Real Life in My Kitchen: Dejunking

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Dejunking your kitchen can make it more fun to cook in as well as prettier to look at.

Real Life in my Kitchen: Dejunking - Dejunking your kitchen can make it more fun to cook in as well as prettier to look at.

A few weeks ago, I bared all. Or at least, bared my kitchen in real life for you. You had some excellent suggestions, some of which I was able to implement right away, some of which make me feel wonderful.

The biggest most immediate change was when I emptied by pots and pans cupboard and discarded the pieces I didn’t love or couldn’t live without. No, I don’t need to keep the Paula Deen pie plate when I don’t like and I have FOUR other pie plates besides.

Freedom, I tell ya. Freedom.

That is the pots and pans cupboard now. I didn’t get rid of duplicates. I have three 9×13 Pyrex pans but sometimes they are all in use. But, I did get rid of a nonstick one that I don’t love. The muffin pans that stick? Why should they take up space when I have USA pans that I love?

Here’s what I got rid of that very day when ya’ll were breathing down my neck in the comments section:

Real Life in my Kitchen: Dejunking - Dejunking your kitchen can make it more fun to cook in as well as prettier to look at.

Later that week FishPapa and I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond in search of a knife magnet, a tower of baskets, and a mat for drying dishes on. We came home empty handed except for this drying mat. The jury is still out on the mat. We use it for overflow dishes, but are not sure we’re ready to ditch the dish drainer entirely. You probably don’t know how many pots I go through in a meal, do you?

Real Life in my Kitchen: Dejunking - Dejunking your kitchen can make it more fun to cook in as well as prettier to look at.

Instead of getting a knife magnet, I put one knife block in the cupboard. It’s been a little over a week or two. The boys are bummed that they have to wash knives more frequently, but I’m not sure that we’re at a disadvantage. I also consolidated some utensils in a drawer and narrowed us back down to one utensil crock.

Last weekend I found two stacking baskets at Costco that we’re trying out. This is what the corner counter looks like now:

Real Life in my Kitchen: Dejunking - Dejunking your kitchen can make it more fun to cook in as well as prettier to look at.

That’s lemon grass that probably isn’t supposed to be stored at room temperature. But, I’m at a loss for what to do with it. Obviously, we have lots of squash to eat up as well.

We’ve been making a better effort at clearing the counters, closing cupboards, etc. It’s hard not to sound like a broken record when you’re instructing six children, but I’m learning to live with myself on repeat.

Real Life in my Kitchen: Dejunking - Dejunking your kitchen can make it more fun to cook in as well as prettier to look at.

We still need to finesse a few things. We actually like having the dishes on the counter. It makes it easier for the littles to help themselves and we use the small plates for snacks which is better than washing big plates or using up paper ones.

We go through a lot of kitchen towels and washcloths in a day. I’m still trying to figure out that one. One child wipes the counters after each meal and another wipes the table. That makes for six washcloths if they aren’t sharing, etc.

It’s not perfect, but the kitchen as a whole, is starting to improve.

Have you made changes to your kitchen that you love?

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  1. We got through a lot of cloth napkins and rags/washcloths so I got a hamper/laundry basket thing at Target that lives in our kitchen; once stuff is soiled it goes straight in there and gets a bleach wash at the end of the week. One plastic bin in the kitchen made our lives infinitely simpler!! Clean rags are stored under the kitchen sink and napkins are kept in a basket on the kitchen table.
    Quick Question: How are you liking the Costco stacking baskets? I really like the look of them and was thinking about picking them up when I go next week.

    • So far I like the baskets. There isn’t a ton of clearance, but it hasn’t been a problem yet. I figured I can use them in the pantry if they don’t work on the counter — or take them back since Costco has a no-questions asked money-back guarantee.

  2. What about that cupboard that never stays closed, with the kids’ stuff in it? Have you figured that one out yet?

  3. Honestly,you often write what is on my mind..I got a very pretty drying mat,and was so excited when I got it home..but I think I need my dish drain AND the mat many for large families just requires a ton of stuff..tonight after dinner I had 2 skillets,a cookie sheet,a glass Pyrex dish and a loaf pan..a drying mat just can’t handle that kind of workout..btw you are doing great with your kitchen!!

