When it comes to the kitchen, it can be a challenge for many to keep it neat and uncluttered. This is particularly so for homeowners who are avid cooks, as well as those with small kitchens. Often, the countertops are filled not only with appliances, but also small objects required to be within easy reach so as to aid the cooking process.
That said, freeing up space on the kitchen countertop is necessary so that you will have a comfortable working space for efficiency and safety. Consider the regular use of knives, hot bowls and glass jars, and you’ll know that these could easily be hazards and potential accidents. Keeping clutter-free kitchen countertops ensure that these items are placed in safe zones away from the edge of the countertops.
Limit the number of appliances
Where possible, cull the number of appliances you have on the kitchen countertop. Place no more than three appliances on your kitchen countertops, depending on those that are frequently used. These can include anything from the rice cooker and hot water dispenser to food processor and microwave oven. These appliances are among the largest in the kitchen, so anything more than three appliances and the kitchen countertops would start to look messy. Anything that is not used daily should be stowed away out of sight, but make sure they are easily accessible.
Consider built-in appliances
If you’re planning your kitchen renovations, why not go for built-in appliances? Although they tend to cost more than freestanding appliances, built-in appliances are great space savers. Some brands offer a series of ovens, from microwave ovens to combi ovens, in standard sizes. If you’re a heavy oven user, either for roasting or baking, then talk to your interior designer about implementing built-in appliances. There are many interior design options; these ovens can be arranged side by side on the bottom or upper cabinets, or even along a column of cabinets. Even if you only use one oven, a built-in appliance helps tremendously in saving space, especially in a small kitchen.
Give everything its own place
Do you really need the peeler to be placed within sight every day? Are there items that could be kept in the drawers instead of on the kitchen countertop all the time? Take a good, hard look at your kitchen and redefine your processes and steps. For example, keeping items away immediately would mean wiping them dry immediately after use. Have a dishcloth conveniently placed near your kitchen sink, so such items can be wiped in a jiffy and then stored away.
Finish tasks from A to Z
A meal prepared at home requires a series of tasks. First, there is the preparation stage, be it defrosting meat, washing vegetables, chopping up onions and so on. Then, there is the cooking stage, where you whip up your go-to recipes either in the wok, pan or pot. Following the meal, there is then washing up to do, a stage that few home cooks like. These pre- and post-meal tasks can be done in one cycle without you having to leave the kitchen. Instead of leaving the sink full of dishes after the meal, take the few minutes to wash up and stow away the plates and cups. Wipe down the kitchen counter, hob and walls and you’ll have a gleaming kitchen in no time. Leaving any of these stages unfinished would mean not only a messy kitchen, but also a layer of grease that would take much more time to remove.
Make use of walls
The kitchen countertop is often placed approximately at waist height, leaving room for bare walls before the upper cabinets begin somewhere at eye level. Make full use of the walls and backsplash. If you love spices and use them almost every day, allocate space to mount a spice rack. This keeps all your spices in full view, so it’s easier to check whenever any of them run low. And, of course, it gives easy access whenever you’re preparing your favourite curry recipe or marinating your chicken roast. You may even want to consider hanging your everyday kitchen tools, such as whisks, spatulas and turners.
Keep things out of the kitchen
The small kitchens of today are a common complaint among homeowners in Singapore today. One of the ways to tackle this issue is to take some of the things out of the kitchen itself. If you can’t do without your state-of-the-art coffee machine, then bring it out to the living room instead. That way, you’ll enjoy the aroma of your favourite coffee in the rest of the home too! Some items can also be placed on a moveable trolley instead. This helps free up your cabinet space so that fewer items end up on the kitchen countertop. Love baking on some weekends? Place all your baking products on a kitchen trolley. Store the trolley in another part of the home and wheel it out to the kitchen when you need it.