Make the most of a small kitchen

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  I recently moved into a new apartment that has a kitchen with about half the storage space—and floor space—as my previous one. For days, I was stuck unable to unpack several boxes because I simply had nowhere to store the gear inside. The kitchen has the distinction of being one of the most heavily used rooms in the house as well as usually one of the smallest. All that kitchen usage requires a lot of equipment. What can you do if your kitchen simply won’t accommodate yours? Here are a few ideas, all of which I am putting to good use in my own tiny galley. These … [More]

How To Organize Your Spices

Row of jars with spices

  We’re moving, and the new place has a smaller kitchen than I’m used to. We currently store our voluminous spice collection on a little set of bleachers on the counter, but there won’t be room for such indulgences in our new apartment. What to do with all those jars?   A little poking around online told me there are many spice-storage options. The only question is which to choose? For a small place, a wall-mounted model is probably best. These come in a large variety to match your unique style flavor. Another option for those who lack counter space is the in-drawer rack. Some of them even expand to … [More]

How To Organize Your Recipe Collection


  It’s one of the perennial kitchen problems: how to keep your recipes straight. Do you always forget which book that favorite hors d’oeuvre is in? Or always find yourself rifling through a drawer stuffed with printouts when you decide to make those awesome cookies? Well, you’re not alone. What is the best way to organize this mess and have the recipes you use most easily at hand? There are as many specific solutions as there are cooks, but most of them fall in three categories: (1) keep it on paper, (2) go digital, and (3) open an app. Keep it on paper Your first priority should be … [More]

Kitchen Organization Tricks

Modern kitchen

  Having trouble keeping your cooking space in line? Kitchens are notoriously difficult to keep straight. Tips and tricks for organizing this heavily used space are a dime a dozen, but some of the most sensible are worth sharing. Check out these useful ideas. Store your cookbooks well, whether in a shelf built into the wall, in baskets in a cupboard, or on the bottom shelf of a side table. Then put all those stray recipes you’ve printed off the Internet in a binder, categorized by type. Detangle your pots and lids. Consider hanging your pots on an overhead rack and using an in-cupboard rack to keep the … [More]

Clever Food Storage Tips


  Food storage is the most common and relentless storage task most of us do. It’s more work than it seems at first, since it takes a bit more than just cramming everything in the fridge to make your groceries last as long as they should. If you know how to properly—or in some cases ingeniously—store your food, you’ll be glad you made the extra effort. There are myriad tips to collect regarding wrapping, freezing, and bagging. Here are just a few of the most effective.   Keep your salad fresh using a paper towel or bath towels. Use tin foil to keep celery crisp. Freeze wine in … [More]

Meal Clean Up Made Simple

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My boyfriend and I have had a deal: I cook the dinner and he cleans it up. There are days, though, that I have too much going on and he does the cooking and the cleaning up. And vice versa. When I am cooking AND cleaning up, I am always amazed at the workload difference between cleaning up while you cook and waiting to clean until after you eat. I have discovered a few tricks over the years on organizing your meal preparation for minimal clean up.   One-Pot Meals Crock pots—or slow cookers—are one of my preferred methods of cooking dinner during the workweek. There are thousands … [More]

Kitchen Organization – Perfecting the Pantry

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  I dream of a perfect pantry with matching jars holding a vast array of dried goods. In this dream food closet, the boxes are color coordinated, the vintage metal bins line the bottom shelf, and the bottles are sparkling and perfectly stacked. Suddenly, Dorothy and her ruby slippers are there in my yellow-floored pantry. We twirl around and I join her excited chant of: “Baskets, Containers, and Jars—oh my!”   Baskets Plastic, wicker, jute, metal or straw: the material is up to you, your style, and which you would prefer to touch multiple times a day. Baskets are my favorite in the refrigerator. If you’ve never seen … [More]

Conquering Your Cookbook Collection

Extra Space Storage

Ok, I’ll admit it – I have a problem with food. The problem is that I love it! If you follow me on Twitter (@joshuazerkel) or on Pinterest (Joshua Zerkel), you’ve probably noticed that many of my musings are about food – what I’ve been eating and/or what I’d like to try. I’m always interested in what’s new – and sometimes this means having lots of cookbooks around. Cookbooks are great, but just like everything else, they can become a challenge to manage if you don’t keep them organized and under control. Here are a few ideas for getting your cookbooks wrangled: Minimize. Unlike most other things you … [More]

Kitchen Organization Tips: Make Cooking Easier


Whether you want to prepare gourmet meals or just get dinner on the table quickly, organizing your kitchen will make it easier for you to cook. Clear clutter. Mysterious items can migrate to the backs of cabinets and the depths of drawers. Clear out things that you never use and you’ll find you have more space than you thought. Toss orphan plastic container lids, spices from the last century, and gadgets that seemed useful when seen on TV (how many hard boiled eggs do you make? do you eat so many mangoes that you need a special slicer for them?) Easy essentials. Make it easy to reach the … [More]

Unconventional Storage Containers – A Four Part Series

Hi Readers:For the next four weeks, each Monday I’ll be looking at an area of the house, and exploring how you can get it organized. Now for me, I like to be clean enough so I don’t have to stress, but organized to where I can find everything when I need to. I’ve found I can keep my home organized without spending big bucks on plastic dividers and fancy boxes.  And it’s decorative as well!  With a little organization (or un-organization) and these simple tips you can use your own unconventional storage containers as well.  Now on to the kitchen. When I first set out to clean up … [More]