Clear the Kitchen: Cooking and Disposing the Right Way
We spend many hours in the kitchen, so it is essential to create a room which is practical for us for cooking and for family time.
The first factor to consider is the space you have available. Is there room in the kitchen for a dining table and chairs, or is it standing room only? Either way is fine as long as we respect the reality and don’t try to cram a breakfast bar and bench into a tiny space and then wonder why we all end up falling over each other.
If you have a kitchen-diner, this can make family life much easier. You can keep an eye on the kids while they are playing or doing their homework, all while you chop, cook, or pack lunches for school the next day. If your kitchen is small, but open-plan living appeals to you, you might not find the cost of knocking two rooms together prohibitive, so this option is always worth exploring.
The next problem to approach is that of the kitchen design itself, and this needs to be practical, ergonomic, and of course, beautifully designed, so you enjoy spending time in the space. Ergonomics are particularly important as the kitchen, unlike any other room in a house, is a place where physical work takes place. The less movement you need to do in terms of bending, turning, and walking, the more you can focus on the task at hand. Therefore, the position of appliances and the heights of the counters will all play a part in the kitchen’s efficiency. They need to cater to the specific needs of the individuals in the house as well, taking into account differences in height and physical capabilities.
Also, the kitchen needs to be a safe space for the user and any children or pets in the household. So always think about where dangerous chemicals are stored and whether sockets are protected. Make sure you keep the stove protected from children.
Waste and Recycling
Waste management is essential to the smooth running of a kitchen. A bone of contention every week can turn out to be whose turn it is to take out the rubbish, so it’s best to try to avoid this issue at source.
Set up a system in the kitchen, which includes multiple small bins to sort the different items for recycling as you throw the items away. This should include paper and cardboard, glass, plastics, aluminum, and tin cans. If possible, also create a compost heap to which you can add food scraps and garden clippings to. If you are green-fingered, this can turn into great natural fertilizer for the garden.
Appliances and Efficiency
The final piece of the puzzle for attaining an efficient kitchen is to make sure you lower your use of natural resources, such as energy and water.
If you have an old fridge or washing machine which needs replacing, always shop around and buy the most energy- and water-efficient model you can afford. A dishwasher also uses less water than washing up by hand, as long as you remember it should, alongside washing machines, always be run on a full load.
When you are preparing food, it can also be helpful to install taps which are foot-operated or which shut-off automatically after use, so that no excess water ends up going down the drain.
If you are following to lessen your energy bills and make life easier for yourself, you can use appliances such as slow cookers. You do need to get organized with your ingredients and switch on the cooker early in the morning, but they use a fraction of the energy of a conventional oven, and they offer a ready-made meal that only needs serving once dinner time comes around.
All of these steps offer efficiency and practicality, which is essential in our busy lives, whether we live alone or need to cook for a large family. They can also turn the kitchen from a place of drudgery into space where we enjoy spending time.