Would You Dare Try These 3 Uncommon Kitchen Swaps To Save Time and Space?
Do you spend an overwhelming amount of time trying to keep your kitchen neat? And do you get frustrated by how quickly things pile up, the moment you relax?
The fact is, no matter how good of an organizer you are, the way your kitchen is set up can undermine all your hard work.
Today, I’ll show you 3 simple kitchen swaps that will help you waste less time and space in your kitchen.
Smart All-in-One Plate
How many types of plates do you own? Are your kitchen cabinets stuffed with bowls, saucers, small plates, deep plates, large plates?
What if I told you that you can replace them all with only ONE type of plate?
Advantages of having only one type of plate:
1. Huge space saving in the cabinets
If you are like most of us, you don’t pile all your plates in one huge pile. You create separate piles for each kind of plate. That means many piles that all compete for cabinet space.
One type of plates means having space for only ONE pile, no matter how many plates there are in the pile. That’s a huge space saver!
2. Less decision making frees up your brain
Every time you need a grab a plate, you have to make a decision. What plate will work best for my salad? Should I grab a bowl? No, it’s too small. A big plate? It’s too shallow, and stuff will fall out.
Same goes when you unload your dishwasher: “Oh, it’s a bowl, needs to go to the bowl pile. Now, this is a small plate, where should I put it?”.
See, you are wasting your mental energy here. Once wasted, you cannot recover it. You end up with less brain power for your more important decisions.
Grabbing a plate should be a “no-brainer”, as well as putting it away in the cupboard. Having only one type of plate allows you to do just that.
Enter All-in-One Plate
If you only had one type of plate, what should it be? Here are the requirements for a plate that would fit all your plating needs:
- Big enough to fit all your green salads
- Has a deeper part that acts as a “bowl” for soups, pasta, and stews
Over a year ago, I got rid of all my plates and replaced them with this plate. Since then, I never looked back.
Salads: If you like green salads, you know that they take up a lot of space on your plate. This plate is big and lets you load up on the greens.
Pasta: For pasta, spaghetti and the like, the “bowl” part of the plate does a great job. The wide edges of the plate keep the food secure.
Soups & Stews: The “bowl” part is also perfect for liquid foods like soups and stews. And you can use the wide edge of the plate to place a piece of bread for your soup.
"Normal" Dishes: But, since the “bowl” of the plate is not too deep, it works as a regular plate as well. There is enough space to lay out a piece of chicken, rice and some steamed veggies. And, if you want to add some green salad on the side, there’s plenty of space for that!
What size of plate is best?
Aim for a plate as large as you can get, but make sure that it will fit in your cabinet and dishwasher.
I chose 12-3/4 inch wide plates, and they were too wide for my narrow top cabinets. Luckily, I had a wider cabinet that I could store them in. Also, I need to tilt the plates a little when placing them in the dishwasher.
So before ordering, get a measuring tape and make sure that you will be able to fit them. I got my plates from Amazon, and they come in many different sizes.
Find what works best for you
Your eating habits are different from mine, so take the idea of “all-in-one plate” and make it work for you.
In my kitchen, I used to have 3 types of plates: small, large, and deep plates. I replaced them all by the “all-in-one” plate.
But, I decided to keep my bowls, since we often make smaller dishes and also use them to serve snacks and desserts.
A little side bonus:
We all should eat at the dining table, in a peaceful environment, mindfully chewing our food.
But, for those times when you decide to eat dinner on your TV coach, this plate will serve as a small tray or table. It will catch any food that may escape when you get too immersed in the movie.
Similarly to the “all-in-one plate", “all-in-one” glass will save you space. It will also save you the headache of dealing with lots of different kinds of glasses.
For my home, I looked for a glass fancy enough for wine and other drinks, but simple enough for everyday use.
The glass must work for:
- Drinks and cocktails
I found that a stemless wine glass would fit the bill. The simple form works great for everyday use, but it’s elegant enough to look presentable for finer occasions.
You may argue that drinking beer from a wine glass breaks the 101 rules of drinking beer, and I agree with you. Any solutions will have its pros and cons. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
For me, the simplicity of the solution overweights the inconveniences. I have only 6 glasses in my kitchen cabinet, and it gives me piece of mind!
How much time do you spend sorting your flatware into the compartmentalized storage containers? Knives with knives, forks with forks, spoons with spoons.
It gets worse when you have them in different sizes, too. For example, if you have forks in two sizes, you may need to sort them into separate compartments.
A few years ago, I got rid of my flatware dividers. Instead, I started dumping the flatware from the dishwasher basket straight into the drawer. Time spent? One second!
We don’t have any trouble finding the right knife, fork, or spoon, even though they are all piled into one pile.
After about a year of this practice, I took an unused baking dish and used that as one large flatware container. It makes the drawer look a little neater, and prevents the stuff from dancing around when you open and close it.
Also, it’s super easy to wipe that container of breadcrumbs: just lift all the flatware, wipe, and put back! Takes no more than a second.
This is just the beginning:
I showed you 3 simple changes that can simplify your kitchen life. But, it doesn’t end there. Try looking at your kitchen with new eyes and start questioning your old ways. Do you need all these pans, pots, skillets, baking dishes, utensils, appliances and gadgets?
Could you manage with an “all-in-one” pan, or an “all-in-one pot”?
Owning less stuff is amazingly enlightening, it gives you peace of mind and lets you focus on what's important in your life.
By simplifying your kitchen setup, you will spend less time on boring clean up tasks. Also, your kitchen will look less cluttered.
Now, I have a question for you. Have you made any changes that saved you time in your kitchen? If so, do you mind sharing them in a comment below?
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