The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, but it does not have to be. There are slipping and tripping hazards there, not to mention the sharp objects and both hot and hard surfaces to watch for. How can you make your kitchen safer for you and your family and make it more functional at the same time? Here are our best tips on how to do that.
Store Everything Away
A cluttered kitchen is just an accident waiting to happen. If you have knives and other utensils sitting on the counter, they could easily drop on your foot and hurt you. If you have to maneuver around multiple countertop appliances to plug in or use a specific appliance, you could burn yourself or get injured in some other way.
A cluttered kitchen is going to be frustrating to cook in as well. You may have trouble finding the items you are looking for or using common kitchen appliances.
So, how do you go about decluttering the kitchen? First of all, remove any unnecessary decorations and knickknacks. They can get their own shelf somewhere else or out of the way in the kitchen. Secondly, figure out where each item in the kitchen should go and keep it there. You may need to install extra cupboards or wall hooks in the kitchen to make space for small countertop appliances, oven mitts, aprons, and kitchen utensils. Some of them can be placed into storage containers like those used to store knives or large wooden spoons.
When you store kitchen items somewhere in the kitchen, they should be put where they will not be in your way. Small appliances could be placed into drawers rather than left on the countertops. Place as many items inside cupboards and drawers as possible, and to prevent them from getting all mixed up, you can install dividers inside these storage spaces.
Getting the extra items out of the way gives you more counter space to work with, minimizing falling items and making the kitchen much safer. Your kitchen is not a room where you want any clutter, if you can help it.
How often should you clean your kitchen? You might think the answer would be once a day, but it is actually more than that for most people. It’s best to clean the kitchen every time you use it. Each time you dirty dishes, they should either be washed right then or placed into the dishwasher or into soapy dishwater. This minimizes germs and keeps insects and other pests away.
Every time there is a spill in the kitchen, you should clean it up right away, if possible. That keeps pests away as well and minimizes tripping and slipping hazards.
If you work with raw meat on any surfaces, those surfaces should be disinfected and wiped down right away as well to prevent the spread of foodborne diseases and bacteria that could be in the meat or meat juices.
Beyond these basic cleaning guidelines, you should do a more thorough cleaning in the kitchen about once a week, wiping down the appliances, mopping the floor, and disinfecting all food prep surfaces. Cleaning experts recommend that the kitchen should be swept daily, and all counters should be at least wiped down once a day (if not disinfected as well) to get rid of crumbs and contaminants.
Use Pedal Powered Bins
The trash can in your kitchen should be kept near your work area so that you can toss packaging and scraps in there without having to walk far from your workstation. However, you don’t want flies and other pests being attracted to the trash, so you need to keep the bin covered. But how do you open and close the lid for the bin while you are working on making a meal?
You could keep washing your hands to keep them sanitary, or you could use a pedal-action bin that opens and closes with a press of your foot. It is worth investing in this kitchen accessory in order to make your kitchen work more efficient and to keep your hands sanitary while you work.
Use Vertical Space
One of the best ideas we can give you for organizing your kitchen and making it easier to work in is to make use of the vertical space there. The walls, windows, and doors in your kitchen can be great storage areas and help you to keep items out of your way.
You can install cupboards or shelves on the walls to put recipe books, pots, and pans up high so they are not in your workspace. The windowsill can be a handy place for your knickknacks or decor rather than leaving them somewhere they are likely to be bumped. Your kitchen door can be used to hang aprons, hot pads, and work schedules so that you are not taking up valuable counterspace or drawer space with these.
Look through your kitchen and see if there is any vertical space that isn’t being used that could be used more effectively by hanging or installing something there.
Take Some Things Out
There may be some items that you would like to have in the kitchen but that don’t really need to be there. Some of the cleaning supplies may be moved to another room, especially if they aren’t used in the kitchen exclusively, suggests Kyle who is with Imagine Maids of Atlanta. You might be storing grocery items in the kitchen that would do better in a pantry or another room where they won’t be taking up space. Look for opportunities to clear up space in the kitchen by removing some unnecessary items.
If you want a more efficient kitchen that looks organized and is easy to work with, then these tips will help you to do that. Putting these into practice will also help you with kitchen safety, reducing the risk of falls and slips and helping to keep pests out of your kitchen.