Haven't quite nailed down your New Year resolutions? How about trying something completely new this year? Instead of making resolutions about your well-being, try making them for your kitchen.
Did you know that a well-organized, clean and functional kitchen can benefit your health? Scientists have proven that kitchen design can improve your mood and your physical health (people with clean and organized kitchens tend to have lower-weight averages than those who don't).
So—by making New Year resolutions for your kitchen, you're setting intentions for yourself and your family as well.
New Year's Resolutions for Your Kitchen and Yourself
Here are some of the resolutions that will do you, and your kitchen, some good.
1. Develop healthier kitchen habits
Researchers have studied the connection between kitchen design, weight-loss and health. You can read more about their findings in our article, Designing Your Kitchen to Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals. A healthy kitchen has more fresh than processed foods, more fruits a veggies than sugary junk-food snacks, and the right appliances and kitchen tools to make home-made meals on a regular basis.
When you eat homemade meals, you are less likely to eat processed foods. The unfortunate truth is that the "easier", quickly prepared, packaged foods (typically found in the middle aisles of the grocery store) are the foods that cause us to gain weight. The same goes for take-out, and especially fast food. Eating out may be convenient, but the costs can definitely add up to big expenses. While many of us feel the schedules of our busy lives bearing down on us at the thought of cooking a meal every evening, there are ways to simplify the food prep process so you can achieve this health-benefitting goal for you, and for the ones you love.
Simple tips for prioritizing a healthy kitchen include getting cereals and snack items off countertops and into cupboards, while putting a fruit-bowl front and center, steaming veggies rather than sauteing them in butter, and keeping the kitchen clutter-free.
2. Clear out the clutter
Clutter is no bueno. It doesn't take a scientist to tell you that walking into a cluttered kitchen - not to mention working in one - elevates stress levels; you can feel that all by yourself. If you're planning a kitchen remodel, a kitchen design-build team can help you think about how you use your kitchen to better organize storage areas. In the meantime, clear out every cupboard and get rid of everything you haven't used in more than a year (especially Tupperware-without-lids and vice versa).
3. Re-think kitchen function
When you moved in, you stored everything in a way that made sense to you in that moment. Then, you got used to it and proceed to organize your kitchen movements around where things were stored.
Now that you've done some living in your home, re-think the kitchen layout and function, appliance/countertop placements, and where go-to items are located. Does it make sense with the way you use (or want to use) your kitchen? Could things be arranged better? Are there children or elderly family members who should be accounted for now? Your kitchen's existing layout can be the determining factor in finding the best avenue for function. Check out our blog, 5 Popular Layout Ideas, to learn about the best ways to arrange your kitchen.
4. Organize your kitchen
Again, if you're remodeling soon, your kitchen design team will show you all the organization-related bells-and-whistles available these days. Otherwise, you can visit a kitchen design showroom to see examples of the cabinet organization tools out there - including pull-out shelves, organized spice racks, pantry organizers, pots/pans drawer racks, and so on. These types of cabinet storage solutions can be installed even with a refacing project!
5. Spend more time with family
By now, you've noticed the kitchen is the place people tend to congregate, especially in open or semi-open floor plans. You can capitalize on this and spend more family-time by setting a few goals in place. How about ensuring everyone sits down for a family meal together at least four-times a week?
Keep the dining nook, peninsula or island free of clutter so there's room for people to sit down and relax. Trade out uncomfortable bar stools for comfortable seating options. If you're planning to remodel the kitchen soon, consider designing the space with sociability in mind.
Save money. This one will not only improve your financial situation, it will also reduce your stress levels. Consider replacing outdated appliances with energy-efficient options, add water-conserving adaptors to existing faucets and trade regular light bulbs for LED options.
These five (plus the bonus) intentions for your kitchen will have positive ripple effects for your household and family. Have you put any of these to the test? Let us know by posting a comment on our Facebook page, we'd love to hear how they made a difference in your kitchen.