Sunday Koffee Klatch

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 1/24/2010 1:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Sunday to you~

I'd like to start a Sunday tradition for our Koffee Klatch...maybe we'll call it Helpful Sunday. Each week we will pick a topic and offer others our thoughts on how to make life easier. For shopping! What tips can you share that makes this chore easier for you? And another week we may talk about cleaning the bathroom...<shudder> There has to be an easier way!

So to start of our new tradition let's share ideas on organizing your kitchen. Seems sort of boring but I think by sharing ideas we can all make the necessary chore of making meals a bit easier.

I pack lunch for hubby each morning and sometimes for grandson. To make it easy I keep the sandwich supplies in the same location in the refrigerator and the other items like bread and sandwich bags right next to it and by the bread board I use to prepare them.That way I'm not stumbling around the kitchen at 6:00AM!! shocked It's also easier if I load the lunch box before I go to bed the night before with non perishable things...granola bars, fruit cup, etc. By keeping the same types of items in the same location it hemps keep my travels around the kitchen to a minimum.

What tip do you have on keeping your kitchen more organized?

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

(> <) Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, PTSD, UC, Diabetic on insulin, collapsed disk, arthritis scattered around and a few other delights.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 1/24/2010 6:25 AM (GMT -7)   
One of my children has food allergies, so we have to pack ALL of her food whenever she's away from home. To make life easier in that regard, we have one drawer in the fridge and one cabinet that is "CLARA FREE" (That means all of her safe foods are in there and she can access them herself when she wants to. She's only 5)

Also, since I had to go back to work full time, I don't do as much "home made' cooking anymore. So I make a 7 day 'menu' each week, even though that doesn't mean we'll eat the meals in the order they appear on my list. It just means that I have a plan and ingredients for 7 days. When I'm really sore, sometimes the menu is 'hotdogs cut up in baked beans, fresh veggies, and an apple for dessert'. Not fancy, but easy enough that the kids can help me put it together and it's kid-friendly. The key for me is allowing myself to pay a little extra for convenience items like pre-washed, cut veggies or 'heat and eat' meals. I used to be ultra frugal and did everything myself, but now that I don't have the time or the energy, I'm learning to just appreciate the hands that prepared, packaged and got the food that ends up in my mouth to the store. And I have to believe that using those convenience items is still better for us and less expensive than the nights when I am so tired I ask my hubby to bring home some kind of takeout food!! :)

So .. in a nutshell, I keep my cabinets organized so that everyone can find what they need and nothing gets 'lost' in the back of a shelf, I keep foods accessible so that my children can serve themselves, and I lowered the bar on what we eat ... giving myself permission to get prepared items and giving up on the 5 course meals we used to always eat. As it turns out, the kids prefer goulash and sliced cucumbers to the 3 hour homemade curried Thai chicken salad and jasmine coconut rice ANYWAY! lol.
I guess the important thing for me to remember is that I would rather have a pleasant, low-key evening with my family than a stressful one, and since at the end of the day I am also at the end of my rope, making life EASIER by using prepared convenient foods and letting go of the 'organic, home made, Normal Rockwell dinners' has helped me. 

Post Edited (do-over) : 1/24/2010 7:02:54 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 1/24/2010 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Good idea, Chutzie...helpful Sunday, I like it! Over the years I have had very tiny
kitchens with minimal storage to the kitchen I now have with too much space. The trick
is to try to use each space to cut down on work for yourself.
Keeping your kitchen more organized: I have  set up my kitchen to help save steps,
and to help with cutting down on unecessary bending and reaching. I keep all my pots
and pans in my pantry just above waist level. I use my pantry to store heavier items
and use my upper cabinets to store cereals, canned goods, etc all at an easy reach.
All my prep items...cutting boards, knifes, mixing bowls, measuring cups are stored
at easy reach above the counter I will be working at. Recipe books and seasonings
are kept in drawers in the same area.
My everyday dishware and glassware is stored in cabinets above my dishwasher.
Lower cabinets are used for items that aren't used often. I know this sounds like
common sense but it took me a while to learn I could make things easier.
Hugs, Robin

Myself 09
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 6098
   Posted 1/24/2010 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   

I have a chopping block that has on it my spice rack and my knives. On the shelf underneath lives my cutting boards and prep bowls. I have two sizes of prep bowls: one cup and three cup. It makes getting ready for cooking a lot easier (IMO)
Fibromyalgia DX 2005. Ulcerative Colitis, arthritis, TMJ. Family History of Fibro--2 out of 3 siblings diagnosed.

