Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Keep Your Kitchen From Resembling Gollum's Cave

You may have been wondering what I do with all my free time (more likely not, I can't see you sitting, brow-furrowed, contemplating my possible activities, while your tots tear apart your living room for the twelfth time this week).  Well, stop biting your nails in anticipation-- I have been organizing and cleaning the apartment.  Yaaaaaaayyy...

The biggest beast was the kitchen.  I haven't really touched it (aside from the weekly cleaning of visible spots) since we moved in.  And it developed into rather an unpleasant place to be.  It was dark and dusty and smelled vaguely of lurking onions.
They know where you eat...
I made it my personal crusade to make the kitchen once again a pleasant place to bake, cook, eat, and be.  Heretoforth, the steps, in case you want to do the same:

1. Organize the cupboard under the sink.  Get rid of rusty old dish rags, that broken ceramic bowl you thought you might make into a mosaic someday (never mind you've never made a mosaic in your life), and old cat things.  It might help, if you have plastic bags taking over, to take an old milk jug, cut a hole in the side, line the sharp edges with tape, and thereby create a plastic bag holder that you can have easy access to.  If you are curious about this, I can give you further detail, but it's really simple.  Anyway, get a box or tub and put all your cleaning supplies in it, in order of which you use most often (front to back).  Done.

2. Tackle your food cupboards.  Put all the cans in one cupboard, all the breakfast/bread/cereal stuff in another, all the baking mixes/dinner things in another, etc.

3.  Organize your other cupboards.  All the pots should go together (plus I did it by stick and non-stick) and all your frying pans together (same same).  Take that expensive Fontagnac pot from above the fridge and put it with the other pots so you will actually use it.  All gadgets should go together and all bakingware that doesn't make sense to go under your oven should go together too.

Excellent progress, fellows!

4.  Do the dishes.  Yes, the dirty ones in the sink.  Then put them away.  Then go into those places and get rid of the 37,000 mugs that you will never use, and the extra colanders, and limit yourself on what you keep for sentimental value.  I saved three mugs, two bowls, and a handful of plates from my childhood.  That seems excessive, but trust me, it's improvement.  And your friendly neighborhood greasy/dusty thrift store will be glad to receive them.

5.  Next go through your utensil containers and drawers.  Aside from getting rid of doubles, melted things, bent things, things you never use, etc, rearrange drawers so that like things are together and everything makes logical sense.  I'm still dancing around trying to remember where I moved the silverware, but it really does make a lot more sense where it is now, promise.

6. Organize your junk drawer, your trash drawer, your towel drawer, whatever.  If you need to (like for the junk drawer), buy organizers.  They're cheap at Target.

I forgot to mention that this organization and such took place over the period of a few days...

7.  Move counter appliances around.  We got a Kitchenaid when we got married.  It's very pretty, but it has, until now, been hiding in a corner behind the fridge, wasting its pretty green color and not getting much use because we didn't want to lug it to the other side of the kitchen where the counter space was.  The microwave was sitting skiwompis (does anyone even know how to spell that word?) in a corner with the toaster shoved behind it.  And it was ugly.  And the outlet it was in wasn't a high-power outlet, so every time we used the microwave it sounded like the fuse box was going to burst into flames, and the lights flickered like we were in the middle of a haunting and I hate hate hated it.  So.  Sam came home and did the heavy lifting.  We moved the Kitchenaid temporarily, then picked up the microwave and moved it behind the fridge where the Kitchenaid was.  And there, behind where the microwave had sat... A FRUIT MUMMY!!!
While I stood there yelling about how disgusting it was that there was something so creepy and gross sitting in our kitchen this whole time (yes, I'm very mature), Sam picked it up and threw it away.  It was essentially a dried up, desiccated fruit thing.  Sam thinks it might've been a plum.  We've never bought plums.  The mystery deepens...

8. Put heavy things where you can reach them.  I am not a short person.  But I am a weak person.  Therefore, it was ridiculous to put our 50lb sacks of stuff on the highest shelf (above the fridge, no less).  It got a bit embarassing every time I needed something up there to call out sheepishly, "Sammy...can you get down the flour/rice/ten-ton weights for me please?"  I'm sure he has better things to do when I'm not in the room.  And so down they came to the bottom-most shelf.

9. The spice cupboard.  Ugh.  I put this off for ages.  But eventually I pulled everything out, consolidated or threw away duplicate bottles (trust me, you will never have reason to own three bottles of poppy seeds), and when I was done, EVERYTHING FIT! And you could actually see every label!  And I don't have to live in fear that whenever I open that cupboard I will be buried in an avalanche of scented plastic bottles!

10.  I might've done other stuff too, but this post is already too long.  Pour some vinegar down the garbage disposal and run it, light a scented candle or something, hide the broom behind the fridge, organize your bulletin board and hey-ho your kitchen is actually nice!  The lighting is still bad so you probably still have shadows, but you know nothing is growing--or mummifying-- anywhere.  Also we have a lot more counter space now (and have room to make yummy things like this!), which makes me very happy.



LP said...

This is hilarious! But I'm curious: can you give an example of bakingware that doesn't make sense?

Adrien said...

Why is there no photographic evidence of the mummified thing?

Megan said...

You are very funny, Shannon Jones!

I also want pictorial evidence of this fruit mummy. As well as before and afters... Humph.

You should help me figure out what to do about my spices. I looked for those wood spice racks at Ikea that people like using for random projects but they don't seem to sell them anymore. What about all the people (AKA me) who want to actually buy them to organize their spices?? I feel like getting rid of those and those cheap, small, striped, woven rugs were the biggest mistakes Ikea has made.

Holy adjectives, Batman.