I’ve never clocked how much time spend in the kitchen each day, but lately with my new vegan-ish lifestyle I am spending more time there than before. More time is needed for food prep, cleanup and checking my produce. Checking? What do I mean by ‘checking’?Since I keep a strict kosher kitchen ‘checking’ means to scrupulously check for bugs or worms in produce before cooking or eating.
For example, green leafy vegetables need to be triple-washed before eating. If you have been used to merely rinsing your food to clean only for dirt, be prepared to be grossed out. Your food could be infested with bugs. There are some of the reliable guides and charts to show what is involved in checking your food for critters that you probably never knew were there like thrips and worms: https://www.star-k.org/images/pdf/bugchecking_july3.pdf or https://oukosher.org/ou-guide-to-checking-produce-and-more/
How does all this relate to reorganizing my kitchen? My counters were constantly getting cluttered up with pots, pans, bowls, strainers, and dishes, both dirty and clean ones which needed to be put away. Something was inefficient and I needed to analyze what was causing the piles. I was not enjoying being in my kitchen very much.
Basically, it boiled down to overcrowded cabinets and poor location of food storage containers. You can probably relate to this, that whether a cabinet or closet, there is nothing more frustrating than having to cram things in when you need to put something away or take something out. My use of cabinet space was no longer efficient and putting dishes away was a subconscious headache.
Rearranging everything made all the difference and now I can enjoy my time in the kitchen rather than feeling frustrated by the counter clutter and lack of work space. Here are some before and after photos to visually show the problems and what I did to solve them.
Before: Too many pots, pans, bake ware, and cutting boards crammed into a cabinet. Under the sink area had extra space which could be re-organized to accommodate the overstock.
After: Larger pots and strainers were moved to under the sink.
Here is the how I re-organized upper cabinets.
Before: Where is the rule that plates and bowls need to stored together? You may enjoy The Pot Roast Story which is about why we do things ‘just because’ without giving thought to why we do it.
I use my blender daily and it was a real pain to put away. Mugs and glass storage containers were crammed in. (One day I’ll scrub baked on stains off my Pyrex…). I am not showing a ‘Before’ photo of the food storage cabinet, but basically its location was inconvenient from the dish washing area and also lower to the ground causing more bending and stooping than necessary.
Can you see why the ‘After’ makes maintaining the kitchen a more pleasant experience? It’s a joyful experience now to put things away because there is no cramming or stress involved and my kitchen stays relatively uncluttered.
If you have something that irritates you about your kitchen or any other room in your house take a step back and figure out what it is. Trouble-shoot the problem and then make changes. It makes all the difference. For RBSers, consider scheduling a session and let’s find some home organizing solutions to transform your space into something useful.
Thanks for reading and happy cooking.
Karen, T.K.K. (The Klutter Koach)
October 12, 2017