IntroductionThe kitchen is the most important place in our household. It is the place where meals are prepared from time to time to meet the requirement of the family as well as the occasional guests. In fact, a kitchen is a place which is always having some activity depending upon the number of family members and their food habits.
At the same time, It is a place where pieces of cooked food items, waste material, peelings, stains from liquids and many other things accumulate and if not cleaned time to time will start giving false odor and are a grave concern for hygiene.
In an average household, the kitchen size is generally smaller than the other rooms but it is the most crowded and congested part of the house. The cupboards and racks in the kitchen are generally full of utensils, kitchen gadgets and food items. Many times it becomes difficult to store so many items in such a small place and then we have to shift them to the storeroom if we have one adjacent to the kitchen or get some multiple stacking racks for storing them in one side within the kitchen or the adjacent gallery.
That is the reason why many housewives time to time complain about the small size of a kitchen as it does not give them space to work effectively and efficiently.
So, how can we arrange the items in our kitchen so that we get the things easily, how can we create space and convenience in our kitchen and how can we keep it neat and clean are some of the aspects which are discussed point wise as below.
Categorization of Kitchen ItemsFirst and foremost is the categorization of items. For example, bulk items like rice, flour, cereals etc are to be kept at one place. Packaged items in big sizes like corn flakes, chips, noodles, biscuits are to be kept in another location. Then comes the smaller sized items like spices. Another category is oil, ghee etc which generally stain the place where they are kept so they definitely require a separate rack or place. Categorization helps immensely especially when one is in a hurry and does not have time to search an item. The categorization is the basic thing to bring order in the kitchen.
Edible items are prone to degradation and have an expiry date. So we should avoid keeping the old and expired items as they will not be of use as well as would unnecessarily occupy the valuable space. Nowadays people buy so many small packets of various spices and other additives which if not used in time go stale and occupy the space in the allocated area. So one of the routines in 3-4 months time should be to mandatory check the items for their expiry and remove them.
Cleanliness and HygieneA kitchen is a place where we are keeping the leftover food and other items like peelings of vegetable and fruits and that creates a lot of scope for bacteria and fungus formation if the containers are not cleaned time to time and waste material is not removed periodically. One of the good ideas in this respect is to keep the wastebasket outside the kitchen preferably away from the kitchen may be in the side balcony. In such cases, we will have to keep a small waste material container in the kitchen by the side of the sink to accommodate the waste materials now and then and finally transfer it to the main container away from the kitchen. One may have to do it 2-3 times in a day but it is the most trusted method to keep the kitchen environment neat, clean and tidy.
So, keeping the kitchen clean is the toughest part of the exercise as things will be spilling or falling on the floor time to time during the cooking processes and will make the place messy. Many times little water or liquids falls on the floor and slowly the floor becomes wet and the movement of people on it further deteriorates it with mud from the shoes or sandals. It is always a good strategy not to allow people with shoes inside the kitchen. In this matter, the kitchen is considered equal to a place of worship. As well said cleanliness is Godliness.
We must keep tissue paper or clean old cotton rags which are often required to clean the oil and greasy things which are so prevalent in the kitchen. One thing which is very important is whenever we have used our hands for working with oil, ghee or other such items, we must dry them with tissue or clean cloth otherwise even the small ghee left on our fingers will stain everything which we hold subsequently. This is a small trick but instrumental in keeping the kitchen utensils and tools grease free.
Labeling and StackingNowadays transparent jars and containers are available so that you can see the items from outside without opening the lid. In case transparent containers are not available then we have to put labels on these containers for identification of the material.
People use marker pens or self-adhesive labels for writing the name of the food item kept in the container. Labeling is one of the most important activity and no housewife should ignore it as later it is the most time-saving thing once it is accomplished in the kitchen. It is also a great help for those who go to the kitchen occasionally to prepare something out of interest. A kitchen without labeling is a source of irritation to the person working there.
Similar items are to be placed and stacked together. Small containers can be kept one above the other. One must keep them in order of utility. We use some items daily while others once in a while. Accordingly, their position in the stack up or down is to be maintained.
Miscellaneous tips for KitchenWe do a plethora of jobs in the kitchen and use a variety of tools and accessories. While working in the kitchen it is natural to have clutter and disorder on the kitchen slab. While working it is natural that things will fall here and there and food items will spill or sprinkle on to the floor. To manage these things properly there are some ways to handle them effectively. Some of these measures are -
ConclusionProper storage and labeling of items in the kitchen are of great help not only to the person who is regularly working there but also to the occasional cooks in the house. It saves a lot of time as well as provides working convenience. A well kept and clean kitchen is the dream place for any housewife. With some efforts and common sense, we can make it a place in order and enjoy working there.
Keeping the things in order and properly in the designated places is a great habit and is very awarding not only in the reference of the kitchen but everywhere whether it is a workplace or shop or any such place where more items are present. People lose a large time in searching for things and get irritated when they do not get it in time and in its usual place. Especially in a big family, where the user of an item after the use does not keep the thing back and the whole family sometimes becomes desperate to find it. Good housekeeping requires two things - one is cleanliness and other is orderliness.
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