Categories:Cooking Lessons - Cooking 101 Kitchen Organization
Whisk Those Gadgets into Shape
When I whisk into the kitchen to organize, those darn whisks, spatulas and scrapers can sometimes leave me scratching my head. They are the hardest things for which to find a kitchen home. The long and the short of it is just that. There are long handled tools, short stubby tools, fat swirls of tools and tiny skinny things. From the soup ladle to the cake tester, these different size items make it ever so hard to organize. In part, this is because there just is not that perfect drawer liner with divided compartments, that can handle so many different shapes and sizes.
What’s a cook to do?
You can pare down your utensils and store them in various areas of your kitchen. This will help you find them and ease your frustration.
In part, we often have too many kitchen tools. Often you acquire one as a gift or pick one up in a kitchen gadget store. Seldom do you pitch one out. A few cooking years under your belt and you can hardly open that drawer as it jam-crammed full.
On to the Storage
Make the most out of your kitchen storage by sub-dividing your cooking tools. Take the serving pieces you found, like the pie wedge, salad tongs, and spreaders to a new area. Place them in a separate drawer, basket, or plastic container and put them near your platters and serving bowls. You only need them when you are serving with those dishes. You certainly don’t need to dig through them every time you cook.
The same goes for baking tools. Gather the mixer accessories, pastry hook, biscuit cutter, pastry brush, and all those cookie cutters into one spot. A clear plastic box is great for these. Store it on a shelf next to your baking pans and mixer.
I like to have my utensils out and ready to grab and I am lucky to have a beautiful container for them. (Thanks sister!) This is a great way to open up drawer space. If you prefer for them to be hidden, place the often used ones in a drawer closest to the stove.
I am still hunting for that perfect divider for every kitchen drawer. When I find one, I will let you know. In the meantime, some kind of division is still helpful. I made use of a wooden box that used to be my Grandma’s. The dividers keep everything from rolling around each time I open the drawer.
Having cooking utensils out on your counter can be both eye-catching and useful. Make cooking easier by only putting in the jar only your most frequently used items.
Place your seldom used utensils in a drawer with dividers. If you separate and move your serving pieces and baking gadgets, you will find you have lots of room to find the things your really do need to have on hand.
How many kitchen gadgets are too many?
To get your gadgets in order, begin by removing them from every nook and cranny.
Line them up on the kitchen counter and take stock. Place like items together, such as all the spatulas, so that you can see what you really own.
Pairs of utensils are often handy. Sometimes, I might have on two kettles of soup for a party so I will need two soup ladles. Or, I might want to lift out a roast from the Dutch oven and need two long-handled heavy-duty forks. But, the day that I need two lemon testers has not yet arrived!
Like you, I also have cookware, for different needs, that have special coatings. The non-stick cookware has its own tools so be aware to consider that in your purge.
Take Count of Two-by-Two Tools:
Kitchen items that are often needed in pairs.
Scrapers (different sizes)
Strainer, large and small
Ice-Cream scoop (if you are an ice-cream sundae lover)
Grater, large and small
One at a Time:
Kitchen items you typically only need one.
Turkey lifters (1 pair)
Jar opener tool
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money. Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meal