There are three kinds of people in the world: ones who see the glass as half-full, ones who see the glass as half-empty, and others who see a big crack in the side which is leaking all over their %$#@# foot.

confused Okie
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 1/24/2010 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I keep staples I use alot in clear containers that seal, sugar, tea bags, cereal.......I leave them on the back of the counter so I don't have to look for them. I also got an old wooden container bucket thing(I like old things) and I keep spatulas, wisks and all kinds of tools in it, thus no more looking throough drawers. Everything I use often is easily accessible and don't have to bend as much.
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you won't.
I may not do things like other people, but I get things done in my own way, in my own time.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 1/24/2010 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
When I had to buy a new fridge, dear daughter, who does the physical therapy thing told me to get one with a freezer on the bottom. Only use the freezer about once or twice a day but use the fridge constantly. She said, bend once or twice and use the tall fridge all day for what you need. Easier on the spine.

I keep my heaviest pots and corning casseroles in the low cupboards so I'm not trying to reach over my head to get them or put them away. I often sit to empty the dishwasher to the countertop and then put the stacked items away all at once. I also do most food prep sitting at the kitchen table and for this I purchased a very large cutting board. We have a composter in our back yard and all veggie scraps go to a coffee container. I can move that and my board with my knives to the table and grab all my prep foods and get dinner cut and prepped without all the standing. If I didn't have room for my table in the kitchen I'd have a tall stool and work at the counter that way. I just can't take the standing.

Also, we bought a floor duster/mop thingie at a restaurant supply. It's commercial grade and works very well on the kitchen floor for crumbs and pet hair. Spray it with a bit of water/vinegar mix and sort of scoot it around the kitchen and call it good. Easier on me than sweeping and it kind of holds on to the hair and crumbs until I can shake it outside.

When you find that there is that gunky grease/dust buildup on the top of the fridge or the wall behind the stove I've found the bestest thing to get it clean. Get a bar of soap (real soap, not liquid) and a nylon scrubbie or scotch brite pad. Fill a bowl with hot water, wet the pad and get it soapy and sort of paint the grime covered area. Let it sit a minute or two and then go at it with the scrubby. The soap will do most of the work. You just have to rinse really well and it's clean right down to the paint! It's so very satisfying to get through the grime so quickly and easily. Very cheap, non toxic and easy on your hands, too!
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 1/24/2010 8:48 PM (GMT -7)   
As my husband is in a wheelchair and we have a 4 y/o son, a lot of snack or fast lunch things are kept at their level. Our fridge is one with the freezer on the bottom, so when there are leftovers, I put them in individual containers, (the trays with compartments are nice) and make homemade tv dinners, so if my husband or son get hungry while I'm asleep or not home, my husband can pop one into the microwaves for a few min. I also keep my freezer stocked with sausage and biscuit sandwiches and frozen pancakes and waffles since mornings seems to be the worst for me. I also keep a list on my fridge more like a menu of what meals I can make with what's on hand, after I make a meal I check it off so I know that I may need to get more at the store. I've let the freezer dept become my friend as well as the ready made meals. My husband says I make 'semi' home made meals. Such as getting a pack of the ready made beef tips in gravy, add 2 cups of reduced sodium beef broth and either frozen or canned stew veggies LOL. I have my kitchen arranged so that I can take dished directly from the dish rack to be put away. I have a cabnet that back in the 50's when the house was built, it was supposed to be above the fridge (not so much anymore) LOL and because I'm 4'11, I can't use the top of my fridge for storage, so I keep my cleaning supplies for the kitchen in the old cabnet. I actually keep the cleaning supplies for each room in that room, so I don't have to tote a carrier with everything in it.
I also learned to cut back on my dishes, pots and pans. I have a skillet, 1 med. sauce pan, 1 4 gal stew pot, 1 electric griddle/crock pot which the crock pot part is also oven safe, 1 cookie sheet and I use disposable cake pans. I have 3 spoons, 3 forks, and 3 of all my dinner ware, 3 ppl in my house LOL When I have company, I get a pack of plastic untensils and 'fancy' Chinet plates. I had to cut back on my kitchen stuff to save my body and my sanity, I realized ppl with either deal with it and understand or die with it. Not spending 2 hrs doing dishes allows me to spend much needed time on other household projects and time with my family.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
Anton Chekhov

My train of thought derailed long ago, now I take the bus, few more stops, but I eventually get there.

FM, costocontritis, wide spread arthritis, fibroid tumors, PTSD, 2 heart attacks at 22, PID

Buspar 10mg, Acetometaphen 500mg, Zantac 150mg, B-complex, Tramadol 150mg

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