Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kitchen Clean Out

With living simply and living small on my mind, yesterday afternoon I ducked the outside heat and went through my kitchen cabinets to sort out things that I don't need. 

Here's what I'm ditching:

(Okay so not the sewing machine... that was just out!)  Those few plastic containers are pretty much the last plastic in my kitchen -- liberation!  I've successfully replaced plastics over time with glass so I don't need those anymore. 

The horrifying/amusing/amazing (you choose) thing was how many of these items came out of one "black hole" corner cabinet.  I seriously had to lay on my belly and use a flashlight and a three foot grill basting brush to wrangle things out of the back!  I'll tell you -- nothing is going back into THAT cabinet.  I found things that I forgot I had, and things the previous owners had left behind -- two years ago -- and things just kept coming out!  It was like the clown car where more and more people pile out...  I even found an one cup espresso machine!  (Not mine.... but if I can find operating instructions online, well....) 

Here's the cabinet:

The door on the right, next to the fridge?  It's your standard cabinet.  The door on the left?  It goes in, and then the entire cabinet does a dog-leg back to the back of the refrigerator wall.  Supreme planning on someone's part at some point!  Of course now... you can probably predict what's coming...

I want to take out that corner unit*.  Saying the cabinets are primitive is being generous -- you'll have to trust me --  the photo doesn't show you its true style.  The cabinet is virtually unusable... and I'll just mention again how I loathe that tile.  I'm thinking a little butcher block table of some sort... Frankly anything would be an improvement it's such unusable space.  Reality is, though, after taking out the cabinets on the opposite side of the kitchen, removing the unit would undoubtedly leave me with a ragged looking wall.  I rationalize that I don't mind, as it would be a continuation of the gradual demolition of my kitchen and that some day when I win the lottery and do a kitchen makeover I'll have less demo to do...  :::grin:::

Also tackled yesterday:  I've been struggling with my recycle area (a generous description for a paper bag in a cabinet.)  The cabinet has a shelf in the middle that obstructs unnecessarily.  I tried to take the shelf out -- HA!  Whomever installed it planned for it to be there a lifetime -- it wouldn't budge.  I checked a similar cabinet on the opposite side of the sink and that shelf nearly fell out in my hands (two planks were literally held together with shelf paper) so I swapped the contents of the two sides.  One was pots and pans, and one was dog food and recycle.  As we say, it's the little things that are the "Quality of Life Improvements."  As a bonus, I stumbled upon a dreamy under the counter smell good solution:

My empty fabric softener jug.  Have you ever smelled this stuff?  It's all natural, and this particular scent is lavender.  I only use it on my towels (and even then, only when I remember... ahem.)  Anyway -- if you haven't smelled it, next time you are in Wholefoods or your local co-op, give it a whirl.  You will positively swoon.  I am going to leave it under the cabinet, cap off (it's an empty bottle headed for recycle anyway) and see how long the aroma lasts... And, somewhat related, I'll warn you about the geranium scented counter spray also by Meyers:  overpowering.  As in, too overpowering to use, in my opinion... but I am a rather unscented person...

Today I'll bring home a few boxes from work, load up, and head to Goodwill.  Don't you just love getting rid of "stuff"?  It makes me feel lighter, and my house airier, just knowing that I have cleaned out; even if the less cluttered areas are not visible.

*  Truth be told, I want to take out that entire wall behind the stove. 

UPDATE:  The poster up on the cabinets in the photo is actually a cut out from a holiday Wholefoods bag last year.  I liked the sentiment and decided to tape it up as a reminder to be grateful and to give thanks.


Leigh said...

I have to do this periodically too. It's amazing how much stuff can accumulate! Yet too often I save it because I hate to throw it out. Making rules for myself (like get rid of all plastic for food containers) helps. I was especially interested in your corner cabinet. As I work on our new kitchen design, I'm trying to avoid a situation like this. They truly are black holes! LOL

Project Girl said...

Leigh -

Thanks for stopping by! Although I love this book, I'm not sure it would helpful to you if your purpose is trying to make the most of small spaces. Have you heard of Susan Susanka? If not, look her up on Amazon. She has several books on "the not so big house" and she addresses space use both inside the house and outside the house. Beautiful photographs and also helpful text.