Secrets to Saving Time with an Organized Kitchen

time

Food prep takes a long time – a big chuck out of your day. No wonder we are so inclined to go out for dinner, instead of staying home.

By working more efficiently you will save small amounts of time. But those minutes really add up when combined to achieve your goal of sitting down to a family dinner. Click To Tweet

Here are some tips to help you save time in the kitchen while still providing a home cooked meal.

  • Double the amount you cook and freeze half of it to make a second meal.
  • Cook dinners in a crock pot so the vegetables and meat cook while you’re at work.
  • Plan meals a week ahead of time and include the necessary items on your shopping list.
  • Use foil when ever possible to speed up cleaning afterwards.
  • If you use plastic containers for leftovers, consider having only one size to eliminate having to match tops with bottoms.
  •  Arrange all the tools and ingredients on the counter before beginning to cook to save time on meal prep.
  • Use transparent containers for leftovers so you can see what you have in the refrigerator.
  • Keep similar types of foods in certain areas, so it’s easy to locate everything.

By working more efficiently you will save small amounts of time. But those minutes really add up when combined to achieve your goal of sitting down to a family dinner.

If your challenge is having the right tools for the kitchen job, but not over doing it and having more than you need, read this article, called 10 Kitchen Organizing Essentials You Need, from Sabrina’s Organizing.

Do you have any kitchen time management tips that you’d like to share?

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

14 Comments

  1. Seana Turner on November 16, 2020 at 8:09 am

    The kitchen is my favorite room to organize. I always talk with clients about doing the NOT time-sensitive parts of dinner whenever you can. For example, go ahead and set the table while the kids are at school (if you don’t need it for homework), or as you say, do the chopping of ingredients so you can throw it all together like they do on TV. I am a TRUE BELIEVER in the “use foil” approach. This definitely saves a lot of time!

    • Janet Schiesl on November 16, 2020 at 8:25 pm

      I love the foil tips too. I hate scrubbing pans.

  2. Diane N Quintana on November 16, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Planning meals a week at a time saves time because you’re not constantly running to the grocery store. Also, doing a little food prep in advance cuts down the amount of time you spend when actually cooking dinner. I agree with Seana, organizing the kitchen is one of my favorite places to work with a client as that organization impacts so much of what happens in the home.

    • Janet Schiesl on November 16, 2020 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Diane. I like to prep right after I get home from the grocery store. I look at it as part of the grocery shopping project. You’re right, the kitchen is the hub of a home and being organized there can benefit everyone in the home.

  3. Ronni Eisenberg on November 16, 2020 at 10:10 am

    Janet, I promise I love these tips. They’re super helpful and a few I haven’t thought of:

    Use foil when ever possible to speed up cleaning afterwards. ( I DO THIS AND IT REALLY DOES HELP!)

    If you use plastic containers for leftovers, consider having only one size to eliminate having to match tops with bottoms. (THIS IS SO SMART!)

    Arrange all the tools and ingredients on the counter before beginning to cook to save time on meal prep.
    ( I’VE DONE THIS FOR SERVING. I’M NOW INSPIRED TO DO THE SAME FOR PREP.)

    THANK YOU!😀

    • Janet Schiesl on November 16, 2020 at 8:22 pm

      Thanks Ronni. I hope the tips help you.

  4. Sabrina Quairoli on November 16, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Great tips, Janet! I have to share this story with you. I usually have clear containers to hold leftovers. But, recently, I purchased white casserole containers. My kids couldn’t find the leftovers. LOL. I had to tell them to open the container to see what was inside. Apparently, it was too difficult for them to do that. They continued to advise me that there should be a label describing what is inside – that is not going to happen. =/

    It was a nice surprise to see my post listed here. Thanks for sharing it! =)

    • Janet Schiesl on November 16, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Thank you Sabrina. My kids used to do the same. They “couldn’t see” the containers of leftovers.

  5. Linda Samuels on November 16, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Organizing kitchens is one of my favorite rooms to work in. It’s often the hub of the house. Having well-placed items and zones help keep these spaces organized and easier to use. I love the tips you shared, especially the cooking extras part. A few other things I like to do is prepare containers of cut raw vegetables. When it’s time to make a salad, it makes assembly easy. And having cut veggies also make good snacks. I also like to clean up as I cook, instead of waiting until the end. There is always waiting and cooking time when making and baking, which is a great time to clean the pans, pots, and counters.

  6. Melanie on November 16, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Cooking is something I’ve always enjoyed as my trade/skill/hobby. I’ve never thought to go for a more uniform size storage container for left overs. That would certainly make life in the kitchen easier and more efficient! Thanks for sharing today.

    • Janet Schiesl on November 16, 2020 at 8:19 pm

      Thanks Melanie. I started using the same sized storage containers when my boys were teenagers. Everything was a leftover that didn’t last long, so the containers I used were one serving size.

  7. Julie Bestry on November 22, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    As I don’t cook, I’m occasionally flummoxed by a unitasker in the kitchen (though clients have often also forgotten what a particular gizmo is for), but I do love organizing in kitchens and pantries. Your advice is absolutely on-point for saving time and being more efficient in the kitchen. And I could not agree MORE about foil. (And, as always, your blog video is a delight.)

  8. Janet Schiesl on November 23, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Why thank you Julie. I also love organizing kitchens and pantries.

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