Two women cooking in a kitchen

Many go-getters neglect their kitchen, proving that modern society has evolved past its own reasons for existing. The whole point of work has always been to feed yourself, and even money was only invented so that some people could take time off to do other useful things for the tribe without starving to death. Neglecting food to fit in more time to work is like keeping your car on blocks to better maintain the engine.

Food is a fundamental joy of life, and the phrase “garbage in, garbage out” applies to your body as well as your work. We present a quintuplet of quick kitchen tips and tricks:

1. Double Up On Ice Trays

With ice trays, it has to be two or none at all. When moving in, most people check if there’s an ice tray and move on. You’ll need those ice cubes, most likely serving drinks at a party, but the instant you take a few, you’ve put yourself in an inescapable ice cube quandary: Do you leave the tray as it is, guaranteeing you’ll run out and be entirely iceless before long? Or do you refill it, meaning you can’t take the cubes already formed without spilling water everywhere?

(And if you just said, “Take out the existing cubes,” you’ve never spent time trying to store ice conveniently. It slips, melts, and even the best option — back in the freezer — is someday going to be full and you’ll be stuck.)

Ice Trays

Far faster and more efficient is using two ice trays, one on top of the other. Refill them as they empty, stacked on top of each other they take no more space than normal, and effectively you have an infinite ice supply.

2. The Six-Way Opener

It’s not an incredible Oriental martial arts technique; it’s much more practical (unless your kitchen’s ninja crime levels are far above average).

Universal Opener

The six-way opener is a single tool which opens jars, bottles, pull tabs, safety seals and even bags. It’s not just a handy mini-MacGyver; it eliminates at least five different types of “Where did I put that, I saw it here last time.” This could otherwise add up to hours of your life digging through cluttered kitchen drawers. The six-way opener also reduces that clutter for everything else while it’s at it. Add the considerate bright green handle — easy to spot in a sea of silverware — and it’s a must-have at less than ten dollars.

3. Cramped Kitchen Pipe Hooks

Many have to make do with whatever apartment they can afford, especially in crowded cities (which, by definition, are almost all of them). The most brutal structural space-saving is often inflicted on the kitchen. A Lifehacker post found a way to turn the most obvious clue to a compacted kitchen — visible pipework from where the plumbing was installed after the conversion — into extra space.

Pipe Hooks

Simply buy some hose clamps and hooks from the hardware store and you have effective shelf-space for commonly used tools, saving precious counter-top space for actually cooking.

4. Kitchen Monki

A common complaint among those who attempt to eat better is that they never have what they need, they never remember what to buy, they are “too tired” to go out again to get it, and it’s “just easier” to eat microwaveables. You will note how we did not append the word “food” to that descriptor.

Kitchen Monki aims to assist in the goal of actually eating food (and the fact that the Internet now has to help us with that is some sort of important sign for the species, though whether it’s a good or bad one is up to you).

Kitchen Monki

By automating grocery-list construction, and more importantly turning “choosing what you want to eat and when” into the enjoyable agony of choice that it’s meant to be, you’re motivated to eat better… and reminded how. It’s far faster than Farmville and you can eat your harvest.

5. Do The Dishes!

The simplest system for upgrading your kitchen, your apartment, nay, your entire life! They’re not just dirty dishes; they’re a physical incarnation of every single inevitable task in your life and how you deal with them.

Do you spring into action, eliminating obvious tasks as soon as possible and basking in the satisfaction and freedom from filthy things hanging over your head? Or are you a fool who has to be forced into even the most essential tasks, thinking “I’ll do it later” and spoiling the very spare time you’re giving yourself with the specter of unfinished work?

Do them!

Image credit: nullplus / iStockphoto