The kitchen layout to Marie Kondo your kitchen

BY DBS, 10 MAR 2021

You might be the type of person who excels with the messiest of desks at work. But in kitchens, where more than $342 billion worth of food is thrown away yearly, we can all be armed with structure.

It’s Monday morning and you chase the blues away with a hearty meal-prepped dish that you readied over the weekend. But come Wednesday, you’re neck-deep in work. The fresh fruit on the counter becomes less of a priority to eat. And when you’re done for the day, you’re so tired that you decide to order in instead of cooking.

On Friday, you finally have the chance to properly peek at your fridge. It’s only then that you realise with a familiar sense of dread - you’ve not used some of the food you bought for the week.

Well, you’re not alone. More than 26,000 tonnes of unused food are thrown away from households yearly, because the food was bought without thinking, or wasn’t stored or handled properly. And that’s why it’s so important to organise your kitchen to cater to your peak busy-ness.

Positioning our home elements to meet our needs is a form of zoning called Permaculture design. In a sustainable lifestyle, we can zone foods according to their perishability!

Watch how ONE FM 91.3 DJ Anjelique Teo uses permaculture design and other serious life hacks to prevent food waste in her home.

Always start with your fridge

Fridge rules are simple. It’s the first place you look for food, grab, and go. So, you just need to make sure you’re grabbing the right items. Move new food to the back of your fridge, and your older ingredients to the front.

Be particular about what goes where, and always arrange your fridge for reduced clutter! That way, it’ll be easy for you to access all your options, whether you’re in need of a quick bite or a whole meal.

Sugar, spice, and everything nice – your cupboards

The fundamental rule for zero food waste cupboards is this: have eyes on everything! Use glass, or see-through plastic containers to store your ingredients and items. Keep smaller items in the front and larger items at the back, so nothing’s hiding at the back.

You’ll also want to make sure that all your items are easy to reach. For cupboards below eye-level, consider using bins with handles. When items are easier to grab a hold of, it’s more likely that you’ll use them.

Your sink - catch every little bit and compost it!

It’s hard to prevent bits from falling into the sink when you’re cleaning them or washing dishes. Use a strainer to catch runaway bits of food and use them if you can!

What remains you catch but can’t use, pop them into your compost bin.

Hot tip: Put your compost bin in the cupboard right below your sink to easily toss food remains into. Not to mention, you’ll also be keeping any potential composting smells from the rest of your kitchen!

In plain sight - your countertops

Our countertops are so plainly obvious that we sometimes look right past them. One way to make sure you’re making good use of your counter space is to keep your edible plants on them! That way, you can add bursts of flavour to your cooking in a jiffy. No need to scramble outside your house to pluck leaves when you’ve got a hot stove running.

Speaking of fresh flavours, you should also keep your spice rack within easy reach to make delightful meals before they go stale or rancid. You might even be packing some exotic spices that you’ve forgotten about!

Your fruit basket should be kept at a spot that you’ll see all the time. If you have any space on a counter next to your sink, consider putting your fruits there so that they’re easy for you to just pick up and wash. To catch them before they go bad, consider using easy pantry management apps or go traditional with a pencil and notebook, which you could even use for meal-planning.

As one of the main sponsors of MasterChef Singapore Season 2, DBS shines a spotlight on how we can each reduce our food waste in the kitchen.

Learn more about how you can continue your journey #TowardsZeroFoodWaste.

Find out more about DBS’ other partnerships and initiatives #TowardsZeroFoodWaste.

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