Take a moment to think about your kitchen.
I mean, really… think about it. Reflect on all that it does for you.
Day in, day out, it is always there just waiting to be of use.
As the heart of the home, it singlehandedly hosts everything from daily meals to gatherings with friends. You probably use your kitchen multiple times every day (in some capacity, at least).
For our family, it is where Lily took her first steps. It is also where we have spontaneous family dance parties.
However you use it, I’m guessing your kitchen is pivotal/central to how you live, too. So, how can we show appreciation for it?
- By leaving dirty dishes in the sink for far too long?
- By accumulating unneeded utensils and appliances until the drawers and cupboards are jam-packed?
- By allowing food splatters to sit untouched on the counters? In the microwave?
- By despising the outdated refrigerator that so faithfully keeps your food from going bad?
- By resenting the less-than-fashionable countertops that offer you the space you need to prepare meals for your family?
Guilty. On all counts.
I do understand that we can’t always keep the kitchen spotless — especially when we have little ones running around. But, maybe it’s time for our kitchens to receive a little love and appreciation, considering all they do for us.
I’ve come up with a simple plan for you to give your kitchen a refresh without breaking the bank. And, in true Konmari fashion, the plan begins with discarding.
Skip the Kitchen Remodel Step #1
Keep only items that you love; discard the rest.
Here’s what I discarded in my pursuit of a more minimalist kitchen.
- Spoon rest. I use a plate or napkin instead.
- Fruit bowl. I use a small salad bowl that I love (or larger serving bowl if I have a lot of fruit on hand). If I don’t happen to have a lot of fruit to fill it, I just put it back in the cupboard where it lives.
- Old dish brushes.
- Anti-fatigue mat. Nice idea, if our dog and kids weren’t always sitting on it. If my feet are tired, I’ll put on some shoes instead.
- Expired food (or food that, if you’re being honest, you’ll never eat). You’ll love opening your cupboards and only seeing options you can work with.
- Duplicate utensils. How many of your utensils do you really use? Do you need two spatulas? If you use a certain utensil often, try washing it immediately after you use it, rather than buying a back-up.
- Extra pots and pans. I really only used a couple pans and a couple pots, and yet I had double that amount. I sold the ones I wasn’t using, and love having the extra space in the cupboard.
- Cookbooks. I always find my recipes online!
- Chipped dishware.
- Single-purpose appliances. That popcorn maker you got last Christmas? How often have you used it? And how much space is it using? Many of these appliances can be replaced by a simple pot or pan. (Disclaimer: Even though I donated/sold most of my single-purpose appliances, I still have my Keurig. I used to pride myself on being a coffee snob, but with little ones running around, I love being able to have a fresh cup of coffee at the press of a button. Who’s with me?)
Skip the Kitchen Remodel Step #2
All the things sitting on your counters? Find homes for them elsewhere.
Your counters should be available as a workspace — not storage (that’s what your cabinets are for)! And, now that you’ve cleared out all expired food items, duplicate utensils, and other things that don’t spark joy for you, you should have some extra space in your cabinets.
On our counters, we usually only have a fruit bowl, our Echo Show, and dishwashing supplies. Plus a toaster oven that doesn’t. fit. in. any. of. our. cabinets. (Be thankful, be thankful, be thankful.)
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find a home for everything on your counters yet. Be thankful for what you have, and keep brainstorming solutions. It took me a good six months before I found a “creative” way to store my giant Instant Pot (it had been living in our hall closet for that long!). (Hint: My solution involves a tension rod, some short curtains, and the space under the bar in our kitchen.)
After you’ve cleared your countertops of unnecessary items, it’s a piece of cake to wipe them down. I sometimes like to keep an amber glass spray bottle of vinegar/water next to my dishwashing supplies. I think it’s pretty, and it makes it even easier for me to give the counters a quick wipe-down.
Bonus: With clear, sparkling countertops, it’s easier to add in some hygge. Light a candle, play some classical guitar radio, and bask in the beauty of what you’ve created for yourself and your family.
Skip the Kitchen Remodel Step #3
For any new purchases, consider both function and form.
If you buy only items that are beautiful, they won’t bother you as much when they’re out in plain sight. I know this isn’t always feasible, but you’d be surprised by how well you can stick to this (especially if you consider buying used, or waiting until the right option is available or affordable).
For example, since my water bottle is always sitting out, I wanted to invest in a new one that wouldn’t clash with its surroundings. I love my Simple Modern thermos in wood grain, and seriously don’t mind it sitting out on my counters.
Another example is my dish brush. Despite what the Konmari method suggests, I like to keep it out on the counter. When my old OXO brush broke, I replaced it with something a little prettier (and friendlier on the environment, too).
What do you love about your kitchen? How will you show it some love this week? Tell us in the comments below!