Quarantine life is a much different world. And when it comes to our kitchens, they are working overtime. Anyone with large families or kids understands just how much. Kitchens have always been the main hub for our households. Now, even more so while we practice social distancing. The challenge can be on how to keep your kitchen organized and safe during this time. We’ve put together some suggestions to help your kitchen feel less chaotic while staying at home.
Cleaning Your Kitchen
As if keeping the kitchen clean before wasn’t hard enough, now we have everything on overload. Hygiene practices are now even more important. Here are some tips to follow to keep you and your family safe.
1. Wash Your Hands
Okay, we’ve all heard it so let’s just get this out of the way. While many of us start with washing our hands before cooking or touching utensils, we have to be diligent to make sure everyone else in the household does too. It is also recommended to do so when transitioning between tasks or areas in the kitchen. For example, wash your hands after handling groceries, and food packages.
2. Avoid Natural Products
Lemon and vinegar are a common DIY cleaning alternative. However, it isn’t an effective disinfectant against many pathogens and specifically, COVID-19. The CDC recommends using products that contain at least 70% alcohol to disinfect. We highly recommend looking into the EPA approved disinfectants as they are safer for the planet and humans.
3. Deep Clean
Who has the time?! We completely understand. Honestly, we probably only deep clean our appliances once a year. But now, more than ever, our appliances are working overtime. That means spills, drips, and general messiness is going to go up as well. Try adding this to the chore list or make it a habit before restocking the kitchen.
No matter how you decide to keep your kitchen clean, the main thing to do is keep everyone on the same page. Make sure everyone in the household understands: proper cleaning products, frequency of cleaning, and the importance of washing their hands. Now let’s talk about how to actually keep your kitchen organized.
Organizing Your Kitchen
This is always something homeowners want tips on. Organizing your pantry, or refrigerator is pleasing to the eye. However, it is much more than that now. With everyone at home for all meals, the kitchen has become akin to a restaurant. That is why keeping it organized can help save your sanity.
1. The Refrigerator
As if everyone being at home didn’t affect your electricity bill enough, now the refrigerator seems to have a revolving door. Why? Snacks. If you have kids, you know this is literally at any point during the day. If you don’t have kids, well, same. Whether you are trying to keep small hands from going overboard or yourself, the organization of your refrigerator can help. We recommend organizing your refrigerator into sections:
- Use clear plastic bins. This is especially helpful for snack-time. You and/or your kids can just grab-and-go. It can also help prevent cross-contamination with meats.
- Create an ‘Eat Me First’ area. These are great for leftovers or produce that needs to be used soon. This will help to prevent these items from getting lost or tucked behind other things.
- Organize based on what temperature a food needs to be cooked at. Put drinks, ready-to-eat foods, and leftovers up top. Raw ingredients down below. Condiments on the door (as it is the warmest).
Having your refrigerator organized can help you not only keep food safe, but let you know what you are running low on. We also recommend you go through your sauces and condiments to check expiration dates.
2. The Pantry
Whether you have a pantry or just open shelves, keeping organized can save you money and time. And since you don’t want to make extra trips to the grocery store right now, staying organized can help avoid that. Here are some more tips for pantry organization:
- Again, see-through containers. Honestly, this is a lifesaver. Especially with frequently-used items like pasta, rice, or cereals. It is easy to see when you are low and need more.
- Use Lazy Susans for corners and cans. Those corners can become black holes, and cans can get lost behind other cans. Lazy Susans will help keep track of what you have.
- Organize based on use. Bulkier, less-used items should either go at the bottom or very top. Smaller, frequently-used items should be at eye level. Also, put like things together.
Keep in mind, these tips can be used at any time, quarantine or not. However, a pro tip that might serve you well, especially now, have a non-see-through container or basket. Put this out of reach of small hands and keep your snacks or extras in it. That way you can ration out or keep a little to yourself.
We hope you find this helpful! If you have any suggestions on how to keep your kitchen organized, make sure to share them with us. Also, check out our blog on how to increase your kitchen storage. It might come in handy.