I'm big on organizing. The gene was passed down from my Mom, so I can't help it. A Sunday of organizing my kitchen cupboards while dancing around to Top 40 pop tunes is my idea of fun. Go ahead and mock, I don't mind.
One of the things I love to organize most is the kitchen; since I'm not a naturally inclined cook, the easier I can make any culinary experiences the better.
Here's how I organize my kitchen to making cooking easier:
1. Gather all cooking oils, vinegars, salt, pepper, and any other spices you use in dishes cooked on the stove. I use turmeric a lot on veggies, so I include that here. Find a platter, tray, or cutting board and place it on the counter on one side of your stove, and group the oils and spices you gathered on it. They'll still look neat and tidy on your counter because they're grouped together, and they'll be handy right where you need them.
2. Gather all wooden spoons, spatulas, ladles, whisks, etc. that you need for cooking and put them into a crock, vase, vintage measuring cup or some other kind of utensil holder and put this either with the oils and spices if you have room or on the other side of the stove.
3. Gather all your cooking and baking spices. If they're in varying containers of different sizes and shapes, consider switching them to ones that are all the same. You can buy these at the dollar store, or just use small mason jars like I did. Label them clearly (I used chalk paint and chalk on the lids) and find a spot for them altogether. I've kept them in a tray on the counter, in a homemade spice cabinet, or inside a cabinet close to where I cook and bake on the countertop, so they're easy to grab.
4. Keep functional cutting boards together and near to where you will use them. You can stack them leaning against a backsplash, hang them above the stove, or keep them together in a cabinet beside the oven or where you will be cutting on them.
5. Also keep your cutting knives hand and separate from your other utensils (even if that's only in their own compartment inside a drawer). Keep knives sharp and easy to grab when you need them quickly. A magnetic board on the backsplash to hold your knives is also a nice option.
I hope this inspires you to take a little time this week to organize your spices and cooking gear for a smarter kitchen and a simpler life at home.