitchenAid mixer: Maybe not a critical item for those who do not bake as much, but it made my list because of its ability to multitask. It is not only one of the best heavy duty mixers around but the catalog of accessories lets you create pasta, make ice cream, slice, dice, and grate. This one is a classic.
- Smart oven: Amy had to sell me on this one. I thought it would be another appliance we invest in that sits and sees little use. Wrong! With the oven’s simplistic programmability coupled with the ability to function as a toaster, a convection oven, pizza maker, and broiler it is the most used appliance in the kitchen next to the refrigerator. We now only use the large oven for very large food items.
- The food processor/blender: One of the struggles in our kitchen has always been the blender. Though used regularly for smoothies and beverages, we never felt comfortable sacrificing prime countertop real estate to something with such limited functionality. Then along came the Ninja Intelli-sense Kitchen Center. Basically it is a smart base that drives both a blender and full size food processor. Who could say no to an appliance that can shred cheese, turn carrots and cabbage into cole slaw, whip up batches of pesto or guacamole or hummus, and then blend a nice cold smoothie. If it vacuumed the Jetsons could have used it to replace poor Rosie.
- Organizing your space is the key to functionality in your kitchen. Everything should have a place and it is important that the effort is made to return everything to its place once it is not being used and has been cleaned. There are hundreds of products to organize your counters, cabinets, drawers, and pantry. Take advantage and plan out your space so that it is efficient to you. We are hangers in our kitchen. Pots, pans, knives, colanders, cutting boards, and even measuring spoons. If you don’t mind the aesthetic, hanging items is an efficient use of otherwise wasted wall space.
- Cleanliness may seem like another no brainer concept, but it isn’t as natural to everyone as you might believe. Maintaining a clean environment in the kitchen not only improves sanitation but makes it a more pleasant work environment. It is hard to be excited about preparing a meal when your only sink is full of 3-day old moldy dishes.
We really like to cook in our house, and yet found ourselves avoiding the kitchen because the environment was depressing. These were the steps we embraced so that we could begin the process of creating a kitchen we enjoyed being in and using daily. Just remember, this is the beginning of the journey, not the end.