Friday, March 22, 2013
Somehow the smallest room in our home is always the kitchen. I love to cook so I don't know why I keep moving into homes that don't have larger kitchens. Either way I always seem to make it work. After getting married one of my biggest issues was finding a place for all our wedding gifts. We got so many fabulous platters, pans and anything else you could imagine and our home just didn't know what to do with it all. We have tried different strategies over the years but lately our strategy has been to get rid of most of it.
1. You may have a lovely large kitchen but if you can't work efficiently in there it can still be frustrating. Do you have so much crammed into your kitchen that it is making you feel heavy? I love floating around the kitchen and if every time I go for a pan or utensil I have to fight through a mound of clutter I quickly get frustrated. If you feel this way then maybe you need to start thinking through how necessary your things are.
2. One of the largest things that was cluttering my shelves were serving pieces. I had to ask myself am I actually going to use all the platters all at once? As much as I like entertaining, the likelihood of me needing 5+ platters is very small. We narrowed it down to 2 that have neutral colors. I have not missed the others one bit.
3. What do I actually need to cook? Somehow we have been convinced that we need a specific size pan to cook every kind of meal. Truthfully almost every meal I cook can be done in the same skillet. I chose to keep 1 cast iron, 1 non stick wok and one large skillet. I also have 1 small sauce pan and one larger pot and a dutch oven. My cabinets feel so much lighter and when I need something I can find it right away.
4. How about kitchen utensils? I am amazed at all the utensils out there. A avocado knife? Why can't a regular knife work? I have drastically pared down utensils too. I realized that a potato masher was huge and bulky and wait I could use a fork for that! We chose to mince our garlic with a knife instead of giving up the space for a garlic press. Start looking at your utensils and see what can do double duty and which ones are unnecessary. The only ones we use on a weekly basis are a citrus juicer, a grater/microplane, and sometimes a can opener.
5. Cups and Glasses. About two years ago we decided to get rid of all cups and instead use to mason jars that are multi purpose. This saved a lot of space in the cabinets because we could downsize on tupperware and travel mugs and we haven't looked back once. We used to give up a ton of cabinet space to wine glasses and then realized we never drink white wine so we have white wine glasses stored away (in case we have a guest) and only keep out 4 red wine glasses. So much open space! We also decided to choose a water bottle we love and use only that one. I use this one everyday so I got rid of all my old plastic ones then did the same with atravel mug. I wash it when I get home and use it again the next day. It is quick and easy and takes up so little space!
6. Tupperware. I don't know about you but there is nothing more frustrating that not being able to find a tupperware lid. I hated plastic tupperware because it felt cheap and I worried about how safe it was to reheat food in. We got rid of all of our plastic tupperware and got this lovely tupperware that is multi purpose. It is pretty enough to use everyday but can be taken to work for lunch.
There are so many other habits we have adopted to living in a small space but I hope these tips help you think through what you need to complete your kitchen!