Kitchen Ideas

So many possibilities! Which is nice, since kitchens can be the heart of the home and we expect a lot from them. If you spend any time at all in a kitchen, you probably have found things you love as well as some irritations.

Here are a few things I have found helpful in setting up my own kitchen:

No open shelving. Really. Although open shelving is trending and can be quite beautiful, hiding stuff may be the best solution in the long run.

If you are looking for options or updates in your home, consider cabinets or boxes rather than open shelves.

  • Keeping open shelves neat and uncluttered takes regular effort that may be better spent elsewhere. How much time do you have to sort and stack? How much do you want to spend time doing that?
  • Visual space does have an impact on everyone in the room. You can’t pile a lot of stuff on an open shelf and not feel the visual crush when you walk in the room. If you are short on space, it may be better to cram and cover.
  • Personally, I just love the clean look of doors and the fact that supplies are ready and waiting when I need them, without bothering me until then. Knowing your preference helps as you make storage decisions.

Install drawers instead of lower cabinets. This has been a game-changer in my kitchen, and I have no interest in going back.

  • Drawers under the counter are so much easier to access. No more sitting on the floor to try and see where that thing went in the back corner of the cupboard.
  • You can see everything in the drawer from the top. It’s easy to check supplies and choose what you need.
  • Drawers allow you to access multiple stacks easily from the top (rather than pulling out the front stacks to get to the back stacks…and then putting them back to use the bowl…and then pulling them out to replace the clean bowl…and then putting them back).

Kidney cabinet inserts for the win. This might be my favorite cabinet now. Before the pole and platforms, it was mostly inaccessible. Because of that, I would grab from the front stack on the the top shelf and the bottom shelf, while ignoring everything else in the cabinet — all the way to the back.

If you need cabinet space and have a corner cupboard, you can look for an insert to install in your existing cabinet. The one pictured here is from IKEA.

Think about how you use your sink. I had a standard double sink in every home until this year. When we replaced ours, we went with a double, but it has a big, wide, deep side and a small, thin side. That was simply interesting — until I started using it! Now I enjoy how even the biggest pans fit in the big sink, but I still have the small one to rinse in. No more wrestling to wash extra large pans (and getting water all over the counter). They can soak out of sight and then wash comfortably inside the sink.

A Place for Everything Refresh

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

This is key for organization. It’s not cute boxes and nifty shelves. It’s things assigned to and in places. When they are needed, they can be found and used; when they are not needed, they return to base.

Unfortunately, jazzy systems can only go so far. Putting everything in place, no matter how wonderful that place is, requires discipline. Ugh!

Now, we’re not talking boot camp discipline here. Perfectionism is not required, even though it would keep those shelves absolutely perfectly organized. But that (fortunately) is not the ultimate goal.

Keeping things orderly has several purposes, but none that should be overtaken. Reflecting God’s character is lovely, but obsessive organization shouldn’t become a god. Making the best use of our resources is ideal, but shouldn’t be the ultimate driver. Saving time is great, but we don’t need more time just for the sake of having free time.

Keeping things in place is a way to serve God, your family, and everyone around you. If you make a habit of using things and then returning them to a reasonable location, you will have fewer hindrances as you fulfill your purpose.

  • The frustration you feel when your home is a disaster area can be minimized.
  • The time wasted searching for necessary books and papers before school can be converted to a calm departure and good conversation on the way to school.
  • You don’t have to tear the house apart for a bandaid when the skinned knee comes limping in from outside.
  • Guests are welcomed to a home that is lived in but not hazardous.
  • Bills can be paid on time rather than lost in scattered stashes of mail.

Basically, it’s not rocket science or out-of-reach creativity. You can do the simple, basic steps needed to bring order to your household and life. Not perfect order, but purposeful order.