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Keep your kitchen tidy
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Keep your kitchen tidy

The upcoming referendum on the EU is causing many news stories, many of them conflicting. House prices, the stock market and jobs will fall, rise, crash - take your pick. The certainty is that the possibility of Britain leaving the EU is creating uncertainty! Put simply, most of us are probably just waiting to see what happens, particularly those who are planning to buy or sell a property.

This makes it a good time to concentrate on your own home. Give it a good clean, have a sort out, and reorganise. We have already spoken about the decluttering phenomenon of Marie Kondo and looked at the basics of the process; how, we are going to look at ways to help you sort out your kitchen ‘stuff’ and keep it tidy.

This does not have to cost you a fortune. You don’t need to shell out on new cupboards or other storage solutions: the key is to work with what you’ve got, buy a few key items, and perhaps throw in a little DIY.

You need uncluttered work surfaces; therefore, the answer is to store as many things in cupboards or shelves as possible. Put shelves up for books, pots, herbs and spices and smaller appliances that you don’t use every day. If you don’t have much wall space, you might need to think creatively, with ideas including utilising the space under the units, under the breakfast bar and over the door. If you have space above the wall units, don’t be tempted to put stuff up there with the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach. If you don’t use that big pan or mixer, either sell it or throw it out. A series of lidded storage boxes will look tidy, stay clean and make a good place for items such as utensils and cake decorating kits, freeing up precious cupboard space.

When it comes to regaining space inside the cupboards, there are hundreds of ideas. Those we particularly like include stackable shelves that sit inside the cupboards, meaning you can stack plates, saucers and bowls. Plate racks that hold plates and sauces vertically will also give you more space.

If you have children, you probably have a cupboard dedicated to plastic boxes, tubs and bottles, all of which seem to become separated from their lids as soon as you get them home from the shop. Firstly, get them all out and throw out any that don’t have a lid or box that fits. Also throw out any that are looking a bit shabby or came with your last takeaway. Then decide how many you really need. Can any be used elsewhere around the house, such as for earrings, art and craft supplies or shoe polish?

If you are going to go crazy and chuck them all out and buy new ones, how about a ‘nest’ of boxes and lids that sit neatly inside each other? They take up so much less room and you might be able to fit lots of things inside this ‘plastic cupboard’.

The under-the-sink cupboard is another space that is often fairly messy. Throw out anything that might be lurking at the back, such as old scrubbing brushes and dried-up shoe polish. Next, if you have space, put up a shelf, as this will almost double the usable space. Stacking shelving units and drawers will keep things tidy and are just as good as a shelf if you don’t fancy your DIY skills.

Put all your shoe-cleaning products in a tub and if you have young children who are inexplicably drawn to the toxic cleaning products, you can even buy lockable baskets that sit in the cupboard for extra piece of mind.

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