INDIANAPOLIS - It's time to move stuff in your cabinets, dust out the crumbs and replace worn-out pots and pans. Spring is a perfect time to reevaluate the layout and organization of your kitchen. Not only will you freshen up your kitchen space, but it will also make things a lot easier when it comes to cooking.
Three helpful hints for good kitchen feng shui
Store and arrange items by use
This applies to not only food items, but also to utensils and cookware.
For food, place items that you use on a regular basis– salt, sugar, and flour for example – within reach, and move those that are seldom used out of the way.
Organize canned goods by type (most used toward the front, least used in the back) with labels facing forward.
Cookware should be placed where it is quick to use. Neatly organize and place your often-used pots and pans close to the stove. If accessible, the drawer under the oven is perfect for sheet pans and broiler pans.
Group similar items
For something as involved as baking, it helps to have everything you need close at hand for stress-free cooking. In my kitchen, I have a cabinet strictly for baking supplies. Underneath the cabinet is my stand mixer. It is located close to the cutting board area as well.
You can also use this method for dishes. Place all of your plates, saucers and glasses near your silverware for easier access when it comes time to set the table. If your little one is tasked with setting the table for family meals, this is a great way to make it easier for them.
Check expiration dates and label, label, label
No one wants to be labeled, but your food should be. Even non-perishable items can go bad. A great way to spring clean and organize is to spend some time checking, labeling and sorting through your pantry.
In the freezer, make sure food items are labeled with the date they were placed there. This is a great way to let you know A) what that frozen block of green stuff is and B) when it was put in the freezer. Anything over a year should be discarded.
A cleaner kitchen is not only easier to cook in but also makes cooking a joy, not a chore.
Pro-tip: Reuse coffee cans to store flour, sugars and meal. These air-tight containers are a great way to keep baking goods dry. You can decorate the cans anyway you like, as well.
For more on food and for more recipes check out twinklevanwinkle.com.
Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and appeared on "The Best Of..." in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.