I have finally pinpointed the source of my anxiety and depression, and am taking action to combat it.
In one hand is a trash bag, in the other, a donation box. Bring it on.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kitchen Cupboards

After my previous (self imposed) humiliation, I decided that I should get my butt in gear. My bedroom may be an overwhelming and daunting task, but my kitchen is only slightly cluttered. (And for those who know me and were a little shocked at the bedroom: Yes, there IS a reason why the bedroom is such a black pit: My kids. It's the only place where I can shut the door and not have my boys get into and thrash EVERYTHING, and I'm afraid I take advantage of that fact far too often.)

But I digress... the kitchen. I devoted an hour to it last night, and I was able to go through three cupboards and three drawers. I started by eliminating our extra sets of dishes. I decided to keep the white (seating for four) and the yellow (seating for 6). They weren't in the best shape, (as they have a few chips) but they were the most complete sets and I like the colors. (There are a few missing in the photo, since these were taken just after dinner.)

We also decided that we only really need one set of glasses, so we are ditching the random blue glasses. They have a tendency to break anyway, (and were from my husband's bachelor days, along with the blue dishes) so there were only a handful left. (There's only a portion of them in the photo since there were a bunch currently being washed. You may also notice a cute little pumpkin candy dish... which for some reason never made it back into the Halloween decorations. It's now chillin' out in my room *shudder*, along with some trick-or-treating buckets and Easter baskets.) 

Because we made space in the cupboards, I was able to move our plastic toddler plates, bottles, sippy cups, and turquoise plastic "picnic" gear all into the same cupboard. Now all of our dinnerware can be found in the same place!

Because I moved items over from another cupboard, I decided to tackle it and the three drawers below it next. I started by moving the remaining baby gear out of the cupboard. Tiny bowls, formula/cheerio containers, and those little mesh teethers that are meant for feeding babies cold fruit. (I love those things.) This stuff hadn't been used in months, so there isn't really much sense for keeping it handy. I've started a box of things to go into storage, with the rest of the baby items. 

 Then I pulled everything out of the cupboards and drawers. 
YEESH. There's stuff in there that I had completely forgotten we had!!

I decided to start with the simplest AND most frightening area: THE JUNK DRAWER. 
(Dun, dun, dunnnn.)

I tossed all the garbage, old batteries and random sauce packets, put the candles together in a zip-lock baggie, and tidied up the drawer. I had forgotten that there was a calculator in there! Handy.
Next came the task of choosing which measuring cup and spoon sets to keep. I have quite a few other measuring tools, so it's not as though I need two sets of these. 
My husband prefers the red cups (as evidenced by a few being dirty at the time of photo) and the metal spoons are rusting and not food quality. I've decided to keep the unwanted ones for now, because I want to try out making my own laundry detergent. Once I find the recipe I like, I'll keep what I need for making it and toss the rest. :)
Here's the completed "measuring" shelf. I have two nice Pampered Chef wet/dry measuring devices, and the one with the tilted side (for more accurate pouring) is great for holding the spoons and medicine syringes. I also have a set of nesting glass Pyrex cups, which I love. 
Those two glass containers are Pampered Chef prep bowls, which I had forgotten I even had! Those things are really useful when cooking from scratch. I never would have found them if I hadn't cleaned out my drawers. 
Next I tackled what I've started to think of as the "sharp" shelf. My Pampered Chef chopper made the cut, as well as the super-fine grater. The large metal grater in back was one that I purchased a while ago to replace a broken grater (which for some reason was still chillin' in the drawer- what gives?) and the two items on the right are the blades I pulled out of the Food Processor. Ever since our two year old mastered the child latches, I've been wary of him being hurt on those, so why not put them up high?

The bin contains smaller items, like corn on the cob holders, a pizza wheel, zester, garlic press, veggie and potato peelers, can opener, cork screw... etc. All those fun pokey sharp things!

I would have liked to put my mandolin up there as well, but it was just too long to stand up or lay down on any of the shelves. 

Now there's a whole empty shelf!
Whatever will I DO with it??

(And yeah, I know, the painting and laminate job on these is pretty terrible. It's a rental, what can I say? The good news is, I have permission to spruce it up, so hopefully this summer I'll be scraping up the sticky stuff and repainting!)

At this point I dove head first into the two remaining drawers and my spatula vase. 

Drawer number one contains serving utensils. Salad claws, spreading knives, the ladel and pie server, tongs, etc. I also decided to put the pot strainer in there, so it would be handy next to the stove.

Drawer number two features cooking supplies. Rubber spatulas, the rolling pin, whisks, things like that. I was even able to fit my Kitchenaid Hand Mixer in there! The baggie tucked in the back has the icing piping bag and its various tips. 

I did manage to whittle down my cooking spoons and spatulas in the vase by quite a bit, surprisingly enough. I know, you're shocked. That thing used to be overflowing, though. I'm going to keep track of what I use, and get rid of any extras by the end of the month. I tend to use the bamboo more for serving, so I'll likely move them into the drawer... I guess it's still a work in progress.

A handful of the rejects. A melted spatula, busted up cheese grater, rusty ladle...

All in all, I'm really pleased with what I accomplished. I keep looking in the wrong places for things, but once I get over the initial "oh, yeah" moment, it's all so much easier to find. I'm not digging through drawers and I'm not reaching past the stuff that I don't actually want! Score.


  1. Nice job! I wish I could do that - but having roommates, we usually have four sets of everything... perhaps in the fall I'll just put all of mine in storage and use everyone elses, lol.

  2. Wonderful!!

    So do you have a lot of small kitchen appliances? Waffle makers, Kitchen Aid, George Forman grills, toasters, apple peelers, food processr, blender, hand blender, tortilla maker, rice cooker, breadmaker, juicer...blah blah blah, those sorts of thing? The sort of things that are really handy when you use them, but you only use them occasionally? How do reconcile those with minamalism? I love to cook, but so much of my kitchen cupboard space is devoted to all these devices! I love them, and I don't want to get rid of them, but it's just so much...stuff! Any ideas?