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After Simchas Torah

Posted on 18 July 2010

After Simchas Torah-Kitchen Repetition: Tips for Storing Your Kitchen-ware and Serving pieces

I hope you all enjoyed the Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah holidays. If you’re like me, you’re all busy putting your kitchens back in order and sorting out your sukkah decorations to store away for next year.

This leads me to a very useful topic: Kitchen Repetition! As you’re putting away your special serving dishes and any extra china you used during the holiday season, take a minute to think about how frequently you use each item and then decide on the best place to store it.

I’ll give you just a few examples. I have a pretty, shallow bowl that looks like an apple. I use it to serve desserts during the Tishrei holidays. As I was about to put it back in my “Fleishigs Cabinet” last night, it occurred to me that this “once-a year” piece was really taking up valuable space in an already-packed cabinet. I wrapped it up in a brown paper bag, labeled it “Apple dish, fleishigs” and stored it in the basement with my sukkah decorations. Now there’s more room in that cabinet for the pots and serving pieces we use regularly throughout the year.
Another trick I did this Yom Tov season was to set up my crock pot on top of my dryer in my basement-level laundry room, instead of on my kitchen counter. I didn’t want to lose valuable counter space on any of the 3-day Yom Tovs for an appliance that I was only using for Shabbos cholent. Wow was this a great solution! Not only did I save counter space, but I had one less hot appliance going in kitchen. I decided to permanently make my cholent in the laundry room. So, I am now storing the crock pot base in the basement and the crock pot itself in the kitchen. Then when it’s time to put up my cholent on Fridays I’ll only have to carry the pot itself into the laundry room each time.

For those of you who like to bake, it makes sense to store all the baking tools together. For years I kept the mixer in an appliances cabinet, the bowls in a pareve cabinet and the measuring scoops and spoons in the pareve drawer. Since I routinely gather these items together every time I bake, I now keep the measuring items tucked into the bowl of my stand mixer. Sure there are those times when I’m not baking, but making a soup or sauce for which I need to measure ingredients, well it’s just as easy to get the measuring tools from the mixer bowl as it is from the pareve drawer.

For all the kallahs reading this, here is another tip. It took me about 2 years to realize that my Shabbos china could be stored in my kitchen’s “fleishigs cabinet” and not in the china closet. Every motzai-Shabbos I had been carefully storing my china back into those nice, padded china-storage cases that we got as a wedding gift. In and out of “storage” my Shabbos china went each week. One day it struck me that it was better to designate space for the china in my main kitchen shelving. So, a service for 8 is always on hand, and if I need more I can always get it from the china cabinet. If you are wondering how my kitchen cabinets are empty enough to house Shabbos China, read about my Decorganize method.

Here’s a list of a few more items that take up a ton of storage space; perhaps if you don’t use these things more than twice a month you can move them to the garage or basement and get better use from your main kitchen workspace.

· Ice bucket (used as part of my decorative display in the dining room)

· Bundt pan, pie pans, muffin pans (kept in the drawer under my oven)

· Bread machine (on top of the refrigerator)

· Turkey roasting pan (I keep mine in the pantry)

· Popsicle makers (in my cabinets)

· Electric Frying Pan (in a very deep drawer in the kitchen that I rarely use)

· Stand Mixer (I use mine frequently, but you may not)

· Electric Hot plate (plata) (kept on the top of my china cabinet in the dining room)

· Coffee Maker (kept in my basement)

· Large Soup Pot (in the kitchen cabinets)

· Special-use pieces like my special apple bowl or your honey dishes for Rosh Hashana (in my Yom Tov Storage zone)

· I personally strongly dislike dishdrainers. If they are really working for you, great. But the constant grime and cleaning them just isn’t my thing. One of my coaching clients was so relieved to be able to give them up and in their stead a simple dish towel.

With all the space I have now made in my pantry I created an art shelf for my children. They can take coloring books, markers, scissors, glue and construction paper and keep themselves busy while I cook. How’s that for a great use of space? : )
Now that your kitchen is streamlined, you can open up one drawer each week and clean it out in preparation for Pesach! Believe it or not, that’s what the expert balabustas are doing now!

Please email me and let me know what items you’ve moved out of (or into!) your kitchen as well!

For more detailed kosher kitchen organizing plans, I recommend you definitely take a look at the $7 report I wrote on How to Organize your Kosher Kitchen.

See you on the other side of organization! –Rivka

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