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Let’s face it – every year we make the same old resolutions – lose weight, join a gym, cut down on the alcohol - and by February 1 we’re back on the sofa, scoffing chocolates and glugging the chardonnay like it’s going out of fashion! So, this new year could be the time to try something a little bit different. If we take control of our surroundings, it stands to reason that it maybe (and I understand that’s a massive maybe) easier to take control of our lives. As the kitchen is the hub of the household and the centre of activity in a lot of homes – if we can get this space organised – we can make our everyday lives a lot easier – and hopefully all those resolutions that have fallen by the wayside won’t seem so daunting after all.
Is your kitchen bursting at the seams with appliances that are supposed to make your life easier, but just end up gathering dust and severely limiting your elbow room? If so, then it’s time to clear up that clutter and re-discover those sleek, streamlined counter tops you spent so much of your hard-earned money on. The term ‘appliance garage’ seems to be making the rounds at the moment – but basically any storage area where you can keep your gadgets out of sight when not in use will do. Make use of wirework that you can pull out to facilitate easy access to otherwise unused corners of your cupboards and you’ll be surprised how much clutter can be kept out of sight (and free of dust) ‘til you actually need to use it.
Take a seat
And we don’t mean on the sofa with your tea on your lap. If possible, invest in a kitchen table and chairs – and those mealtimes that are usually spent in front of the TV suddenly become a social occasion where you re-connect with your family. Those meals that you so lovingly prepare deserve to be savoured, so take your time and let your body recognise what you’re putting into it. You’ll be less likely to be raiding the fridge by 10 o’clock because you’ve forgotten what you’ve eaten.
Save the planet
Kitchens are a massive drain on energy and resources – from electricity to water – you could literally be pouring money down the drain. Wherever possible re-use your water – wash your veggies in a bowl and then use it to water your plants. Over-filling the kettle is a huge drain on electricity - the energy wasted boiling an over-filled kettle in one week could power a TV for a whole day! Remember to re-cycle wherever possible. You can have bins fitted into your cabinets so that you can keep all your recyclable materials tidy and separate. Think of the convenience - no more traipsing out to the bins on a dark rainy night in your slippers and PJs!
Join the generation game
If you teach your kids how to cook and bake, you really will set them up for life. As well as being able to look after themselves when they’re older, learning from experience is a massive bonus. Show them how to weigh and measure and discuss the ingredients and where they come from. It’ll also be good for their fine motor skills, co-ordination and of course, working as a team. Remember to keep it fun though – the journey is to be enjoyed as much as the destination. Don’t stress about the mess – let it happen and then clean up together at the end.
By keeping your kitchen stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables it will be a little easier to make healthy choices and you’ll be inadvertently keeping one of those resolutions that you make from one year to the next. Compared to processed food they have a lot more nutritional value and so your health will benefit long term as well as your waistline and your body will be able to perform to its maximum potential.
Planning for the zombie apocalypse?
We thought not – so you can probably ditch that expired tin of processed peas that has been loitering on your shelf since the year dot. Start the new year on a tidy note by cleaning out your pantry and cupboards. Dispose of expired foods and donate to a food charity any non-perishable foods that are edible but that you may not need or want.
Kitchens are where memories are made – friends and family gather together, food, love and laughter are shared and lives are lived. As in life your kitchen will sometimes get messy and chaotic, but give it a little TLC and it will reward you with happy vibes for years to come. Once you’ve created your organised, orderly room, take the time to enjoy the space and reap the rewards of all your hard work. So, pop a cork, crank the music up and dance round your kitchen like no one’s watching!