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How to Whip Your 2014 Kitchen Into Shape

Your kitchen has some New Year's resolutions, too.
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At Food52, inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Your kitchen has some New Year's resolutions, too.

The holidays are over. Yes, it's a bit of a letdown -- no more over-indulging in eggnog, spending all afternoon making Christmas cookies, or juggling dishes in and out of the oven. But look on the bright side. You can finally take a breath, take in the sudden quiet of the post-holiday rush, and take some you time.

Take a moment to prioritize what you want to do with this new year you have ahead of you. And definitely take some time to appreciate your kitchen: to thank it for the work it did to get you through the holiday season, and to prepare it for the year ahead. Because it deserves a fresh start as much as you do.

  • Does your kitchen look like a post-holiday war zone? Start here.

Once everyone is fresh and clean, you can start digging deep -- and de-clutter. Yes, we know it hurts, but do you really need three shrimp de-veiners? Because a clutter-free kitchen leads to a clutter-free mind.

Now that you've decided what to keep and what to chuck, it's time to make sure your kitchen staples are at their best. First step: sharpening your knives. Yes, this is absolutely worth doing. Sharper knives mean fewer slicing injuries, faster food prep, and more bang for your buck.

Next, make sure your knives have a fresh platform on which to do their work. Are your cutting boards dull, smeared with stubborn beet stains, and redolent of garlic? Here's how to freshen them up to their original glory.

Once you've cleared your fridge of mysterious fossilized cheese chunks, protect the rest of your stock. Here's how to wrap your cheese to keep it fresher, longer.

Your cheese isn't the only thing that needs protecting. Keep your brown sugar fresh all through the new year with these storage strategies -- weird plastic teddy bear not included.

Now that your kitchen is sparkly and clean, resolve to keep it that way. It's easier than you think; especially when you take advantage of these 9 pantry items that double as cleaning tools. Keep your kitchen cleaner, naturally.

This new year, plan ahead. Fill your ice cube trays with sauces, stocks and pestos -- a delicious homemade meal will never be more than a freezer away.

If you want to go above and beyond, think about starting to compost. We promise you will feel like an incredible person every time you throw your carrot peels in the compost instead of the trash. New year, new you baby.

This article originally appeared on Get Your Kitchen into Shape, 2014-Style

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