Sunday, October 11, 2015

Toward a more functional kitchen

The big task of the month was to Kon-Mari the kitchen, which—spoiler alert—was a ton of work.

Step one is to take everything out and put it in a big, ugly pile:

In case you are considering trying this, step one is very important. It’s the step that makes you go, “What was I thinking? What is all this crap? This is insane,” which is exactly the mindset you’re going to need for the labor ahead. Trust me.

The “official” next step is to start touching every object to separate out the things that bring you joy, but since we’re talking about the kitchen, for crying out loud, we did it a bit differently.

Actual step two was to clean all the crumbs from the empty cabinets and drawers. Steps three and four were to put all the super-obvious throwaway/giveaway stuff in their own piles. Step five was piling up things that we do use, but only once or twice a year, like cake pans (which ended up going in that inconvenient cabinet above the fridge).

Then the real work started. We tried to think through how and where we used everything, which systems were already working pretty well, and what needed to be moved to easier-to-access locations. One of my main goals was to not rely too much on stacking things up—I wanted everything to be easy to get out and easy to put away, and not, say, in a teetering pile of mismatched bowls.

We put back all the easiest, most-used things first, of course. After that, everything easy to categorize (the obviously junk and obviously needed) had been dealt with, and it was time to go through the mushy middle, where the decision-making starts to break your brain. In the end, we solved the problem by putting some stuff in a storage box and taking it to the basement—where I’m sure it will sit untouched until we move and then get donated—but at any rate it’s out of the kitchen now, so I’m content.

End result: The kitchen looks exactly the same as it did before, but it’s a lot more fun to open cabinets.

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