Posted on | March 3, 2014 | No Comments
I have a confession. I’m an addict. I’m addicted. I’m unashamed. See, I love all things kitchen. Appliances, gizmos, gadgets and doodads all have a way of finding their way into my kitchen. However, a while back, I realized what a mess I’d gotten myself into. I started purging. I decided to make sure that very few things in my kitchen were single-taskers.
Since purging, kitchen life has become much more manageable. While I’ve always loved being in the kitchen, I find tasks have become easier and expectations are often met. It sounds weird, I know. But the less you have to worry about, the less you…well…have to worry about. When your life is cluttered, you can get overwhelmed. The same thing happens in the kitchen. Join me as I share with you what I’ve done to take my kitchen from overwhelming to streamlined!
Will I Really Use It?
Several years ago I’d read an article. It was on how to purge your closet. It said to turn your hangers backwards, and as you wore them, to rehang them facing the proper way. After a year, any clothing that was still backwards- get rid of. I thought why not do this with your kitchen stuff?
What I decided to do was place all my kitchen items from the drawers into plastic bins. I stuck them in my laundry room which is just off the kitchen. This allowed me easy access to them, but they were out of the way. I have almost no counter space, so keeping them off the counter was great! As I used the items from the bins, they went into the dishwasher and were returned to the drawers. After 3 months, anything left was put into yard sale boxes or thrown out.
Loved and Seasonal Items?
I have a lot of seasonal items in my kitchen. Popsicle molds, water bath canner, Christmas cookie cutters, etc. Much like above, if I’m not sure I’m going to use them, I move them to a location out of the way. Over the course of a year, if you haven’t used it, off to thrift/trash/donation it goes.
On that note, I do keep a few much loved items around. My father-in-law and his wife recently gave me a family heirloom tea set. I haven’t used it yet, though I hope to. I just polished it up and keep it in our china cabinet. I also have the cutest little creamer jug shaped like a milk carton. It’s hand blown glass and when I saw it, I had to have it. I’ve sacrificed a lot of things, so that I can keep the things I love and treasure. I do have some other collectibles, but I use those as well.
I also have a non-electric percolator. It stays. We’ve had to use it when the power has gone out. To me, it’s like having that little box of white candles in your junk drawer. We keep it around “in case of emergency.” Emergency items are OK to hang on to if you’ll indeed use them in an emergency. Keep them out of the way, though. Don’t let them clutter up the main parts of your kitchen.
As I mentioned, I do have a few single-taskers in my kitchen. I have a pressure canner that I never use for cooking. However, I do can quite a bit, so this one slides. It’s very much used. My french press is a single-tasker. However, if I don’t have my coffee in the morning…. well, it’s just not pretty. I keep a fruit bowl on my counter, too. While it holds only fruit, it’s aesthetically pleasing and serves the purpose of keeping counter items corralled.
Single-taskers are acceptable if, and only if, they serve a great purpose and cannot be performed by any other kitchen tool.
Now let’s look at how we can turn those too many single-taskers into multi-taskers. One of the things I got rid of were a set of lovely servings dishes. They were large, thick heavy-duty plastic and shaped like shells. I bought them for our wedding and I’d held onto them for that reason. I realized over time though, those bowls are not the prize. I married the prize, and these bowls were just things. They were clutter and they served only one purpose: to serve things in. Can’t I do the same thing in my bowls? I have quite the collection of mixing bowls. I realized I could just as easily pour a bag of chips or crackers into a mixing bowl and call it good. So, I got rid of the shell-shaped serving bowls from the wedding. And I didn’t even cry.
I have a collection of slow cookers. When I say collection, I mean it! I have seven of varying types and sizes. Why so many? On any given day there’s a chance you may walk into my kitchen and find at least four of them running… at the same time. Chicken stock, beef stock, yoghurt & dinner are all staples in my house, so for my family, these are a necessity.
I love mason jars and collect them. I mentioned earlier that I enjoy canning. While I always want to keep a good stockpile of canning jars, they come in handy for other uses. We like to drink out of them. The boys think it’s fun! I store things in them: food, buttons, school supplies all have a way of finding themselves in jars.
Another favorite multi-tasker are these mugs (seen below). We use them for tea and coffee. That’s a given. However, they’re 18 ounce mugs, so they get used plenty for soup, broth, cereal, yoghurt, snacks. They’re large, but the handle and shape make them easy for even the kiddos to handle and eat out of. Plus, things don’t spill quite as easily as they do in wider, flat bowls.
Take a Look Around
Take a look around your kitchen. Find out what your most used and loved items are and set those aside. Find those items that you know you don’t use or won’t use again. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Do I really love this?” If not, get rid of it. Don’t wait. Get rid of it now, whether it’s straight to the trash or to a yard sale/donation box. Only throw away things that are no longer usable. Things that are still in good shape can be used by others, and you won’t fill up a landfill with it.
Place the rest of your items in containers as I mentioned above. You don’t have to do your entire kitchen at once. Start with putting your annual items away. Store them in a basement, attic or closet. Empty your drawers into bins and place them out of the way. Three months later, anything left in those bins goes away.
Have fun with this! How do you declutter your kitchen?
“Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.
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