How to Whip Your Kitchen Into Shape

January 20, 2015

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Did your kitchen fall into disarray in 2014? Give last year's guide to whipping it into shape another look -- and promise to do better this time around.

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The holidays are over. Yes, it's a bit of a letdown -- no more over-indulging in eggnog, spending all afternoon making Christmas cookies, or juggling dishes in and out of the oven. But look on the bright side. You can finally take a breath, enjoy the sudden quiet of the post-holiday calm, and take some you time.

Take a moment to prioritize what you want to do with the new year ahead. And definitely take some time to appreciate your kitchen: to thank it for the work it did to get you through the holiday season -- and to prepare it for the year ahead. Because it deserves a fresh start as much as you do. Here are our favorite articles to help you whip your kitchen into shape:

Whipping Your Kitchen Into Shape on Food52

  •  Does your kitchen look like a post-holiday war zone? Start here

  • Once everyone is fresh and clean, you can start digging deep -- and de-clutter. Yes, we know it hurts, but do you really need three shrimp de-veiners? Remember, a clutter-free kitchen leads to a clutter-free mind.

De-Cluttering Your Kitchen on Food52

  • Now that you've decided what to keep and what to chuck, it's time to make sure your kitchen staples are at their best. First step: sharpening your knives. Yes, this is absolutely worth doing. Sharper knives mean fewer slicing injuries, faster food prep, and more bang for your buck.
  • Next, make sure your knives have a fresh platform on which to do their work. Are your cutting boards dull, smeared with stubborn beet stains, and redolent of garlic? Here's how to freshen them up to their original glory.

How to care for a wooden cutting board on Food52

6 Uses for an Ice Cube Tray on Food52

  • Next, take out your linens. Are they stained with evidence of last summer's berry haul? Are oil stains running rampant on your dish towels? This year, let no stain go untreated -- start by learning these handy tricks for how to remove food stains.

3 Ways to Start Composting on Food52

  • If you want to go above and beyond, think about starting to compost. We promise you will feel like an incredible person every time you throw your carrot peels in the compost instead of the trash. New year, new you baby.

  • Are you harboring a drawer full of tattered, disorganized recipes? It's time to introduce a system for cataloguing your recipes
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It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Halli
  • Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious
    Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious
  • susan
  • JCCraves
A kitchen scientist and dog-lover. Someday I want to have you over for dinner.


Halli January 23, 2015
Yay! When I was living in Manhattan, I brought my compost to the Union Square farmer's market. Now that I'm back in Queens, I stop by the Little Neck Farm nearby with it every couple of weeks. I just keep it in quart-size yogurt containers, on the ledge behind my sink until they're full, though I do have a metal compost bucket my sister got me that's more presentable, so once our (60s, very inconvenient, dishwasher-less, fake wood cabinet) kitchen is redone soon, I may try finding a place for it on the counter to store the yogurt container in. No smell when you just leave it uncovered to dry out, and when it gets warm, I cover them and keep them in the fridge. I also first use (organic) carrot peels and broccoli stems to make stock before composting them.
I bookmarked this page for the next time I might want to refer to it :)
Rebecca @. January 20, 2015
I live in the suburbs of Los Angeles on a small property so composting isn't quite so ideal, though it's technically possible if I really wanted to do it. I'd rather separate food waste from garbage if that was an option. Unfortunately LA doesn't provide a food waste collection service (although they do provide composting workshops and 11 cu ft composting bins for $40.) It will be interesting to see how Seattle handles their new law about no food waste in the trash and whether other cities follow them.

It's funny you mention a way of cataloging your recipes. I've heard of people using Evernote to collect recipes. I use it for work and it's great because you can catalog and tag items. One of the reasons why I started my blog was to store my recipes. There's always free blogs out there as an option too. That way you can access it from home, your phone, the grocery store, etc. Half of the time I want to look up a recipe, I'm not actually at home...
susan January 19, 2014
Love this article, especially the simple and economical tips for repurposing and reducing food waste in the kitchen!
JCCraves January 15, 2014
*ahem* that teddy bear is terra cotta (a shard from a clean planting pot will do the same) NOT plastic and I love mine. They work, they're infintely reusable and they're environmentally better than the plastic bin you you show in the photo. Also takes less space in a city loft. Pfft.