10 Little Ways to Enjoy Being in Your Kitchen a Lot More

updated Feb 1, 2021
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Even if you absolutely loved your kitchen before, if you found it perfect in every way, we’re guessing it’s starting to wear on you now, nearly one year into the pandemic. And if you didn’t love spending time your kitchen before, well, you definitely don’t love being in there now. We get it. And so we held a staff meeting to discuss all the things people can do to start loving their kitchen a little more. (It’s important business, people!) We were looking for small tips. Renovating was off the table, for obvious reasons. Here’s what came up again and again during our meeting.

10 Small Tips to Love Your Kitchen More

Credit: Alexis Buryk

1. Add some entertainment.

Everyone agreed that listening to music or podcasts is a hard yes. But Ariel Knutson, our features director, takes the entertainment factor up a level and says she watches TV. “There are certain shows my partner doesn’t love to watch, so I watch them all when I cook. It feels like a treat!”

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

2. Pour yourself a drink.

Whether it’s a glass of wine, a cocktail, or a nice tall glass of sparkling water, have something to drink by your side. “I think there’s really something to be said for getting the whole cooking ambience set up before you start,” says Email & Acquisition Manager, Hollis Miller.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Use kitchen items you love.

“In my opinion, it is absolutely worth it to spend a little extra money on the pan you’ve always wanted or the ceramic bowl that would look beautiful on the table,” says Carey Polis, interim executive editor. “These are items you use constantly and are not splurge purchases when you know they will be high-use.” Of course, buy what you can afford, but don’t buy junky things just because they’re on sale or you think you need them. Buy what you’ll really use, when you can, and love it well. (This can be as simple as a ladle in your favorite color!) If it helps, we have this list of Kitchn Essentials that can guide you.

Credit: Emma Fiala

4. But have less stuff.

No, even less than that! A drawer that doesn’t close/open is annoying. So is a cabinet that has cookware spilling out of it. Kitchn staffers agreed that most home cooks have way too much stuff. Try a quick declutter: Pull out three things you don’t ever use or don’t need. Then, do the same thing again in a week. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to pick stuff out!

5. Deep clean your sink often.

This idea came from Grace Elkus, our deputy food editor, and good gosh, is she on to something! It’s just so nice to be able to wash your hands in a sink that sparkles and doesn’t have some sort of gross drain salad sitting in the trap.

Read more: How To Clean Your Kitchen Sink

Credit: Diana Liang

6. Clean as you go.

“It’s so overwhelming being left with an overflowing sink of dishes after a cooking session,” says Sheela Prakash, senior contributing food editor. “Having a tidy workspace always makes me feel less stressed in the kitchen.” Wipe up spills as they happen, put ingredients back when you’re done measuring them out, pop dishes into the dishwasher when you’re done with them, etc.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

7. Clear off your countertops.

Be honest: How many things do you have on your counters right now that don’t get used every day? Or even once a week? Commerce Editor Sholeen Damarwala suggests putting that stuff away! “Having the countertop free of appliances and random canisters suddenly makes the space seem more inviting,” she says. But where should you put everything? Sholeen actually just turned her tiny entryway closet into a makeshift pantry and she can’t stop raving about it.

8. Get cozy.

“Comfy feet are a must,” says Contributor Patty Catalano. “For me, that means standing on a cushy (albeit ugly) kitchen mat in my slippers.” If you want something stylish, please allow us to suggest these stunners from The House of Noa.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

9. Have a regular, doable cleaning routine.

“Figure out a regular, attainable cleaning regimen so that you’re never having to do a Big Clean right before you want to cook,” says Managing Editor, Lauren Kodiak. Keep it “passable clean” every day, she says.

Credit: Faith Durand

10. Set up a kitchen altar.

Yes, we said to clear off kitchen clutter, but one thing that should definitely sit out there is a kitchen altar of sorts: a tray of oils, salts, your go-to spoons, etc. This will keep your most-used stuff out and within reach. And it looks nice too. Food Editor Meghan Splawn says there’s something voyeuristic about looking at everyone’s setups (back when we used to go to each other’s houses): “It’s better than peeping at someone’s medicine cabinet.”

Do you have any tips to add? Leave them in the comments below.