Organizing the Filipino Kitchen: Tips and Tricks
Apart from the living room and dining room, the kitchen is yet another part of the Filipino home that brings family and friends closer. It’s more than just a place for preparing food. The Filipino kitchen is a space where people gather to partake in age-old traditions, engage in nostalgic conversations, and spend time bonding on Sundays with people that matter the most. If you’re thinking about welcoming more people in to make more memories, bring it on.
Sadly, the typical Filipino kitchen space has always been considerably limited, but that does not mean your kitchen has to look cramped, cluttered, and daunting. Contrary to what a lot of people think, you don’t need an enormous space to have a functional, heartwarming kitchen. You also don’t need a major home renovation to banish clutter and become organized. It’s more about how you organize the space you have and stick to a system.
Here are simple tips to organize the typically small Filipino kitchen, arranged under relatable Filipino images.
How to Organize the Typically Small Filipino Kitchen
Ah, the most familiar fixture in Filipino kitchens. Most of us don’t know how to pronounce cupboard because of this. The Orocan plastic kitchen storage is such a kitchen staple that we sometimes forget to clean it! Pull everything out and assess the damage. Are there unnecessary items there? Are there broken, unused mugs or casseroles? Are there bowls that now leak from the bottom? Toss these out or donate redundant items and start fresh. Give your Orocan the wash and wipe it deserves, and put everything back in their place. Is your Orocan itself begging to retire? Maybe it’s time to let go of your faithful friend and purchase one in a color that matches your tiles and walls.
Memes about your mom treasuring her Tupperware more than she cares about you are all over the internet, and you need not look far to believe how much you love hoarding them as well. It’s hereditary. While Tupperware containers are heaven-sent kitchen products for your baon, leftovers, and take-home food from parties, these things can easily pile up in an unpleasant clutter and eat up the already-small Filipino kitchen space if not properly stored. And as much as we hate to see some of them go, do you really need fifty different Tupperware containers? Professional organizer Monica Ricci suggests you discard the containers without lids. Store the remaining plastic containers in a cupboard to keep them hidden.
Sort your Century Tuna, Ligo sardines, Ma Ling, Lucky Me pancit canton, Nido Oriental, and everything else by category and expiry date. Like your Tupperware, these items are better hidden from the public eye to avoid the appearance of clutter in the kitchen. You may also use small clear mega boxes to categorize them within your cabinets. Are there packs and cans in your kitchen cabinets that have been stashed there way past their shelf life? Sometimes it’s tableya, tea, or green peas you forgot about. It’s about time to check and dispose of them before you carelessly serve them this week. Are there other objects in your cabinets that you haven’t been using? Discard or donate rarely used items, duplicate items, broken items, or things you forgot you had.
Anthropologist Krystal D’Costa argues that if you were to spend 10 minutes anywhere in someone’s home, the refrigerator would probably tell you the most about a person or family. “These machines, decorated by representations of ourselves, become deeply intertwined in our lives and offer personal glimpses into our lives.” Is your fridge filled with expired yogurt or leftovers from a friend’s birthday two months ago? Dried-up cabbage and sprouting potatoes? We get it; you’ve been too busy. But now’s the time to see which food needs to be pitched and immediately thrown out. Your refrigerator should house only current items and foodstuff. Keep this in mind, and it should be less cluttered this way.
Cleaning up only takes a few minutes! Give your fridge a supermarket makeover by following the “first in, first out” rule. Like instant food, put the newest boxes and containers behind what’s already open. Keep things organized with bins, labels, and clear Tupperware.
We hate to mention roaches, but if you’re having a hard time keeping your kitchen moist-free, hanging your sandok, luwag, kaldero, kalan, embudo, and tadtaran may not be the best idea. We’ve stayed up all night more than once to prove that these nasty bugs do make their rounds more often than we want them to.
Group your pots and pans and utensils by purpose and assign them to specific drawers or shelves in cabinets. Arrange your kitchenware by frequency of use, with everyday dishes on an easy-to-reach lower shelf and special-occasion pieces up above. Stack pans, cutting boards, lids, and baking sheets horizontally to limit any future frustration. Items like cast-iron skillets and Dutch ovens should always go in the lowest cabinet possible, partly because it’s safer to pull them out that way and you also won’t have to worry about the shelf they’re sitting on collapsing under their weight. Drawer organizers/dividers can also keep cutlery neatly separated, so you never have to rummage around for what you need.
McCormick and Del Monte
Consider using wall space to add modern floating shelves for your favorite seasoning and condiment bottles. Organize the shelves as you would a library, with items grouped by category. To make your shelves look more aesthetically pleasing, be consistent with your bottles and containers in terms of design and stick labels to them yourself. These look lovely out in the open.
Joy and Scotch-Brite versus Zonrox and Muriatic
You need all the space you can get, so keep the sink’s clutter as minimal as you can. Dishwashing needs should be on top of the counter. This includes sponges, scouring pads, and dishwashing liquid. Kitchen-cleaning needs are to be stored under the counter, which is the cabinet beneath the sink. You should see your Baygon, Lysol, Zonrox, gloves, and hard brushes here, not beside your sink.
Organize Your Kitchen and Make It a Habit!
Your effort today won’t be of any use next month if you are not consistent! Take a moment to reflect on how the organization is going. Define any problem areas and reevaluate. Is the new arrangement a petty hassle, or are you just lazy? Try to stay on top of your kitchen, and make it a yearly goal to declutter. Hope we helped.