the simplicity experiment: the kitchen

So this week I decided to start with the kitchen in our house because it is a room used everyday & also seems to be the dumping ground for other clutter in our lives. We don't have a laundry room or a mudroom or a pantry so the kitchen really is our hub for most things. The heart of the house if you will, but sometimes it feels like the armpit. Our kitchen isn't worthy of being on Hoarders, but its far from a simple, serene space to enjoy uncluttered cooking, family time ... (or a glass of wine by myself).  I have four goals for the kitchen that I am hoping will simplify our lives & make us a little happier.

#GOALS (why do I use that expression all the time?!)

  • Find a spot for things on counters in the kitchen that shouldn't be there
  • Eliminate dishes, appliances, etc that we do not use or love
  • Set up an efficient system for meal prep, snacks, baking, etc. 
  • Bonus, make it more beautiful

Here is our start...It is a beautiful kitchen - but it just needs some love & organization. 

 kitchen before with all the clutter

And just for funzies - if you are joining us or just want a fun playlist - I made one for such a time as this...starting with appropriately, "my house" by Flo Rida because I'm not a real mom, I'm a cool mom.

 

On day one - this past Monday - I planned on emptying every cabinet in the kitchen & making decisions on what I would keep, throw away, giveaway, etc. Lol lol. Why did I think I could get that much done in a couple hours?!

I quickly realized I needed to just tackle one thing at a time, so I focused on food items not in the refrigerator. This also made me think that the kitchen might be the hardest room in the house to simplify because everything that needs to be decluttered I thought I should also clean while I was at it. I'm a hot mess.  So I gave up on my mission of total kitchen simplification in a week and just decided to get our non-refrigerated foods in order and create a system to restock them without our cabinets again exploding into a cornucopia of foods that we only use once like tapioca pellets and condensed coconut milk.  I used three questions to help my process:

What foods should I overstock so that we have plenty of them?
What should I always have in my pantry?
What are some new meals we could add?

A little inspo here.  I haven't applied most of these things yet (remember ... hot mess), but I like the idea of them.  

kitchen-plan.jpg

before

My plan here was

1 / to empty out our pantry cabinets. 

2 / Toss expired food & giveaway food we don't use.

3 / Identify foods I should have in my pantry (particularly ones that I could stock up on & not need to constantly rebuy)

4 / Put things back in a way that is easy to access

kitchen-cabinet-after.jpg

after

 

Put stuff back. Yay. 

Made a station for making lunch for our son since that happens every week day. 

Happy dance!

I more or less was able to finish the pantry in a couple of hours, which spurred me on to want to create a pantry list of go to things I'd like to make sure I have in stock. I also felt like we needed a space to list meal ideas because I often get into food ruts & can't think of anything to cook.

This is totally do-able for a person such as yourself.  i would recommend....

  • Pick a space to evaluate in your house (or office, etc)

  • What is the purpose of this space & is it serving its purpose?

  • What are pain points in the space? (places where clutter builds or you can't find things, etc. For us we had a couple of spaces where stuff was piling up that needed to be dealt with but they never were being addressed.)

  • Set a few small goals for the room or space (mine are listed above for the kitchen) & plan a reward if you hit your goals (can be small or big!)

  • Start with something small that you can succeed with (i.e. Empty a drawer or cabinet that is not working for you - but only commit to one at a time)

  • Take everything out of that space and put it in piles designated:
    • Keep
    • Toss
    • Giveaway (or sell)
    • Indecision Purgatory Box / I am so bad at making decisions (thus, clutter...) Your purgatory box is for things you think you do not need, but are afraid of getting rid of. Put things in this box you are afraid of missing. Set a time line and a reminder to reopen the box at that time (a reminder on a calendar would work) - if you haven't missed it during that time - get rid of it!
  • Put the things back into the space intentionally
 clutter is no more than postponed decision
 xo, katie