  4. B. Winblad says:

    I LOVE the drying mat you bought. I bought 2 of them when our little guy was an infant, so that I could wash bottles and store them on the mat to dry reducing any water spots on our granite countertops. I LOVE it so much, I went back this year and bought 2 more. So, I have 4 of them total all in black to match our kitchen. This way, I always have a clean one and it always sits on top of our countertop next to the draining side of the sink. They work very very well for us.

    I also use this mat area for food prep, cutting board duties, pouring drinks, other kitchen tasks. It absorbs very well, so it reduces clean ups and takes a beating very well. It protects our granite and gives me a large area to work with.

  5. For your towels and clothes, could you put them in another one of those baskets, that you got a Costco? or are you short on counter space??
    Your kitchen is looking good! I love it when I can purge something.
    Merry Christmas!

    • I actually have two drawers dedicated to kitchen linens. My issue is that my kids take a new one each time, so we go through a lot. I’m working on it — hiding the clean ones elsewhere and tying a towel to the oven handle, but it’s slow going.

  6. You’re doing things — very inspiring!! I have big plans to perform a similar sweep next week. I’ve been trying to get rid of things here and there just as I come across them and realize it’s time to retire them, but I really crave that “ta-da!” feeling of a clean sweep. 🙂

    As for the lemongrass, have you tried making tea with it? It’s especially good combined with mint or ginger!

  7. Your kitchen looks great! After Christmas I need to get rid of some things in my cupboards that I never use. I would also suggest a basket for dishtowels. I do not have many drawers in my kitchen, so I put towels in a basket close to the sink. It’s very convenient to grab a clean one when I need it. And…I know some folks might disagree with me on this one, but I run my dishwasher more often rather than hand wash a bunch of pots and pans. I have excema on my hands, so the less dishwater, the better. It also saves me time, and I think the dishwasher uses less water than I would doing them by hand. Just my opinion. =)

    • We have two drawers of dishtowels. I just need to figure out how my people can use fewer. We go through a lot in one day.

      • Not to sound stupid, but do you really only use a washcloth or towel once then call it dirty? We always rinsed washcloths out and hung them to dry to use again next time. We used them for a couple of days before putting them in the laundry, but even if you changed them daily that would still cut down quite a bit on your towel usage.

        • Not stupid at all. With SIX helpers in the kitchen it seems that some people really want a fresh towel or washcloth. I’m working on reducing it, but I have to physically tie a towel to the oven handle and HIDE the extras to make it happen. I shouldn’t complain since i have so much help.

  8. You inspire me so much! I have an old tiny kitch & need to purge. Only 4 cupboards. Perhaps with sone days off from homeschool durring Christmas will give me a chance.

  9. I, too, have been purging my kitchen and getting to look neater and function better. I’d love to see and read more of this since I could use some inspiration. My kitchen is fairly small, really old and worn out. While I dream of a kitchen remodel, it’s not going to be a reality for years so I need to come to terms with the space I have — especially since I use it so heavily. Those produce baskets look nice.

  10. I love your honesty and your willingness to share. I read an article a few years back about a couple preparing to live on a house boat. The woman was very distraught about paring down her beloved cooking pots, pans, utensils, etc. and yet she dreamed of a simpler life on the boat. How does one function with one spoon, one, spatula, one medium pot, one casserole dish? Well, after 2 months on the house boat – she said that you function just fine. You just wash that one spoon and one pot a little more often, which in turn, means there are no dishes piled up! I am not down to one pot and one spoon but I definitely think twice before adding to my kitchen menagerie. Merry Christmas!

  11. Looks great! I use a dish drainer along with a drying mat. On my really busy days in the kitchen, I often need a second drying mat to handle the overflow of pots and pans. 🙂

  12. Great job! Many improvements! Doesn’t purging feel GOOD?!

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