Saturday, March 12, 2011

Refreshing the Kitchen

A few weekends ago (several by now, I think), Jared and I did some refreshing in the kitchen. Meaning Jared installed the hooks and I did everything else. I really didn't want to do the hooks so it is very much appreciated that he agreed to. Kaelyn quickly moved from trying to get in the cupboards to emptying the lowest shelf in the pantry.

 Today I want to show you the main kitchen area. I only have one before picture but if you think of dirty dishes and some piles of miscellaneous items, you pretty much of thinking of the right space. You may not care what my kitchen looks like but lemme tell you that I will enjoy looking back at these pictures on days like today (and weeks like this week) and know that it can be purtiful.

My stove looks a whole lot dirtier than that right now. Majorly worse. So the kettle was out still from whenever we used it last. I've never had a home for the oven mitts (look there's crap on the dining room table -- it's not there anymore!) but that was about to change.

After hanging some hooks and cleaning the stove, this is what we have. I bought cup hooks that screw into wood. These are hanging on the cupboard edge. Like it wouldn't be seen inside the cupboard because it isn't the bottom of the cupboard. The oven mitts go on one side, the spoon rest goes on the other.

BTW, I cleaned the microwave too. It's really easy. In a mug, microwave for maybe a minute water + a little vinegar. It loosens all the food and I really just had to wipe it down. I've heard you can use lemon halves in water as well but vinegar is cheaper. On the stove, I use baking soda.

The counter next to the stove saw changes as well. There was a round spice thing in the corner and it was taking up room and making the space awkward so I finally removed it from the kitchen. The spices that we use weren't even on that rack anymore anyway. The radio/CD player got moved to the corner. The cord runs behind all the canisters to the plug so I can't see it! The spoons and spatulas were over by the sink (different part of the same counter) but it makes much more sense for them to be by the stove. The trivets (Jared had never heard that word before we got married) go between the flour and utensils. It fits very nicely there.

The dish rack used to be on the let side of the sink, but I really like it on the right side. We had a tendency to put dishes on the right side of the sink and then ignore it (for some reason that was really easy to do) but now that the dishes are on the left side of the sink, it's much harder to ignore them. I put non essentials under the sink and only left out the scrub brush, the bottle brush, a pair of gloves (for when I'm wearing nail polish or doing a ton of dishes), dish soap, hand soap, lotion. Like the view? Hi, neighbors broken window! Towels hang on something I found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond a while back. Kaelyn used to pull the towels off whenever she saw them on. We just didn't make it a big deal and rehung them. Now she rarely pulls them off.

There is my fruit hammock! I removed many things off this counter. It was cluttered and not even with kitchen items. Some people have a junk drawer. We tend to have a junk counter. The radio used to be on the corner near the cookbook holder and that was awkward placing plus Kaelyn could pull the plug. In between the cookbook holder (which was a recent kitchen addition and I'm thrilled it matches my canisters and utensil holder I got when I was married) is a candle to bring a lovely scent to the area.

It is so refreshing to have that counter cleared off! (Stop laughing, my kitchen is a disaster right now. At least MOST of the dishes are washed, right?) It makes meal preparation so much easier and enjoyable when there is a nice flow to everything and, of course, when it is clean.

Some changes here too. The green bins are from Target. The bottom one is for paper recycling and the top is for everything else. We don't really need to make the distinction but it keeps it organized well. The garbage can is in teh back. The broom and mop to the side. And that red thing is something I whipped up to hold all those plastic bags. I have pictures on the how-to side but that will be another day.

And this is the rest of the kitchen.... from before we bought the house. I don't have a more recent one but it looks the same. Except... used.

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