Wednesday, October 15, 2014

.thirty-one days of minimalism: the kitchen.

We recently moved and the room with the most to pack and unpack was, by far, the kitchen.

And, really, there's just no getting around that.

Dishes are breakable, pots and pans are big and heavy; there is just a lot that goes into stocking a kitchen for a household.

So what do you weed out? How do you make your kitchen feel clean, organized, and minimalistic?

Kitchen gadgets: boy, there are a lot of them! A tool for every different type of food...it can get crazy. So I suggest really watching what you actually use when you cook.

I had an egg separator, that I hated washing. So I always separate the yolk from the white using the shell. The separator was just there to make up the crowd. There were a dozen other tools in my drawers that I forgot I had, and cooked just fine without them.

Also, the pantry: this is the first home that I have ever lived in that has a "pantry." Honestly, I really don't like it. I'd rather have the food up high in cabinets, than in an easily-accessible closet right in the middle of the kitchen. But I'm making do. This isn't a forever kitchen.

Although it has definitely been a learning experience.

This is what my pantry looked like the first month we lived in this house.

Awful, right? I'm embarrassed to show it to you!

After a lot of tweaking, cleaning out, plastic tubs, and the help of my trusty laminator...

Voila!

Night and day difference, right?

While it wasn't my intent to spend money on new containers and tubs...the day after I cleaned out my pantry, sugar ants found it!! I guess they appreciated the organization. So the small initial investment in air-tight storage will save me money in the long run because I won't have to keep replacing food because of ant invasions.

Also, the plastic containers are much lighter than the glass ones, and will be one less thing I will have to worry about getting broken during a move. Plus, I love them! I love the clean look, and it didn't hurt that they are accented in my favorite color!

Do you have any secrets for keeping your kitchen clutter at a minimum?

 

24 comments:

  1. Ugh. We have terrible problems with bugs getting in our pantry stuff like flour, rice & pasta, too. We've resorted to keeping those things in a spare fridge in the garage, which is annoying. The funny thing is that the ants never seem to go after the sugar... I love the look of all the nice containers...I was just thinking about doing this when I was in the $ store last night and saw a ton of fall-colored containers.

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    1. I've never had bugs get into things before...it was a total surprise! The air-tight containers really work. Although I have been known to stash an open box of Lucky Charms in the fridge. :-)

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  2. Beautiful and inspiring! I need to work on re-homing those useless to me kitchen gadgets. I would love to have my counters cleared.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm still working on talking my husband into having the counters cleared off. ;-) But we're getting there. It's always a work in progress.

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  3. I hate having that one drawer that is full of kitchen gadgets. I have read where you can use something, place it in another drawer, then after a few weeks, you'll discover what you aren't using. I'm not sure this concept would work with so many people helping in the kitchen. I have discovered, that flour sifter? It's a great toy for a kid, I don't like using it and it is big and bulky. :-)

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    1. Maybe you could try the reverse. Take out some gadgets and see if anyone misses them. Or have your grandsons hide them - they're good at that.

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  4. Please come to my house. I live in Florida (sun! beaches!) and I can feed you well.

    I used to keep a super-organized pantry but somehow it got away from me. Yours is awesome. I think you've inspired me to get to work this weekend.

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    1. I'm in Pensacola, Shelby! So glad to be inspiration! I love a good clean out!

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  5. I was JUST having a conversation this morning with a friend about kitchen organization and how I needed to weed out the unused items. How fortuitous that you were just a couple of posts about mine to check out. You've given me some wonderful ideas and I can't believe I didn't once think about laminating. Brilliant!

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    1. How fun is that? I love it when something like that happens. My one tip with the laminator - is leave yourself lots of room on the sides to punch holes without touching the paper. That way you can wash it off if you need to without the water damaging your signs!

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  6. You have sooo inspired me. I don't have a pantry, but my kitchen cabinets are an unorganized mess. I will get to it!!

    Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life

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    1. I'm so glad! It will feel so good when you are done!

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  7. I've had to clean and reorganize and minimalize my kitchen too, but because of a mouse. My junk drawer is not so junky anymore. Some of the stuff it was easier to toss than to try to salvage. I have just almost everything in my "pantry" in airtight containers now. Yours looks prettier though.

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    1. Those stinky little creatures! I do have to keep my honey and maple syrup in airtight containers...not even ziplocs will work for these little ants!

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  8. Look at that before and after! WOO HOO! I might have said this in a comment before (I can't remember so forgive me if I repeating myself), but I have a family of 5 in 800 square ft apartment. We HAVE to keep it simple. I learned a lot when we sold our home though because the realtors had a rule of only having 4 things on the counter. I ended up really liking it that way.

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    1. Thank you so much! And I LOVE the idea of four things on the counter! And you go girl with the apartment! I have a feeling our next move will involve a similar arrangement for our family.

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  9. Nothing thrills me more than an organized kitchen! Seriously...it is where most families spend so much time and what a calming affect clearly labeled containers can have :).
    One thing I have done is use a p-touch label maker to produce labels for the cabinets where obscure and unusually sized items are kept. This way, my boys who do the dishes and put them away have no excuse to squish items every which way!
    The shelf for the waffle iron, the large bowls, the glass measuring bowls, etc. are all clearly marked.
    Now....if I can just get them to READ the dern labels!! At 16 and 17 they sometimes have selective sight...and hearing :).
    GREAT post.
    Oh...I also have found awesome containers at the dollar store. Especially around the beginning of the school year as they have the new college dorm stuff out. Found awesome turquoise baskets for the taters, onions, spices, and baking ingredients.
    Yes...I do love organizing!! :)

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    1. I love the idea of labeling where things go! My boys are too little to help, but when they can, I am SO doing that!

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  10. I heart labels.

    It is fun seeing you on the 31 fb page, dear friend.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  11. It's lovely! My favorite color, too. I need to do something with my pantry which is huge, but not in a convenient way. It's upper and lower cabinets, but deep and dark and forget about getting to things in the back on the very bottom or the very top! You are inspiring me, though, to do some research. After the kids put the groceries away (oh yes I am THAT kind of mom lol) it's scary just to open the door. Watch your toes! :D

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    1. Thank you so much, Diane! It's my favorite color, too! The white tubs are perfect for dark and gloomy! I use them in my laundry room, too!

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  12. WONDERFUL!! Nothing makes me feel better when I'm anxious than to grab a trash bag and start throwing away the clutter!! Thank you for sharing your great ideas.

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    1. Unfortunately for my family, cleaning out clutter is what I do when I'm anxious, too. And it's been a rough year. ;-)

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