No More Kitchen Chaos

I gave my chaotic kitchen a much-needed makeover. It only took a podcast and (quite) a few broken dishes to get there.

As I mentioned the other day, part of my get-the-eff-out-of-this-rut plan was reorganizing my kitchen. It was a project that had been on the back burner (pun intended) for years, but I’d always ignored it in favour of other spaces.

Big mistake.

I don’t think I fully appreciated how anxious my messy kitchen cupboards were making me until I finally did something about it. I’m already not someone who’s exactly at home in the kitchen (case in point: the other day, one of my friends came over and wanted to make cinnamon buns and was surprised when I revealed that I don’t own a cake pan), so it’s not like that was ever going to be my happy place. But–at the risk of sounding dramatic–the disarray in my cupboards was overwhelming. I wasn’t exactly at the point where things were falling on me… but I also wasn’t far from it. Things were thrown haphazardly wherever they would fit with no regard to what layout would make sense for me.

It was so bad that I was embarrassed to take before shots. Instead, here’s my artistic rendering of what it looked like:


A couple weeks ago, feeling energized after meditation, I turned on a podcast (You Must Remember This) and finally started in on the mess.

The first step was to take absolutely everything out of the cupboards and get real with myself about what I actually intended to use again. I had a lot of super old mugs that I felt like I should keep, but that I never use. Anything I wasn’t sure about, I put into a box to donate to charity.

(Actually, I tried to take that box down to my storage area the other day while I figured out where I could donate them. As soon as I opened the door to my apartment, the bottom of the box gave out, spilling dishes and glasses all over me and the floor. By some miracle, I didn’t get cut. But I did spend almost an hour picking up the shards from the hallway, and then vacuuming up the smaller bits. I was both irritated at the mess and upset that my perfectly good dishes were going to waste.)

Once I’d decided what was staying, I spent some time thinking about how I use my kitchen. Previously, most of my dishes had been across from the sink, meaning that I had to move around a lot (well, as much as my tiny kitchen allows) when I was putting away dishes. Moving the dishes to the cupboard directly above the dish rack would make it so much easier to put things away. I also moved my coffee and tea into the same cupboard where I store my mugs, which is located just next to the Keurig for one-stop shopping.

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Similarly, I moved the things I use least to the higher shelves, and the items in frequent rotation to the bottom. As I write this, it sounds so obvious that I’m kind of mad at myself for not having done it before. But, as I said, the kitchen had been pretty neglected.

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I know this stuff is really basic, but the joy I feel when I open one of these organized cupboards… it makes such a big difference. I don’t think I’ll ever be the person who’s super at home in the kitchen, whipping up fancy meals (I tried to think of an example of a fancy recipe just now, and all I came up with was, “that thing people do where spaghetti squash is pasta”), but at least having things organized makes my apartment feel a lot less chaotic.

What chores are lingering on your to-do lists? Do you have any words of wisdom that will suddenly open my heart to cooking? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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