Do you want to transform your families eating habits? Start your journey here..
Your attitude towards organization is like marmite, you either love it or you hate it. If you’re a lover of organization the chances are that your kitchen has already achieved, or is part way there to achieving the organization needed to prepare healthy meals. If you’re a hater then…
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu
If you have made the decision to begin your journey to nourish your family with healthy, homemade meals then that journey begins here with ‘organising your kitchen’.
THE FRIDGE AND FREEZER
A good time to start this is when you are due to do a shop so that your fridge is relatively empty.
- Empty out your fridge and freezer and give them a top to bottom scrub cleaning any spills
- Defrost your freezer (if you need to) and clean
- Sort through all opened products and check if they are in-date. Throw out anything out of date or old.
You now have a spill free, clean fridge to stock with healthy foods. It is time to organize and section it. You will all have different style and size fridge freezers but the theory of this still works the same.
“If you keep good food in your fridge you will eat good food”
My fridge layout
Create areas for different types of foods. Use a layout that works for you but keep in mind food hygiene fridge safety rules.
- Opened condiments- we all have jars or opened tins of things. You can see that on the top shelf I use a ‘Lazy Susan’ (a rotating wheel) which is not an amazing space saver and
- Salad and Fruit – Typically salad and fruit items are stored in the bottom drawer of your fridge however I tend to keep mine on the middle shelf so that I don’t forget about them and the kids can help themselves to a healthy snack. I also tend to pre chop salad and vegetables at the start of the week to save time during the week
- Leftovers– I have a shelf dedicated to leftovers which I can use up throughout the week so that food is not wasted.
- Storage containers– You can buy so many great storage bins and pull out containers to fit your size fridge. You can see from the picture that I have two pull out storage containers for both yoghurts and kids smoothies.
- Meat– All meat stored in the bottom shelf of the fridge.
My Freezer Layout
- Dedicated shelves- I have labelled each shelf for each type of food. Fish, red meat, poultry, vegetarian and frozen fruit and vegetables all feature in my freezer. This was it makes it easier for me to see which foods I am running low on and need to put on my shopping list.
- Leftovers– I buy freezable plastic containers which I use to store and freeze any leftovers which I will label and date. These are great meals to take out when there is a last minute dash to get food on the table.
- Portioning – I tend to buy big bags of foods such as fish and meat and then re-portion them when freezing so that we have just the right amount when we take it out and nothing goes to waste.
YOUR COOKING ZONE
We all have a favourite spot or zone in the kitchen to prep and make our food. Mine is located next to my hobs so that I can chop and throw into the pan as I go along. I put all the utensils, chefs knife and my chopping boards to hand to ensure ease of use when prepping for the dinnertime rush.
Create your own ‘cooking zone’ and organize your most used and most loved utensils.
My cooking zone essentials: chefs knife, spatulas for stirring, scissors, bread knife, smaller knives, fish slice, salad spoons, chopping boards and a peeler.
THE CUPBOARDS/ PANTRY
By organising your cupboards you will find that there are a considerable amount of benefits.
- You save money. Once you cupboard is stocked with your cupboard essentials you will only need to spend money on the fresh items needed.
- Less waste. On many occasions we can buy something in the supermarket only to find that we have already got some at home doubling up when you don’t need to.
- Streamlined Lifestyle. This will help you to be much more productive and able to put a meal on the table from your pantry staples. My ‘go to’ emergency pantry staple is tuna rice and sweetcorn all made from ingredients in the cupboard.
- Empty out your cupboards and give them a good clean.
- Remove any expired food or opened packets that you don’t even remember using last.
- Remove any old equipment, containers or utensils that you don’t use and recycle, donate or remove
- Organise tinned produce in a manner that works for you.
- Seal any packets with clips to keep them fresh and free from contamination.
- Declutter drawers. Use organisers for your utensils to ensure that they all have their space rather than all being thrown into a drawer.
In order to organize and utilize you space in the best way you can use a variation of products such as:
- Lazy susans
- Stepped storage
- Dispensing containers
- Slim bins
You can buy these brilliant little hooks to help store utensils when you have limited space. I store mine on the back of cupboard doors
Designate a space in the kitchen for the following
- Family Recipe Book
- Papers (e.g. school letters)
- A meal planner
- Running shopping list (so that all members of the family can add to it if you run out of something )
Our weekly magnetic meal planner is on our fridge so everyone knows both whats for dinner and so that I can plan which fresh ingredients I need to buy in order to make the recipes. This way definitely prevents that 5pm stress of “what are we going to have for dinner?!”
I like to empty everything so that its free from its packaging and then buy products in bulk in order to replenish and save money.
If your like me and you like to bake then jars/ mason jars can come in very handy for storing cupcake liners.
Finally, let me share with you my nerdy contraption for labelling my food products. This makes everything so neat and tidy.
I label the front of my container with the name of the product and then I print the expiry date on the back of the product.
If you have any questions on where I purchased my products or need help with organising your kitchen please feel free to contact me or leave your comments below.