Thursday, June 19, 2014

40 Bags :: Kitchen Chaos

We are two weeks into our summer edition of the 40 Bags challenge and I'm ready to share some spaces! 

I started in my kitchen because it was literally right in front of me. And because kitchens are the heart of the home, or something like that. Right??

I love every mug I kept and they finally all fit!
I broke my kitchen up into quite a few spaces / days so it wouldn't seem so overwhelming. I also took the time to wipe everything down really well, inside and out. 

(Side note: there is an amazing cleaner found at most dollar stores called LA's Totally Awesome cleaner. I am quite sure there are many horrible chemicals involved but this stuff works. Desperate times -- such as the icky plastic shelves in my corner lazy susan -- call for desperate measures.)

Totally Awesome.
For those of you keeping track at home, my kitchen spaces included our upper cabinets, lower cabinets, drawers, spice cabinet, under the kitchen sink, the desk area, pantries, fridge, and freezer for a total of nine spaces.

The kitchen is an area that I do try to keep pared down -- we have a nice sized kitchen but it's not huge, so I have to make good use of the space we have -- but it seems like I can always find some things we just aren't using. Purge items included sippy cups (Mady is 4 1/2), baby silverware, coffee mugs (I bet the average American family owns at least 37 and uses three), and some pretty dishes that are nice (mostly very thoughtful gifts) but never get used.

Desk area | Happy spatulas | Shiny silverware | A place for everything
In the pantry / fridge / freezer areas, I ended up with a couple small bags of toss items and a grocery bag full to donate. The main thing I took out of those spaces, however, was packaging. So. Many. Empty. Boxes.

Our recycling bin is a happy camper these days.

The fridge after | My new favorite tee | Boxes, boxes boxes | A full pantry is a blessing indeed
As I worked through the kitchen, I thought a lot about what a blessing it is to open up a full refrigerator or strain to find the back of a cupboard. In addition, our pantry and fridge are filled to the brim with (mostly) good, healthy food. We don't know what it means to go hungry or to have to choose between cheap, unhealthy options and the more expensive, wholesome ones.

Working through our stockpiles of food also helps me to be a more informed meal planner, smarter shopper, and better steward of our resources (no more buying too much of something we don't really need). It's a good way to re-ground myself and practice gratitude.

Can't go wrong with color in the kitchen.
And lastly, my favorite consequence of the kitchen purge? Emptying the dishwasher (into clutter-free cabinets!) has never been so much fun.

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