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Four tips to speedy 30-minute dinners and 5-minute clean-ups

By Published On: June 14th, 2013
How to design an organized kitchen

There is no reason why the baby’s stuff should overwhelm your designer kitchen counter – there is still life to be enjoyed after the baby comes out.  As the heart of your home, your kitchen should be ready to handle the demands of both baby feeds as well as adult ones.  Last week, we wrote on the cardinal rules for organizing your kitchen (read the article here).  This week, we’re going to talk about the tips and tricks to handling kitchen operations like a pro.

Tip #1:  Clean up as you work

The speedy secret to sparkling kitchen counters – pack and clean up as you go along instead of doing a big clean-up after meal time.  By the time dinner is over, you’d probably be too exhausted from dealing with sweetie’s antics during meal time to do anything major afterwards.  For example, once you’re done using the items in a particular pantry basket, return it to the cupboard before you start a feed.  When there are pockets of time during cooking (e.g. while waiting for the water to boil, or the pan to heat up), instead of checking Facebook or tweeting about your latest recipe experiment , wipe down the counters, wash up at the sink or place items into the dishwasher.

Tip #2:  Take a leaf from the Boy Scouts’ book – be prepared

Always store at least one week of extra food supplies in your kitchen.  The best time to head to the store to stock up on supplies is when you open that final one-week supply of milk powder, not when there’s only one-quarter left in the last can.
And when you use up a can of powder for a feed, always open the next can and have it ready in the cupboard.  You’ll thank yourself the next time a night feed comes around.

Tip #3:  Prepare more than enough and freeze them

If you are starting to introduce semi-solids to junior, but have gone back to work full-time, preparing meals every morning for baby to take to daycare can be a struggle.  Waking up for night feeds is already tiring enough.  To maintain your sanity, try preparing several servings at a go when you are cooking the food.  When you’re done, divvy up the pureed food into small portions and freeze them in silicone ice-cube trays (get them in funky shapes!!).  When you need them, just pop a few food-cubes in the warmer and junior’s lunch pack would be ready to go.

Just remember, these food-cubes doesn’t have to be part of your kid’s everyday meal.  Do this for the days that you are busiest (usually Mondays or end-of-week) and you’d be surprised at how less manic your mornings will be.

Tip #4:  Shelves for the top, pull-out drawers for the bottom

If you are doing some renovation work before little junior arrives, here’s an awesome tip for your interior designer.  Cupboards above the kitchen counter (if you are planning on having them), or above breast level should be lined with shelves.  Cupboards below the counter, or below breast level should be lined with pull-out drawers instead.  This little tip will be your lifesaver, literally.  You can still have uniform cupboard front doors, but just have different innards.

How to design an organized kitchen

Give yourself a hand – design a kitchen that makes it easy for you to get organized. Install pull-out drawers to easily access the deep recesses below the kitchen counter. Use shelves instead of storage spaces above the counter.

Why these specifications?  To save you from being on all fours, digging through the deep, dark recesses of yours shelves to get to, say, some pots and pans.  With pull-out drawers, you get full top view of everything that is in the drawer.  No longer will you be limited to a side view of all only the first layer of things stored on a low shelf.  Now, ain’t that just fab?

And yes, we know pull-out drawers are more expensive, but you can save the thank yous for later.

The kitchen does take a little bit of work to get organized, but after your first night feed, we guarantee you’ll be glad you did it.

Have a comment or a tip to share?  Drop us a comment.

Hear from one of our clients

“San is truly a whiz at organizing.  Even my husband was amazed at the fervor and tenacity with which she went about planning, sifting out, re-organizing and labeling our stuff such that the more frequently used items are placed at easily accessible spots.   I love that everything is now labelled and has a proper space for it.   It makes maintenance much easier for me.   I did a test run with the new layout, preparing both my baby’s food as well as our dinner, and I’m pleased to report that this layout really smoothed out the workflow and maximized the use of my kitchen work triangle.  Thank you San for an awesome job!”
– Hospital Administrator, mother to Baby A

Next week:  Shave 50% off your laundry time AND improve your happiness index by 100%, part ONE.

About Edits Inc

Having a baby is one of the major turning points in a couple’s life.  Somehow, time, money and space seem to shrink with the new arrival.  For sleep-starved parents, keeping the home clean and clutter/dust/insects/germs-free often feels like raging war with an unrelenting tide.

Edits Inc is on a mission to decode home management (with a new baby in tow) into simple, easy and quick tips that’ll make your home run like clockwork, yet are light on the pocketbook.  No more laundry pile-ups, diaper-change frenzies, toy hazards and milk-powder-dusted countertops.  Just peaceful and unhurried time to enjoy your little one’s company, in an organized, spacious, clean and safe environment.  In fact, you’ll enjoy having a baby so much that you’ll want another one!!

Visit us at  www.edits-inc.com