If you watch organizing videos in YouTube, you would find that the houses are in clean conditions and items such as pots and pans, kitchenware, utensils, can food, baking products can be safely stored inside an organized kitchen cabinets.
This method works well if a person’s house does not have any rats, cockroach, lizards and ants. What happens if you do see a roach or two running around or your home has already had ants or lizards issue…. you need to find away to store away your items or else you will need to constantly take them up to clean.
Despite trying to maintain a clean house, sometimes a home may have unwelcomed ‘visitors’ like rats, cockroach, lizards and ants.
Here are some possible reasons:
1. The house is situated near a big drain or food court/restaurants where sometimes unfinished food are not properly disposed off. Eventually they move around and ended up in your house.
2. The house is an older house in which previous practice or previous tenants had not keep the house clean
3. Bad neighbors who due to their less hygienic conditions attracted these pests and these pests ended up exploring into your home
4. Nearby neighbors who did some pest control in their home- causing colony of ants, cockroach, etc to migrate into your home
5. Someone in your home who either is a clutterer- not only he/she does not bother to keep the house clean, but often leave debris of food on tables/floors, thrash that does not gets thrown out and opened food not closed properly in kitchen cabinets
We lived in a relatively older neighborhood and there is a huge drain located not far from my home. I have a relatively large kitchen and we used to place pots, pans, plates, bowls, etc below the kitchen counter and lighter items above the counter.
I used to get grossed out when sometimes I find presence of bugs in some of my kitchenware. Now, you may say that if you can clean the cabinets often and it would be rid of the bugs. But what if you do not have time or dislike cleaning?
Here is the method I did that has helped me tremendously:
I invest in plastic storage boxes to keep and organize a huge majority of my kitchen items.
More than 10 years ago, fed up of being grossed out when I open the cabinets for a plate, I took out all my plates, bowls, spoons, etc and gave them a good wash and disinfectant. I then placed them inside plastic storage bins. This system had worked for me and I need not clean the plates often- kept in the storage boxes, the plates remained clean.
Tip: Get the clear plastic storage bins- as clear as possible. They may be more expensive but they help you to see through easily what is inside. Long term, the ease of use is worth the investment.
Non see through ones make it inconvenient as you need often pull out the box to take a look at what is inside. This is what I learnt from past mistakes when I bought some non clear storage boxes because there were on sale.
Also, do measure the size of your cabinet to ensure the boxes fit into your cabinets. It would also allow you to estimate how many that you can fit.
About few years ago, I started storing the following items in storage containers:
1. Pots and pans that does not get used often
2. Can and bottled food/sauces
3. Glassware or plastic ware
4. Baking products like flour, cocoa powder. Note: For sugary items, I store them in air tight plastic containers to avoid ants from getting inside
5. Smaller storage containers for instant noodles, biscuits, 3-in-1 packet drinks, muffin cups, teas, coffee
6. Plastic storage containers- I use plastic storage containers which are washable to keep my vegetables, sauces, food or to pack outside food. Plastic containers can attract bugs and roaches hence I have a storage box which I keep all these containers in one place
The above system worked well for me and my family for a few years. I used to discover in the past roaches would pierce through the packaging instant noodles and biscuits, and ants at the sugar (even though the plastic to hold the sugar is relatively thick). By keeping instant noodles, flour and biscuits in storage boxes and sugar in tight containers, it prevented the bugs from getting to these items.
For cleaning, it is easy easy… just pull out the storage containers and wipe the counters. When there is no source of food, the rats and pests would be very much less.
There are also other habits that need to be adopted to keep the kitchen as free from rats, roaches, flies and ants:
1. Always keep food (cooked and uncooked) covered up. Fish and meat tend to attract lots of flies so I would cover them with a plate, then a plastic cover
2. Dustbin containing perishable items are covered up and not exposed
3. Ensure surfaces are wiped clean after cooking/ end of the day
4. Floors are swept and wipe if there is cooking done
5. The thrash, especially containing perishable or sweet items are being thrown out each night. Sometimes in the middle of the night, when we tried to throw out the thrash, a couple of house lizards would jumped out from the trash. Or in the morning, there is a trail of ants near the trash. This made us do our best to remember as best as we could to throw out the trash.