Cleaning and organizing our kitchen is like making the bed in the morning: it makes us feel like we’ve got our sh** together… even if it’s just an illusion.
Thinking we could use a little dose of that feeling right about now, we turned to Marie Kondo (the tidying expert with a Netflix show, dedicated to transforming messy and cluttered spaces) and her much-hyped “KonMari Method” for inspiration.
Ideally, you’re supposed to tidy by category: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items – only keeping things that spark joy, and letting the rest go. Would her methodology work for our kitchen? Because we’re hungry for some focus, we kind of just went for it. You too? Read on.
1. Let It Go
The first rule of KonMari is discarding. We started with our cabinets, mercilessly passing judgment on the little-used and the useless. Egg slicer? Electric quesadilla maker? Goodbye. Next, we applied this same ruthlessness to our pantry: is this a beloved ingredient that makes our bellies happy? Do we need this to sustain our families? If the answer is no, consider donating to Central Texas Food Bank (they do pickups, too). One person’s pantry reject is another person’s recipe inspiration!
2.Put Things In Place
When our food is organized, it makes it easier to see what’s available and set the menu (plus it looks nice). When it comes to fruits and veggies, the trick is keeping the categories separate. If you don’t, your veggies won’t last as long. Certain fruits (like bananas, tomatoes, and apples to name a few), give off high levels of ethylene, which will cause vegetables to spoil. See our full produce storage guide for details on how and where to store.
The top-shelf of your refrigerator is the coldest. For that reason, this is the best spot in the house for milk and other items that need to be kept cold.
Another candidate for the top-shelf. The colder, the better!
Place in the refrigerator door. This is the warmest part of the fridge – pickled items and things like mustard and ketchup that contain vinegar are perfect for this spot.
Use clear containers and mason jars for bulk items. That way, you can avoid having multiple already-opened bags of the same thing (rice, for example) proliferating on your shelves. Check out our Pinterest board for thrifty and creative solutions. Looking for a way to label things? No need for a label maker to mark your jars—all you need is a paint pen.
3.Make Your Food Last
Want to live a zero waste lifestyle and save your food for months to come? Two words: Freeze It.
Broths and soups: Portion into airtight, freezer-safe containers and stash away for later.
Frozen vegetables: They will keep for about 3 months. Perfect for soups, stir-fries, and roasts. All you have to do is blanch or steam and place in a freezer bag or sheet pan with plastic wrap. Don’t freeze: cucumbers and lettuce.
Frozen fruit: Chop, place in freezer bag! Toss in smoothies or baked desserts.
4.Imagine The Kitchen You Want To Cook In
A critical part of KonMari is imagining the life you want to live. Because we’re food people, we wanted to make it about our kitchen. Personally, our ideal kitchen is Better Homes and Garden beautiful (see our Social Media Managers Kitchen in the first photo above for reference) AND green as can be. So, after evaluating what our kitchen aspirations were, we decided to outline some key things to implement:
For a Greener Kitchen
Sparkling countertops: Green Tea & Lime Multi-Surface Cleaner – all natural, non-toxic, and plant-based, and based out of Austin, Texas.
Ditch the paper towels: swap for cloth rags! We also love Reusable Paper Towels.
Compost tip: Use the freezer to store your compost (place inside old plastic bag or reusable container). It’s odor-free, fruit-fly free. A reminder that compostable materials include fruit and vegetable scraps, non-greasy food scraps (rice, pasta, bread, cereal) coffee grounds, tea bags, egg and nut shells, pits, cut or dried flowers, and houseplants.
For a Prettier Kitchen
Dedicate 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening to declutter your kitchen countertops. Ask your kiddos to help out!
Kitchen-items belong in the kitchen: stacks of papers, piles of miscellaneous items, keys – it’s easy to let them all collect out of habit, but if you want to simplify….get ’em out!
Now that you’ve manifested all of your kitchen dreams, time to KonMari! Let us know how it goes (or maybe it doesn’t) by sharing your process. Tag us at @farmhousedelivery on Instagram so we can see all the magic happen. Stay healthy and have a good week, friends!