Sort your kitchen out

A messy kitchen.

As you might have seen on Three’s Sort Your Life Out, your kitchen can be one of the busiest places in the home and, as a result, can get cluttered and messy before you know it. The show features eight Kiwi families, who will have the contents of their homes laid out in front of them and be challenged to cut it down by half. If you're tempted to roll up your sleeves and organise your kitchen, here are a few of our favourite tips to help you get started.

Making a start

  • Allocate space: map out all the storage available in your kitchen and think about what items could go where. Establishing a place "where things live" can help you keep your kitchen organised in the future.

  • Be prepared: have your cleaning products, rubbish bags and the recycling bin at the ready as you may want to give your kitchen a good clean during the process, especially in those nooks and crannies where the dirt collects.

  • Make it fun: sorting, tidying and organising can feel like a chore, but, with a good playlist and rewards to look forward to along the way, it can be fun for everyone taking part.

Getting stuck in

  • Assess: before you start to sort, it may be helpful to lay everything that is currently stored in the kitchen out on the ground. That way you can see all appliances, containers and miscellaneous items taking up space.

  • Sort: decide what you want to keep and what you can donate, recycle, sell on or dispose of. Be honest with yourself; if you haven't used an item in a year, it might be better to get rid of it. Kitchens have a tendency to accumulate items like food storage containers or glass jars - figuring out how many you actually need and recycling the rest might help you score an easy win.

  • Divide and conquer: once you've reduced the contents of your kitchen, divide your stuff into sections, following the map you laid out earlier. These might be 1) everyday items (eg crockery and cutlery), 2) cooking equipment (eg pots, pans, spatulas), 3) pantry items (dry goods, spices, additional supplies), 4) accessories and storage (eg containers, food wraps) and 5) under the sink (cleaning supplies, bin bags, additional cleaning supplies).

It can get hot in the kitchen

It's estimated that one in four house fires start in the kitchen, so it’s important to take steps to reduce the risks and put measures in place to help keep you, your family and your property safe. Here are a few ideas on what you can do:

  • Buy and install heat alarms, which will activate when the room goes above a set temperature. Don’t forget to test them regularly to ensure they operate effectively.

  • Don't leave the room when you are cooking, and always keep an eye on your pan, especially if you are frying in oil.

  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it. If you already have one, check it each year to see that it’s in good working order.

  • Untangle your appliance cords to make sure they don't fray, and be careful not to overload multi-boards.

  • When you’re going to be out of the home for extended periods, don’t forget to turn off all non-essential electrical appliances at the wall.

Find out more about making your kitchen fire safe on the Fire and Emergency website.

Got your kitchen covered?

Like a lot of the families on Sort Your Life Out NZ, you may be surprised by how much stuff you’ve got at home and how much it can add up to. The beautiful matching toaster and kettle set, the slow cooker you rely on during the week, the coffee machine that keeps you going when you've had a bad night's sleep. This handy Contents Calculator, independently provided by Sum Insured, can help you estimate the value of your contents and help you establish if you have enough cover to replace all your belongings if you need to make a claim. With both our contents insurance options, you'll even be covered excess-free for food spoilage if your fridge or freezer breaks down, is damaged by a power surge, or if the power supply is accidentally interrupted.

Find out more about our partnership with Three’s Sort Your Life Out NZ.

Any questions?

Now’s a great time to review your insurance. We recommend checking your details are up to date and ensuring the policy and cover you’ve chosen is right for you and your insurance needs.

If you have any questions about your insurance, need to update your AA Insurance policies or would like a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and from 8am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.

This blog provides general information only and is not intended to be a recommendation or personalised financial advice. Excesses, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply to AA Insurance Limited’s policies. Please check the policy wording for details of cover. The provision of cover is subject to the underwriting criteria that apply at the time.

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