A kitchen truly is the heart of a home. It’s where families gather on holidays — and every day — to enjoy meals together and enjoy each other. The room where so much of family time is spent should be well-organized and inviting. If your kitchen is in need of a little TLC, read on for tips on how to make the most of it.
Dishwasher do’s and don’ts
Ever go to remove “clean” dishes from the dishwasher only to find that they are anything but? Well, believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to load your dishwasher. Good Housekeeping shares the first three basic rules:
- Pre-rinse if dishes are not going to be washed right away
- Secure plastic ware so it doesn’t fall to the bottom during the cycle
- Avoid stacking items — if the water can’t reach something, it won’t be cleaned
Further, experts suggest placing cups on the top rack — between the tines — as the prongs can leave water spots (which no one wants). Angle the cups as much as you can to avoid water puddles collecting at the base and spilling over (and unload the bottom rack first to avoid any drip down).
Load the bottom rack strategically — that means loading plates and bowls so the dirty side faces the water spray and angle pots and pans downward for optimum results. When it comes to silverware, place some utensils handle-side up and others handle-side down for the best possible wash.
Spruce up your spice rack
We’ve all rummaged through the cupboards for the sea salt or the garlic powder and knocked everything over in the process. Frustrating! Get creative with how you store your spices.
One ingenious woman who had no extra space in her kitchen took it upon herself to create an over-the-stove magnetic spice holder. By drilling two metal tiles into the wall as a backsplash, and using magnets and hexagonal jars, she created a handy spice rack that was both easy and appealing to the eye.
If a backsplash won’t work in your kitchen, you can create something similar in your cabinets using magnetic strips. Another option is to bag up your spices and hang them on a repurposed window treatment rod and mount on the back of a pantry door — particularly convenient if you buy spices in bulk.
Appliances that go the distance
Who wants to buy a refrigerator every five years? When buying appliances, research brands with a good reputation for longevity. If you’re looking to purchase appliances that truly live up to their name, this list from Consumer Reports is a good resource. Among the appliances mentioned are the Sub-Zero refrigerator, GE wall oven, Wolf range and Miele dishwasher.
Also, consider buying a home warranty to cover you if something happens to any of your large appliances or home systems. Warranties are different from homeowners insurance in that they cover appliances, home systems or both, when they break down from everyday wear and tear. Having one in place could save you a lot of money that would otherwise come out of your pocket.
Now, if you’d excuse us, all this talk of home organization has us in the mood to clean house and do some organizing of our own.