I thought it was worth writing a list of all my kitchen-based “hacks”, so here goes!
1. Keep hand soap next to the sink
People underestimate how often you wash your hands in the kitchen. It’s one of the most common places to need hand wash, and yet, most peoples’ kitchens don’t seem to keep any. This begs the question: what do they use to wash their hands? Dishwashing fluid is abrasive on your hands and dries them out (I tried it once for literally one day, and my hands did not feel good afterwards). And you really should be using soap when washing your hands, so anyone who just runs them under the tap is wasting their time. Let’s all make our lives easier and start keeping some hand soap by the sink!
2. Keep a hand towel next to the tea towels
In the same vein as hack #1, I recommend keeping an actual hand towel in the kitchen. Tea towels aren’t as absorbent as hand towels, and I’ve noticed that in houses that use a tea towel *as* a hand towel, the tea towel is often soaked. It’s much more pleasant to have a dry towel to use, so I recommend keeping a hand towel next to your tea towels specifically for this purpose
3. Put loose items (including food items) in containers
In order to keep the counters as clear as possible, keep things in baskets and spice racks and bowls. The psychological difference between something just lying “on the counter”, and lying “in a basket on the counter”, is huge. This includes food items – fresh fruit and vegetables, spices, oils. In the first case, things will pile up, and eventually there won’t be any free space at all. In the second, you might end up with slightly fuller baskets than you started, but there are strict limits as to *how* much things can pile up, and you’ll never end up with the entire counter covered as there’s a defined space where these items go.
4. Use a bin without a lid
This one is slightly counter-intuitive, as people think having a lid on the bin makes it smell less badly in the kitchen. And yes, that is technically true – the smells are more “locked in” to the bin, and they don’t spread as much to the rest of the kitchen. While the lid is closed. As soon as you open the lid to put something in the bin, or to take the bin bag out, that’s when it hits. That’s when the smell takes over your entire kitchen and makes everyone want to throw up. The reason for this is basically that an enclosed container full of crap will be the optimum temperature for bacteria to reproduce. In the same way that bins smell worse in the summer, bins smell worse if they have a lid on.
Having a bin without a lid means you always, technically, have the “smell of bin” around. However, this smell won’t be as bad. Additionally, you’ll be more likely to take the bag out as soon as it starts to smell even remotely repulsive, i.e. a day or two after the rubbish begins to pile up. I’ve found that since ditching the lid, the bin hasn’t really bothered me. While we had a lid, I kid you not, I had to leave the room when the bins were being taken out (by my husband lol), and we’d have to “air the bin” out in the garden afterwards. The smell would often linger for several hours, even if I cleaned the bin quite thoroughly.
Seriously – ditch the lid. And if the smell is too bad for you to bare, it’s probably a sign you’re not taking your bins out often enough.
5. Invest in storage for your pot lids
Pot lids tend to end up all over the place. I suggest investing specifically in pot-lid storage. If you leave your pot lids on your pots, it really limits how you can stack your pots. Often balancing your lids somewhere will involve lots of rearranging and various kitchen gymnastics to use consistently. I recommend simply investing in a simple piece of storage of your choice, specifically reserved for pot lids. I used a basket which hangs off one of the drawers, as there isn’t a huge amount of space in our kitchen, but there are lots of pot lid options out there. Have a browse and see what works for you!
I hope these little hacks were helpful, and let me know if you have any other suggestions!
If you’re interested in more kitchen tips, check out my Really Easy Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Clean post! Xxx