Today is Monday, and that means everybody is probably busy. It also means the kitchen is likely to be active, as people come and go at all times, looking for food. Therefore, today on “Select-an-Effort: Organizing Tasks for 2023” we are going to consider your collection of kitchen utensils.
Depending on how much you cook, and on how big your kitchen is, this category might contain the following:
- Cooking Spoon
- Wooden Spoon
- Slotted Spoon
- Spider Strainer
- Pasta Spoon
- Potato Masher
- Vegetable Peeler
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Micro plane
- Melon Baller
- Can Opener
- Small Whisks
- Pastry Brush
- Lemon/Lime Squeezer
- Egg Separator
- Meat Mallet
- Rolling Pin
- BBQ Skewers
- Apple/Strawberry Corer
- Knife Sharpener
- Bench Scraper
- Avocado Slicer
You may have some other tools as well.
As always, you can put in a bit of time or a lot of time, depending on how you are feeling. Here are the options:
If you only have a few minutes, take a quick look through your large cooking utensils. They may be in a drawer and/or in a container on the counter. See if you can find a couple that have “yucked out;” the plastic has melted or discolored, the handle has cracked, etc. Pitch these.
Gather all of your large cooking utensils to a sorting surface. Sort them by function, so you can see how many you actually have, and compare them to one another. First remove any that you never use. These items take up a lot of space, so it is important to keep only the pieces that you truly need. Also, as in the “Low Effort” task, remove any that aren’t in good shape and throw those away.
Now look at the sorted groupings of the utensils you use, and mindfully select which to keep. There is no rule for how many is the “right” number. However, carefully consider how often you use each one. For example, you may have bought or received a 3-pack of whisks, but do you really need three? Perhaps one will suffice.
Once you’ve made your selections, reload them into your storage locations. If you have large drawers with no dividers, something like this bamboo organizer or this plastic organizer might come in handy.
Note any large utensils that you need to replace and make a plan for how and when you will do this. You might be able to get some good deals with the holiday seasons recently concluded.
If you have a bit more time, dig into your collection of small utensils. These may be scattered throughout your kitchen, so you might need to open all the drawers to find them all. Bring them all to a sorting surface (e.g., the kitchen island) and group like with like. This takes time because we tend to have many small utensils, including duplicates (e.g., three sets of measuring spoons).
Once everything is sorted, the process is the same as it was for the large utensils. Small utensils tend to have more specialized purposes, so make sure that the pieces you keep “justify their real estate” in your drawer. For instance, if you seldom eat avocados, you probably don’t need a slicer.
When returning items to your drawers, make sure you have sufficient structure to keep things from sloshing around. There are many options for kitchen drawer inserts. A simple cutlery organizer can be great for small utensils, or an expandable organizer with lots of compartments. Even small boxes tucked into your drawer can do that trick.
I always wipe drawers down when they are empty, and then reload. You can also add drawer liner to keep things clean and in place.
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This project is usually very rewarding. Will you give it a try?