looks GREAT! wtg!
Looks awesome! I got rid of a ton of excess dishes about a year ago, but we're having similar problems with too many dishes again. I actually came to this forum for advice on what to do with the extra cups that we DO use, but VERY rarely. This past week or two in the kitchen has been dominated by our excessive use of glasses/mugs. I want to just get rid of all of the extra cups and mugs, but I can't because, once in a blue moon(like, literally, 2-3 times per year) we have people over for tea, and I'd rather not keep disposables in the house. BUT, seeing your improvements made me think, when WAS the last time I used the cabinet above the fridge? Honestly, I couldn't even tell you what we've got in there, I'll have to look.
ETA: I love my Lodge cast iron. I have a big Wok and use it for fried rice and any kind of salen(including the wet part of biryani), and I also have a round griddle that is great for flatbreads/chapati, fried eggs, and toast. I would really like to add some cast iron bakeware to my collection in the future.
The other cookware that I use most often is a heavy steel pot(they don't burn food like the thinner pots do), one that is great for daily use for the three of us, I make chai, rice, pasta, boiled corn in it and a larger pressure cooker that I use more often without the lid than with. I've got a huge heavy steel pot for when I cook for a ton of people, and a smaller, super thin, pain in the behind pot that I prefer to only use for boiling water in because it gets burned so quickly.
Learning to... and with myby my side!
Looks great! My problem with minimizing my kitchen is that I use almost everything in there. I cook for a crowd everyday and like good tools. Although I store the entertaining/holiday stuff and pantry food in the cellar.
Katie, mama to Katherine 21, Christian 19, Johannah 17, Nicholas 12, Genevieve 10, Matthew 7, Andrew 11/16/09 10#6oz home waterbirth and madly in love with my husband, Scott
I am deeply impressed with your photos. Your kitchen is really small, and you've done an amazing job of making it work.
I've been internally whining to myself that my current kitchen is too small to really be organized because it's smaller than our last kitchen. But it's bigger than yours. A lot bigger. You've got me to stop my whining and get seriousl about making it a more user friendly space for myself.
but everything has pros and cons
I'd like to get rid of our dish drying rack, and we have a dishwasher. BUT, I worry that the dishes will smell weird or not dry right in the dish washer. Do you have that problem? Maybe our bigger issue is DS playing in the dishwasher. We'd have to keep it closed to let the dishes dry.
Maybe I'll put the dish rack away and try it out for a day or so. Our counters are about the size of yours, and I'd really like some space!
Yes I do leave it open a lot for drying. Also I put a towel at the bottom when it's open so water doesn't collect in the door. I did notice a musty smell a few times, so I think I'm going to put some baking soda in. Also if you are worried about your son getting utensils like knives, you could put a cup or tray and keep them at the top rack.
Learning to... and with myby my side!
SO inspiring! Wow!!! We have a small kitchen, too, and I have to work really hard to keep enough counter space to work on. I'm inspired to start paring down on dishes to see how that helps with space -- we have a LOT of dishes, we inherited about 20 place settings from DH's grandmother, plus he has gazillions of mugs and glasses.
Here are some things I have done to help make my tiny kitchens manageable over the years:
- install very narrow shelving along a bare wall and store dry goods, small appliances, dishes, etc. on it. In one apartment, this shelving was simply 10-inch-wide boards stacked with cinderblocks. Simple and effective! I put beans/grains in glass jars (bought big ones at the thrift store, re-used pickle and peanut butter jars, etc) to store more easily, and smaller items were stored in pretty baskets on the shelves. This would not work with a toddler, of course!
- I refuse to keep single-use electric appliances, with the exception of the coffee pot. Coffee grinders, toasters, rice cookers, smoothie makers, electric hot-sandwich makers, etc., etc. you name it, I've received and gotten rid of it.
- We managed to get a bit more use out of our lower cabinets by installing a narrow shelf half-way up in the back -- the sort of shelf that can hold pot lids, for example, when the rest of the cabinet holds pots. Less cluttered, easier to find stuff. All of our small appliances -- blender, food processor and hand mixer -- fit on one of these shelves in one cabinet.
- Hanging wire baskets are the way to go! It is an amazing way to keep things out in easy reach but off your counters. I've used them to store bread, fruit, onions/garlic, cloth napkins, etc. This might be an interesting choice for the sugar bowl -- you'd just need to keep sugar in a jar with a screw-on lid, then toss the jar, a spoon and a coffee scoop into the wire basket.
One other cool idea: Ikea makes a storage system that goes under your cabinets for more storage. There's a great blog post here that describes the system.
Re:cast iron: one more vote in its favor. MUCH better than nonstick. I'm gonna try that trick with the eggs, I've always struggled to cook eggs in cast iron too. Rather than buying cast-iron new, why not get one at an antique mall or flea market? That's where we found ours, for a sweet $16 or so. They need less seasoning when they're old, plus there's less worry about flaky paint, etc. There's always tons of them at the antique stores we frequent.
We can't keep our dishwasher open during the day because DD climbs into it (and she can get at the knives even when we store them away on top...), but if we have stuff drying in there, we just open it before we go to bed. That way everything can dry well overnight! If we prefer to dry something on the counter, rather than keeping a bulky drying rack out there, we just spread a dishtowel on the counter, put the dishes on it to dry, and when we're done with it we put it away. This keeps the counter space much more useable, IME.
We had a ton of dishes that DH's parents left behind when they moved back overseas. Most of them were way too heavy for daily use, so we never used them. I freecycled most of it. We also had a ton of stuff that we weren't ever going to use from when we got married and I got rid of that too. We're down to a couple of each size dish, and a three drinking cups/three tea cups. AND, only 2 of each pice of silverware in each size(2 kid size spoons, 2 large sized spoons, 2 long handle spoons, 2 kid size forks, 2 large size forks, and 2 butter knives) I'm running into problems with out knifes. We have a knife block thing, and even though there is really only one size knife I use, it is the steak knife, and there are 8 of them. Currently, 5 are sitting in the sink waiting to get washed. But, otherwise it's been good! The longest it will take to wash the dishes is 20 min. It's a big difference from when I was pregnant with DS/he was a newborn because there was a time when we had a full sink, counter piled with dishes, stove piled with dishes, and in order to wash the dishes in the sink, we had to put some of them on the floor(no counter space at all)
I really want to get rid of the dish drying rack, mostly because it is disgusting, and wont come clean, despite the fact that it's only a year or two old.
I like the towel idea, and I DO need to buy/make kitchen hand towels anyway, so maybe I'll convince DH that we should get some. I've been on a sewing binge lately, and I'm running out of things to sew, so yeah, maybe I'll do that.
We'll have to get a lock for the dishwasher though if we're to dry in there. DS spends way too much time climbing in it anyway.
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