Many student kitchens look like a tip with old food lying around, pots and pans in the sink, and messy cupboards in which you can’t find anything when you need it. To get things in order, follow these tips:
Regularly check food for freshness
Once a week, preferably as you’re making a shopping list, go through the fridge and fruit/veggie bowl to check the state of what’s in there. If anything looks like it’s going off, throw it away immediately. If you don’t, your best case scenario is a horrible mess in your fridge in a day or two or a plague of flies hanging around the kitchen, and your worst case is food poisoning. Who needs that? If you’re not sure, rather don’t take chances.
Decant dry foods
Rather than leaving opened bags of rice, flour, beans, salt, etc, lying around, decant them into either plastic or glass containers. You don’t have to buy these new – reuse honey jars and ice-cream or take-away containers. So long as it’s clean, in reasonable shape and seals, you can use it. If it’s not transparent though, be sure to label it so it doesn’t get forgotten. Then stack these neatly in cupboards, saving you space too.
Manage your waste
If you recycle, good for you! Keep recyclable items in a separate place for easy disposal next time you pass a recycling centre. For the rest of your waste, especially food, consider keeping a small bag handy for that day, tied after each use to discourage bugs. The thin bags that you weigh fruit and veg in at the supermarket work well. Then at the end of each day, seal the bag and put it in the main rubbish bin. That way, you won’t have horrible smells or maggots emerging from your bin after a few hot days.
Keep sinks and counter tops clean
Wash up and wipe down counters as soon as you’re finished eating, or better still – cooking. Anyone else using the kitchen after you won’t have to contend with your food crumbs scattered across the counter or dirty dishes in the sink. Plus you’ll be cutting down on attracting flies, ants and cockroaches.
A clean and inviting kitchen encourages you to cook and eat well, which helps you function better in other areas of your life. It’s well worth a bit of time and effort.