Friday, March 05, 2010

Kitchen Cure, Week #1 Assignment: Done!

The Kitchn is hosting The Kitchen Cure, a four-week program designed to help you get your kitchen in tip-top shape: Clean, healthy and organized. Or, better than it was before, right? As much as I bemoan the lack of cabinet space, I think it is a good idea to join in The Cure this year and see if I can’t make better some irritations, gifted as I am at simply whining about them. :)

Last week was assignment #1: Clean out the fridge and pantry. I don’t have a pantry, so this translated to cleaning out the hodge podge of cupboards crammed to the gills with food for my busy, hungry family.

The assignment was to photograph the kitchen with everything open, and take a few detail shots. Then, it was time to declutter and purge old food: food we have in our kitchens should be fresh and replenished frequently. Finally, what we kept was to be wiped down, along with the cupboards and inside the fridge/freezer.

So, here are the ugly shots:

I have to say I much prefer all the doors closed. :)

under the sink….

above the sink, where the coffee cups and water bottles live

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the funky cabinets over the stove—with fan chimney in the middle

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Aside from seeing I really need new shelf liners, it was a lot of sorting and some purging. Everyone here has such varied tastes that satisfying everyone means the variety of food in this house can be dizzying… and only I know all we have and where to find it.

There was more purging in the fridge than I expected… a lot of yogurts were expired. However, since I shop with a list, it was not all that much, since impulse buys are fewer when I use a list. I’m only about halfway through the cupboards, and will continue to work on them, but this is what I did finish.

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A lot of improvement here in the fridge and freezer! I took the before photos a couple of days before I cleaned, and many leftovers had been used up, plus it was getting close to grocery day, so I realize it looks like much more was discarded than was. More thoughtful use of space helps, too. :)

This cabinet represents a little change I think I’ll like. Two out of 3 ‘food’ cupboards are over and under an oven, so they’re ridiculously deep. Food gets lost back in the depths that I can’t see or reach. When I had it empty, I tried to think what could be stored there that would not prove to be a complete pain: even only occasionally-used items can’t be there. Aha – wedding china! I like to pull them out a couple of times a year, but lately even skipped using them for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as I worry about #2 Son (AKA Ringo; please, someone get the kid a real drum…) banging flatware against the fragile plates. They seemed like perfect near-permanent residents of ‘where the sun don’t shine.’ As a result, other space I can see and reach has been freed up. Win-win!

I have 2 more cabinets to work on, but wanted to post these before assignment 2 is underway this weekend. So far, so good! I’ve gained a few square feet of space in a place where every inch counts.

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