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The Coronavirus pandemic has brought some unprecedented changes in our daily lives. Before fears of exposing our lives to the deadly virus became the key driver of all our normal reactions, many Indian households, with working spouses, depended on the services of domestic help for daily chores, including cooking, cleaning, etc. As the responsibility to perform these tasks is now on us, it becomes pertinent to follow certain ground rules, so that you are able to work efficiently in your kitchen. In this context, we discuss some tips to keep your kitchen clutter-free, to be able to work efficiently and within a time limit.
Clean the dirty dishes immediately
You just cannot leave dirty dishes in the sink and go to bed at night. Besides attracting bugs and pests, this would also upset your morning routine. Ideally, the kitchen sink should always be empty. The trick to keep it that way, is to wash the dirty dishes as they come. If that is not possible, do it at regular intervals during the day.
Quick tip: This task could be performed by all members of the family on a rotational basis.
See also: Important kitchen Vastu Shastra tips
Keep the kitchen counter tidy
It is quite common to take out one box after another from the cabinet, while cooking a meal. By the time the meal is cooked, the kitchen counter becomes a crowded space. In addition to slowing you down, a cluttered kitchen also creates a lot of scope for accidents like spilling, slipping, burns, etc.
Quick tip: As soon as a particular ingredient has been taken out from a jar or a container, it should immediately be returned to its designated storage place. The same is true of equipment like grinders, toasters, waffle machines, etc. that you use while cooking
Arrange the jars and containers
Another thing that severely diminishes your efficiency in the kitchen, is the time spent on looking for the things you require for a recipe. While opaque jars and containers could be one problem, we add to the confusion by not putting each container back in its designated place, after use.
Quick tip: Cabinet shelves should be organised in such a way that you have a clear idea about which box goes where. For example, all the containers with pulses and grains could be put in one shelf while another shelf could be used to store various types of oils, ghee and such items.
Do not stuff the refrigerator
The refrigerator helps you store and keep the grocery, milk products, meat, cooked food and other perishable items, fresh. However, this space should not be treated as a dumping point. That way, all items kept in the fridge have a higher chance of going bad, increasing waste at a time when one does not want to frequent the markets to buy household items, unless absolutely necessary. A messy fridge would also have a bearing on your meal plans and cooking time.
Quick tip: Arrange the items in such a way that you are able to keep track of expiry dates of various items lying in the fridge.
Focus on the task of cooking
Open kitchens are becoming popular among home owners. Those who argue in favour of open kitchens, also say that it allows people who are cooking to stay connected with the family members. If an open kitchen, for instance faces the living room, you will be able to watch TV or keep an eye on the children. Nevertheless, distractions of any kind would have an impact on your efficiency while cooking and may also lead to accidents.
Quick tip: Listening to music is not actually a distraction. Experts are of the opinion it actually helps focus on the task. The same however is not true of the television.
Maintain a schedule
Preparing a meal takes time. However, it might take even longer for family members to reach a consensus on the recipes they would like to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is where making a rotational chart would help. All family members must sit together once and help prepare a weekly chart that should have the favourite meals of all the family members and some regular items. Since everything is pre-planned, no time would be wasted in pondering about what has to be cooked for dinner. This will also help you to prepare, before you actually start cooking.
Quick tip: A similar roster could be made, vis-à-vis cleaning the dishes, too.
How can I make my kitchen functional?
You can make the kitchen more functional by de-cluttering the space, using vertical walls for shelves and arranging similar items together and as per its usage.
Where should I put everything in my kitchen?
Organise your kitchen in a way that commonly used items are within easy reach and items that are not used frequently, are stored away.
What should be on the kitchen counter?
Besides the cooking stove, only keep commonly used items on the counter, such as the microwave oven, coffee maker, towels, dish rack, fruits and vegetables, salt and pepper, etc.