5 Steps To Take the Stress Out of Your Kitchen

posted in: Cook

Most of us spend more time organizing our closets than we do our kitchen. Research shows we spend the most amount of time at home in our kitchen, more time than any other room. What’s more, I am betting you moved into a new kitchen, put everything in cabinets and drawers and never once re-organized. Sound familiar? Over time, neglecting your kitchen will add up.

Unless you are blessed with extreme organizational skills and serious OCD, you are probably experiencing some amount of stress and frustration every time you cook. (And we aren’t even talking about getting the recipe right!) We are talking about how you use your kitchen. Stress leads to quick tempers and bad behavior and unfortunately, it is handed off to your friends and family in an instant.

Now take a deep breathe and relax. Follow these five steps and watch how alleviating stress leaves you happy and best of all able to focus on what really matters…enjoying great food with friends and family!

Of course, if you need help getting an action plan (available via phone/computer) or would like to have Caroline take the action for you,click here. Because if this doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will. It can all happen in about a day or so.

Five ways to alleviate the stress you may feel when cooking in your kitchen:

  1. Storage: The single most difficult thing in your kitchen is how and where to store everything. Real estate is scarce in most kitchens. Am I right? Decide today that you will spend five minutes-put a timer on-and move three things that are either in the wrong place, or in the way or are too difficult to manage. Some examples are heavy pots and pans, the machine you do not use that remains on the counter, the coffee tea and sugar canisters you do not use but leave no room for the cutting board, the plastic lids that fall out of the cabinet every time you open it, or the broken items you will never use again. Pro tip: Store your plastic lids in one large container and fish them out when needed.
  2. Find What You Are Looking For: If you cannot see the item you need, chances are that you will get frustrated looking for it. Simple, no? Use clear plastic containers and zip lock bags to store all the doohickey’s you need for certain projects and store them away from the everyday items to help simplify your kitchen. Use the deep recesses of your cabinets and drawers to place the packaged items. Now your drawers which will be half-empty and will allow for easy viewing and searching. Pro tip: Label the containers and the inside of the cabinet to remind yourself what you stored away.
  3. Pantry: The lofty goal of everything in a pretty storage container works well for those that cook often. If you peel through ingredients faster than you can replenish them, you can buy glass jars and mason jars and baskets and more. If that’s not you, I suggest you skip the extra containers. Otherwise you end up with half-full containers of stale food and new packaged items sitting on top of each other taking up valuable room and wasting food. Pro tip: I group items together for how I cook. All starches are in one place, all breakfast items in another, all baking in yet another. Sauces together, snacks and canned soups together. That way, I never wonder if I have rice or pasta or a snack. I can inventory the pantry in seconds to complete my shopping list. Labels can help others keep order by clearly marked areas.
  4. Decorate: We all buy that one cool bowl, candle or decorative item we hope will transform our kitchen. I take one minute while I am in the kitchen cooking to ‘spruce’ it up. From turning on my favorite accent lights to lighting a candle after a meal, or pulling out fun cocktail napkins for happy hour, I find a reason to celebrate in my kitchen everyday. Pro tip: Keep a storage cabinet for all your fun items and rotate them so you have fresh experiences and aren’t trying to vibe too many things at once.
  5. Purge: I know that you have a least one entire cabinet worth of items that you do not want, will not use, don’t like, keep for feelings of guilt or have on hand just because. I say let them go, or they will hold onto you. And besides, now you need a fun cabinet for decor items, aka things you LOVE instead of storing things you…well, don’t like. Take a look and if you shake your head and say, “Well, I dunno…I have to keep this because…” then you are probably holding onto it for the wrong reason. Your aunt, mother, sister, brother will be so much more happy for you if you can show off all that you love and won’t remember that one thing they gave you three years ago, even last year, that you can’t stand. Fill your space with love and it will spread, like butter on hot toast. Pro tip: DO THIS STEP FIRST.

Tackle a few of those and watch the domino effect it will have and how it leaves you feeling lighter next time you are in the kitchen.


The Epicurean Goddess