I’ve always wanted to give unsolicited advice to brides-to-be. Since I don’t know anyone setting married and my oldest daughter is 12, I have these pearls of wisdom I’ve been dying to share with someone.
OK, perhaps you don’t fit into the bride-to-be category, but whether or not you’re already married, you probably have a kitchen, and your kitchen is filled with stuff. How many of those items do you use? How much just sits there taking up precious storage space? How many of your things to you really LOVE and how much of it do you use but have a love-hate relationship with? I will talk about de-cluttering your kitchen another time. This post is meant to be preventive medicine for those setting up home and perhaps an inspiration to those of you wanting to update what you have.
This post was inspired by my recent 16th wedding anniversary. I remember my wedding day very well. For starters, it snowed. I remember my Southern husband-to-be asking if it snowed in Chicago in early November. I told him no, it didn’t; very rarely, anyway. Well, guess what? It snowed the night before and morning of the wedding and everything was covered in white. Some things you simply have no control over. Other things however, you have the power in your hands.
One of these things you have control over is selecting the items for your new home. This rite-of-passage occasion is known as “Registering for the Infamous BRIDAL REGISTRY”. These, my friends, will be decisions more important than selecting the flavor of your cake. The cake, will be a distant memory preserved in photographs, but your dishes will be with you for much longer.
Here is where my Pearls of Wisdom after 16 years of marriage come in. Choose those kitchen items wisely!
The Klutter Koach’s Pearls of Wisdom for Brides-to-be
- silverware-make sure your forks and spoons will nest nicely together in the drawer. knives-the flatter the handle, the better they stack. I hate my butter knives. The sturdy, thick handle I admired causes my knives to take up too much space in the silverware sorter. It drives me crazy.
- dishes-my preference is Corelle or some other lightweight dish over stoneware. That’s my personal opinion. Corelle is lighter, easier to stack, taking up less space in the cabinet. All their bowls nest nicely. They dry quickly. They are versatile and easy to add replacements or additional dishes as needed.
- pots and pans-stainless steel over non-stick. I have non-stick now and we’ve used them so much that all the non-stick part is coming off the bottom. Not only does it look unsightly, I am sure there are health issues associated with non-stick things. In the meantime, I have to make due. I think buying individual pieces of the pots you will use most is more important than a boxed set of something.
- bakeware- Pyrex or Corningware is classic. Whether you get one of these or a knock-off, I think it’s best to get the sizes and shapes you are going to actually use. I’m not fond of the 12-piece/16-piece/ whatever number piece size set. Far too common is having pieces you don’t use that end up cluttering up your cabinet. If you are the owner of unloved, unused bakeware because it came with a set, pass it on. To you it is clutter, to someone else, it maybe be exactly what they want.
- food storage containers aka Tupperware, Gladware, etc.- BE SURE THEY NEST inside each other. Don’t mix rounds and squares. The biggest disasters I see are with people’s food storage containers. I think I’ll dedicate a separate post to this topic, but for now try to stick with one brand and be sure everything can stack inside of each other. Another thing to keep in mind- I personally hate washing storage containers. The less corners, ridges and bumps where the lids and containers meet on your storage containers, the easier it is wash them.
- gadgets-I personally hate gadgets. So the less you have, the better. A can opener, a peeler, and a wine bottle opener are all have. Sort of.. also I have an apple corer only because my kids know I have it and won’t let me get rid of it. I have measuring cups, measuring spoons, and two spatulas. Do you really need an egg slicer, or can you make due with a knife? Do you really need the thingy to make perfectly round burger patties or can you use your hands? You get my point?
- kitchen utensils-keep to the basics and don’t have more than two of each. Nobody needs a million soup ladles. The more you have, the more opportunity you have to be lazy. The fewer multiples you have, the more you are forced to wash your dishes avoiding pile up after a cooking session.
So, mazel tov and congratulations if you are a bride-to-be setting up home. For the rest of you who faithfully made it to the end of this post, thanks for reading.
–Karen The Klutter Koach