So I’m still not finished with my KonMari-inspired kitchen reorganization. I know! But looking at everything in my kitchen and determining if it sparks joy takes time, you guys. I’ll do the final reveal next week after I’ve tackled the pantry and put everything back in place.
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But my kitchen cabinets are pretty much done and I’m already reaping the benefits of a more thoughtfully organized kitchen. Every time I need a kitchen towel or pot holder and find it right where I need it to be, instead of having to walk across the kitchen and pull it out of a drawer, I smile and mentally pat myself on the back for being so smart. An equally valid reaction would be to shake my head at why I lived for over two years with the kitchen towels across the room from the sink, but I take my validation where I can get it.
Let’s start with a quick look at why it’s so important for my house to be well-organized.
As you can see, it’s all one room. And that room isn’t huge. I love the layout of my house, but it can feel cluttered quickly.
That picture was taken right before what I propose to you might be the most extreme KonMari decluttering move ever: we got rid of our dining table as well as the kitchen cart at the end of the kitchen island. The table was useful when we had company over for dinner, but otherwise made the room feel small and served as a repository for clutter. And the cart was a leftover from my previous home that we were using just to store miscellaneous things. That’s where I had been keeping my kitchen towels and pot holders so every time I needed one, I’d have to leave the stove and sink area and trot over to the cart to get it out.
Once the table and the cart were gone, it was time to tackle the cabinets! Here are a few before shots to horrify you.
It’s not a KonMari Tidy Up unless you start with everything out of the cabinets!
Finally, it was time to determine what exactly was sparking joy for me in my kitchen cabinets? The approximately 7,000 mugs and water bottles from various corporate events? No, they had to go along with the two giant mason jars you see in the front of the picture, which were ok the one time I used them, but which ceased to spark joy when I had to reach around them every single day for the items I really did use.
I’ve been re-reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up as I go through this project and felt busted when she talked about holding on to things because you might need them someday. Someday, in Marie Kondo’s mind, never comes. She’s right and that means I probably don’t need the giant box of power strips, extension cords, and miscellaneous cables that I had been keeping “just in case.”
However, I found it extremely difficult to get rid of all of them, even though I know that’s what Marie would have wanted. I kept hearing my mother, a child of the depression, saying in my ear, “You’re getting rid of all of those?” So, I executed a compromise between those two formidable women and kept a shoebox of cords and gave the rest away. As with most compromises, I don’t think either Marie Kondo or my mother would have been happy with my decision, but I felt a little peace at least.
After the discarding, here’s what I ended up with.
The cabinet at the far left end of my kitchen is for baking pans and storage containers, with a sort of medicine chest on the first shelf because space is even more precious in our bathroom. In a bold, decadent move, I threw away all my old Tupperware with the lids that could not be managed and bought these Rubbermaid storage containers with locking lids that are ever so much neater to store.
The cabinet next to the stove holds cooking tools and towels and pot holders. Storing all the measuring cups in the bin from Ikea is so much nicer than fishing through a drawer to find the right one and it’s great to keep things in one place. I find that for a few weeks after these reorgs, I tend to keep discarding things and I have a feeling that the entire “Misc. Tools” bin may end up next on the discard pile. I couldn’t tell you right now what’s in it and I don’t think I’ve used anything from it, so it’s probably out of here.
The cabinet where I keep my dishes looks pretty much the same except we’re down to just one water bottle and a few mugs for coffee. The black blob at the top is a cooler moved from another cabinet to this one.
And this is my favorite cabinet of them all. Do you guys see what that is? That, my friends, is emptiness. I kept my nice wine glasses and champagne flutes and moved them to another cabinet, but for everyday around the house drinking, I decided that I actually wanted to keep the commemorative glasses from various wine tastings my husband and I have attended because they are a nice size and being reminded of those good times sparks a lot of joy for me. Instead, I got rid of the plain glasses that weren’t nice enough for company and freed up so much space.
And so, the work continues. I’m looking forward to its completion but I’m actually really enjoying the process of seeing the home I’ve been living in for the past two years finally start to come together.
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