TRUSTED REGINA home cleaning experts!
Here they share a tip on 5 Smart Ways to Improve Your Kitchen on a Budget:
No other room in the home requires the high level of functionality of a kitchen. The kitchen needs to be easy to work in and at its highest performance level, especially for cooking and cleaning. Knowing how to improve your kitchen’s lighting and décor, alone, will take you a long way. Making improvements to the kitchen’s organized layout will reduce the steps it takes to access what you need, saving you time and energy. There are inexpensive ways to organize and improve your kitchen, to get the most from it while working. Here are five:
1. Determine your ‘work triangle’ – for a better work flow
Design experts call the kitchen’s three main areas ‘the work triangle’, referring to the triangular pattern the placement of the refrigerator, sink, and stove create. The reason many kitchens are set up this way is to reduce the amount of steps it takes to travel between major task areas. If this layout doesn’t translate well in your kitchen, then define your triangle not by appliances, but by zones. Redefine the zones to reflect a (1) prep zone – countertop, island, cutting board, (2) wet zone – sink, and (3) cook zone – stove, oven, microwave. These ‘work zones’ will serve as a guide when organizing your kitchen, making it more enjoyable to work in.
2. Switch items to a different cabinet – for a better location
Storing kitchen items in the area where they are used will save time and energy while working. Move the items you need to access while in your ‘work zones’ to nearby cabinets and drawers. Spices and oils are usually needed while cooking at the stove. For this reason, store them nearby, yet not too close to the heat so that they do not lose their quality. For greater ease when serving a meal, keep plates stored on the same side of the kitchen as the cutlery. Store drinking glasses near the dishwasher for ease when putting away, yet also near the refrigerator to make getting a drink easier. Consider setting up a kitchen recycling center close to the sink to eliminate extra steps to rinse them. Going through items and moving them around also gives you an opportunity to purge the kitchen of anything you no longer want or need.
- Merry Maids has a systemized approach to cleaning your kitchen, using colour-coded microfibre cloths to clean kitchen surfaces. This eliminates the potential for cross-contamination from other rooms and cleaning surfaces.
3. Maximize and improve kitchen storage space – for greater accessibility
Take a look inside each cabinet and drawer to see if you could benefit from a drawer divider, tiered shelf or rack. These organizers are abundantly available in stores; there is a gadget available to improve storage in every area of the kitchen. Since blindly purchasing everything related to cabinet organization will get costly, take a moment to decide what you need before heading off to the store.
A small ‘3 tiered-shelf’ is perfect for storing spices; the back two rows are slightly higher than the front to help you see all of the spices in the cabinet. Some ‘tiered shelves’ are adjustable for a tight fit within a cabinet. With a simple turn, ‘lazy susans’ give access to items in the back of a shelf or cabinet. ‘Over the cabinet’ gadgets hang on the underside of cabinet doors to help stow away anything from cleaning supplies to plastic bags. ‘Drawer dividers’ are helpful to caddy cutlery, spatulas, and knives in an organized fashion. ‘Angular wire racks’ neatly and uniformly store canned foods; the cans stack about two to three high on their sides, and the next can rolls to the front as you remove one.
To maximize the small sliver of floor space in between the refrigerator and cabinets, place a portable ‘slide-out storage tower’ to house small items you want nearby.
4. Make small upgrades to the kitchen – for improved functionality
Many improvements to the kitchen can be easily made with an electric screw driver or a call to your local handyman. Improving your kitchen’s lighting is a relatively small fix which greatly benefits your ability to effectively work in the kitchen, relieving the eye strain and fatigue that comes from working under poor lighting. Besides the more obvious overhead light fixture, there are a slew of other lighting options to explore.
The best place to start is to check if your ‘work zones’ need better task lighting. Pendants are popular task lights for countertops; they are especially helpful for lighting up the chopping and food prep zone. Upper cabinets cast shadows onto the countertops below them; for this reason, to give countertops an additional layer of indirect lighting, under-cabinet lights may be at the top of your list. If more overhead lighting is needed, then consider having recessed lights or flexible track fixtures installed. In addition to lighting, easy upgrades can also be made to kitchen cabinets.
Taking a few measurements and purchasing a ‘roll out shelf’ or a ‘sliding insert’ in the correct size gives you a semi-permanent storage solution which can be fastened to the base of a cabinet with an electric screw driver. These organizers neatly store cookware, lids, and cookie sheets separately, in their own sliding shelf or slot, to make it easier to see and grab what you need when cooking. Because they are screwed into the cabinet base, they are fairly sturdy and can withstand an adequate amount of weight.
5. Keep the kitchen well-maintained – for a better environment
How you maintain your kitchen will either positively or negatively affect your ability to work in it from day to day. Make the kitchen more accessible by striving to keep countertops clean and clear. To help you stay organized, try to put everything back in its place before leaving the kitchen, even if you are just getting snacks or a drink. During cooking, adopt a clean-as-you-go system to keep the mess from growing too large and requiring a next day cleanup. This mess will slow you down from cooking the next day, and possibly discourage you from wanting to cook altogether.
Keeping a clean look and feel in the kitchen also has to do with how it is decorated. Even though décor styles vary from person to person, it is highly recommended to keep kitchen décor to a minimum. Even if the décor is not physically in the way of a work space, too much décor can give the kitchen a cluttered look. The same idea goes with small appliances; only keep a couple on the counter, if any, and tuck away the others in more-distant storage.
Building a kitchen with expensive custom cabinetry may be everyone's decorating fantasy, but most people have to work with what they've got. Despite your kitchen layout and size, you can make your kitchen compatible with exactly how you work. Making a few small upgrades will give you a fully functioning kitchen to make your time working in it more enjoyable.
- Did you know that Merry Maids is celebrating our 35th year of experience in the residential home cleaning industry? We understand that every home is unique and priorities are different. This is why our cleaning services are individually tailored to suit each customers’ home and budget.