Wednesday, January 9, 2013

If You'd Like a Bigger Kitchen

I kept going through things as the spirit moved, asking my question until the list got short enough to write. It looked something like this:

  • Books (with Brian)
  • Dining room
  • Kitchen
  • Hall Cupboard
  • Craft closet
  • Guest room
  • Guest bath
  • Family room
  • Storage Totes
  • Root cellar - a dug-out area under our front porch (with Brian)
  • Tools
  • Brian's closet/dresser (Brian)
  • (the garage was waiting for warmer days)

And the scariest one on there was kitchen. Maybe because I didn't have high hopes for it; maybe because I hate cooking. I just didn't want to face it, but when Brian took the kids out of the house for half a Sunday, I decided to seize the opportunity. 

I have a beautiful, but tricky kitchen because we took out drawers to put in a dishwasher. Now we only have two, which are small. I'd had to re-think storage for things you typically store in drawers, but no matter how many times I'd done it, I hadn't gotten it right. The other challenge I faced was high storage. I have lots of space because my cabinets go to the ceiling, but at 5' 1" a lot of it's a pain to get to. I'll scramble up on my counters to get a vase out, but not my everyday stuff. So I was constantly trying to rework things so the stuff I use frequently didn't require climbing. (I know, I know. I have a step stool, but only pull it out for extended projects.) 

All that changed after I went through my kitchen with a strict "if I don't use it, it goes" rule. I got rid of ancient teas, spices, foods I'd never make, extra sets of measuring spoons and Rubbermaid that didn't nest. I'd kept bibs, baby cutlery and a couple bottles in hopes of being a good hostess to my friends with babies, only to never use them. Either the moms brought their own or they were laid back enough to use something else, so those went too. I looked in the boxes I was filling and was glad to be rid of it. I saw promotional water bottles, mugs I didn't like, a novelty plate I used for the kids "Safari" party three years ago, a flower vase. Another way to think of this is, keeping the best, or keeping your favorites. The linens got a shake-down too. I don't need all my old mismatched hand towels or the micro-fiber ones I ruined with dryer sheets. (If you didn't know, they get coated and won't absorb water.)

If the kitchen intimidates you, keep this in mind. When you move, your kitchen requires your biggest boxes. The sheer size of items makes this room feel like a huge accomplishment. And when that stuff leaves your cupboards (and drawers if you're so lucky) you'll find them roomier than before. The things I use most fit within my tippy-toed reach. The worst cabinet used to be the skinny one by my stove. Finding a clean cutting board or cookie sheet in the dishwasher was cause for dismay because of the wrestling that ensued. Now it's easy. 

I realize some of you have tiny kitchens and might even be fabulous cooks who use many of their cooking thingys. This project may not make your kitchen big, but it has to make it bigger. Easier. Lighter. I mean, who doesn't have some ugly koozies to toss?

1 comment:

  1. At 5'1" too, I identify with the reaching dilemma. Not only finding a place for things, but a place you can reach! And my kitchen is super small too, but you've reminded me how I can make it bigger. Make it emptier!!!