THE STORAGE ISSUE that comes up the most in Irish kitchens? “It’s the cluttered worktop,” says kitchen designer Marie Browne. “If you did a spot check on practically any kitchen, you’re going to find a cluttered worktop.”
Our kitchens work so hard – they’re cooking, eating, entertaining and living space all wrapped into one – that it’s very easy for those little bits and bobs to build up over time. And clutter has a significant impact on our use of the kitchen, says Marie. “People don’t realise how much it affects the way they cook.”
But here’s the good news: Improving the design of your kitchen can help you minimise mess, without adding any extra space.
We asked Marie, a designer with Cash & Carry Kitchens, to share her professional design tips for solving the clutter conundrum – and the rest of our most frequent kitchen storage dilemmas too.
1. First, do a stock take
The first step on the road to storage heaven, says Marie, is to know exactly what you have. “I think the first thing is to educate yourself on what you’re storing,” she says. “Some people reading this might never have emptied all their presses. Go into the kitchen, set two hours aside, take everything out of your presses. They probably need cleaning anyway!”
Chances are, there will be some things you just don’t need – and once you can see it, you can deal with it. “Throw out all your expired food, your repeat containers, your tupperware without lids… just get rid of it. You’re not going to use it.”
Then, think about what you actually want to store. Be ruthless. “Know what actually has to go back in,” says Marie. “It can be chaotic when you’ve been somewhere for years. Things just build up.”