Tuesday, April 7

kitchen tips

The kitchen truly is the heart of the home with a steady daily heartbeat. Perhaps that is even more so for homeschooling families since often our studies or projects are done at the kitchen table. As the center of the home, I have found it even more important to keep things organized in this room. If the kitchen is cluttered, my mind usually matches it! Truly, there is no room in the home where this saying could be more valid - "a place for everything and everything in its place" - especially when I see the collection of stuff piling up on our kitchen peninsula. Eyeyiyi!

For many years we lived with a small kitchen area which became quite a challenge with nine kids. What a blessing our kitchen addition was almost five years ago! I loved setting it up in a way that would be workable and well organized for me and my family

So how about some tips to make life in the kitchen more manageable for mom:

*Go through your cupboards and drawers making an honest assessment of things you never use, then totally eliminate them. Yup, give them away, throw them away, sell them away.....just get rid of them! Keep only the items that you regularly need whether dishes, utensils, pots and pans. If there's certain things that are perhaps for seasonal/holiday use or for special purposes like canning season, put them in an area that you don't need to access all the time so you aren't constantly having to work around them. Simply put....the less stuff, the better!

*Keep a good supply of staple food items handy so you can always come up with a quick meal in a pinch. Things that come to mind are canned vegetables, a variety of pastas or rices, meats (in the freezer), and baking supplies especially bulk chocolate chips.

*Rotate through simple meals that your entire family enjoys. Make a menu plan for the week ahead so you have special ingredients on hand. As homeschooling moms, a crockpot is a must as the meal can be put in it before you start schooling for the day and by suppertime the entire house will smell good!

*Tired of the same old meals? Look online! You can find just about any kind of recipe you want. Or better yet, ask for a gift subscription to one of the Taste of Home cooking magazines so you can browse with your kids and let them pick out a new recipe that sounds good.

*Assign regular kitchen chores for your kids. We used to have different kids rotate through the jobs on a daily basis - set the table, clear the table, wash the dishes, dry the dishes, sweep the floor, vacuum the floor. As the kids have gotten older they prefer to have all the kitchen jobs for the day and rotate days iwhich means days "off" for them. Trust me, they do check out the calendar to see who is stuck blessed with holidays or big family weekends!

*Have a kitchen meal helper assigned for each day. Choose one of their favorite meals for that day and they'll be even more willing to help! Not only will it make it easier for mom after some consistent training, but they'll leave home knowing how to cook or bake a variety of things in the kitchen.

*For this mom, fresh flowers when possible and a lit scented candle aglow are MUST HAVES! And no, this tip has nothing to do with kitchen organization, but it certainly keeps me happier!

Do you have a favorite kitchen tip that makes life easier in your house? Do share!

Tammy ~@~


Mrs. Jane Doe said...

Tammy! What a great post! I am looking forward to the tips from others.

We have downsized a great deal in many ways. The kitchen can be one area to collect the this and that that is useful but...

I have items in my kitchen broken down to 3 areas...daily, weekly and seasonally. All the items are examined closely in not only the space they take up but do I really need them or could I do without them. I have often wondered what people did without all the gizmos and gadgetries we seem to think we have to have and ultimately collect for the kitchen. The daily items used are given a number one spot and then the weekly items are stored away but with easy access. The seasonal items are put away that does not take up the necessary room for the daily and weekly items.

I have found that I only really need to have one set of sauce pans (stock pot, medium and small sauce pan) to do all the cooking I need. I have 3 cookie sheets in various sizes - two with sides and one without. It seems minimal to many but it works for us and I have found that it is less to clean up and less to store which equals less frustration for me.

What helped me with organizing my kitchen so much was looking through some of the Paris apartment rentals. Looking at the kitchens and what all they have space for, it made me realize that I really didn't need what I thought I needed. :O)

Goodness...I have written far too long. I will leave some space for others! ;O)


Tina said...

I am the same way. . I feel cluttered if my kitchen is cluttered! AND I always keep plenty of chocolate chips on hand. He/he
Thanks for the great tips :)

mom said...

Thanks for your tips, Jane. Yes, we indeed keep way more than we need and I love how you organized what you do have!

Tina, I was definitely thinking of you when I was mentioned bulk chocolate chips :-)

Tammy ~@~

theArthurClan said...

Awesome tips Tammy! The kitchen is my downfall (probably due to my dislike for cooking.) You make me want to tackle that area head on!

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