Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Flylady Fun and the Functional Kitchen

I haven't really posted in a while on my progress with my Flylady routine.  I really hope some of you have gotten on the Flylady site and are taking your baby steps.  I am at various stages in the zones of my house.  In some places I have moved on to Zone cleaning, in others I am in the decluttering stage, but overall I have moved on to the actual zone cleaning.  

This week we are in Zone #2, which is the kitchen.  It took me a few weeks to get my kitchen completely decluttered but wow, what a difference.  I even have had time to organize my recipes!  The kitchen used to be such a battle because it was always a mess.  Every evening I would spend at LEAST half an hour getting it back together, sometimes I would just leave it and then have mess upon mess the next day.  Now with just keeping my sink clean and putting things WHERE THEY GO (novel idea, huh?), the kitchen is under control.

My last area of chaos was my tupperware area.  We all have this area...and it looks like heck...
Don't you love seeing my messy cabinets!

There was just no rhyme or reason to this.  I had a bottle sterilizer and bottle drying rack in here, considering my youngest kicked the bottle habit over 6 months ago...they had to go.  I have yet another bag for Goodwill (if I will ever actually take them has yet to be determined).

Here is the after.  I have no idea if this will last...but at least I have next month to straighten it up :) I totally loathe tupperware, but you have to have it.  But it's clean and organized for now...we'll see how this goes.

So I wanted to talk a bit about having a functional kitchen.  I think a lot of people don't cook because they just don't have their kitchen set up in a way that makes cooking easier.  I am always looking for new ways to organize my kitchen and make it more functional.  Like this morning I switched my silverware and dishcloth drawer.  Now my dishcloth drawer is next to my sink and the silverware under the plates cabinet. 

You don't have to have a huge, gourmet kitchen to have one that works for you.  We spend a lot of time in our kitchens so here are some tips that have helped me make mine work.

#1)  The Purge - many of us have tons of stuff in our kitchen we have never seen and will never use.  Get rid of EVERYTHING you do not use.  I actually still have stuff to get rid of, but it is a process.

#2) Prep Space - cooking requires prep time, so make sure that you have clear surfaces (especially near the stove) to work on.  A thousand knick knacks on your counter is cute, but if it gets in the way of cooking, it doesn't belong in the kitchen.

#3) Re-Claiming Counter Space - keep the small appliances you use regularly within reach and the ones you don't off the counter.  

#4) The Dish Rack - (*does not apply if you don't have a dishwasher) I didn't have a dishwasher for a long time so when I got one I realized that my dishrack was turning into dish storage because I never put my dishes away.  I decided to start keeping it under the sink and pulling it out when I needed it.  Then I just quit using it altogether.  This way my dishes are immediately dried and put away.  Sometimes they hang out overnight on a dishtowel, but by morning they are gone.  Besides, it's one less thing to clean, those things can get dirty.

So here is my kitchen.  Absolute proof you don't need a jazzy oven or even matching appliances to have a really functional kitchen!
 LOTS of clear counter space here!
 No DISH RACKS! Nothing in the sink either, if I have to place dishes somewhere, they go on this counter, where I can SEE them.  They end up in the dishwasher faster this way.
 The little corner on the left is where most of my prep action happens.  My spices, knives, prep bowls and oven are closeby.  Since I don't have a pantry,  My food is in the lower cabs in pull out organizers.  This makes it easy to grab my stuff for dinner.  Again, only appliances I use constantly are on the counter.
My amazing dad and hubby made these floating shelves for me and while I wish they only help gorgeous platters and vases and other pretties, it works better to hold cereal, a basket of potholders, cassarole dishes and my cookbooks.

It's not a magazine kitchen, but it's a kitchen that is (usually) clean and it is easy to cook in.  Which is the point of having a kitchen afterall :)

Organization doesn't happen overnight, but any area can be conquered just taking 15 minutes a day.  If you have any questions on making the Flylady routine work for you or on making a kitchen functional you can email me.  If I get enough, I can post them on here and answer them.  Fun!

Have a great day!


Joanne said...

I LOVE your kitchen!!!! I need to work a little on improving mine.. but overall, do pretty well, especially when i keep the sink clean!

Erin said...

Mine will be complete when I have a coffee corner like yours! You have a great layout too.