If you are going to create in your kitchen, the room needs to be as conducive to creativity as a painter’s loft or a potter’s shed. . . It should be efficient, fit your lifestyle, and lift your spirits when you walk in. Victoria Moran
Simplicity’s kitchen won our hearts the first day we walked in. Located in the middle of the house, the kitchen stretches the full width of her size. Light enters through the long windows from both the East and West. Her old wooden floor, beautifully refinished, adds charm. Something about these two elements, the windows and floor, feels simple, organic, and joyful.
We enter Simplicity on the East side, through the kitchen. This is a living hub that easily gathers elements of our day, our comings and goings. Chaos and overwhelm can quickly happen. With both of us preferring an empty counter top, this is a challenge. Currently only a block of knives has rental space. It was granted a lease because we use our knives frequently every day. Everything else has a place behind a cupboard door, easily accessible, but out of sight.
Because I work best in a kitchen that is orderly and efficient, I have developed several kitchen mantras.
- As few small electrical appliances as possible. They require so much storage space. The electric can opener left long ago.
- Awake to a clean kitchen. Don is on deck with this one. As an early riser, he brings this room to order, makes the coffee, and gifts us a clean canvas of counter space.
- Keep only what is frequently used on the shelves. Infrequently used items find storage on shelves in our basement. This still leaves too much. Someday I yearn to open a cupboard and have ease in reaching for a bowl or tray. Stacking happens, making work out of using some items.
- Everything needs a place. Two areas of daily clutter are the island and the counter near where the keys hang. This is where the randomness of the day lands and quickly accumulates. Constant management is needed to file papers, put away a finished project or dishes collecting on the counter.
- Ask questions. Every so often I take time to ask myself, is this item needed? Space is a precious commodity in most kitchens and every item must be worthy of use to have room on the shelf or in a drawer.
Last week I asked questions of my kitchen utensils. They had overtaken three drawers plus a utensil holder on the counter. “Do two people need all this?” I have tried to minimize this assortment of useful utensils in the past. Each one seems to have a very specific purpose and begs to be worthy of a place in the drawer.
On this day, looking upon my resting subjects, I saw them in a different light. My gaze spotted the Tupperware melon baller. “When were you last used?” Months and years rolled back on the calendar. I vaguely remember using this bright yellow utensil thirty years ago. Out you go! Looking at this collection of kitchen helpers, I realized I avoided using some spoons and spatulas. I had my favorites and these were the back-ups. Out they went. The question I never asked was, “Will I use that someday?” If not finding the utensil currently ‘on duty’, out it went. My three drawers, plus holder on the counter, minimized to one large utensil drawer.
In the words of organizer Marie Kondo, now both the kitchen and the utensil drawer spark joy!