Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Final Push: The Kitchen

I could have entitled this "The Mad Rush". Both descriptions are quite apt for telling how the last week has been.

I was set to go back to work on April 1, so March 15th was my organizing goal in the simplify 101 classes. I was envisioning a completely simple, colorful and beautifully organized home. By March 15th, I was close, but still had a few things to finish up. Plus, I had to prepare many things for Ailin's new class at daycare and for Luka's induction into the daycare system.

Well, it is now April 1 and I had a partial day at work today and then went to the daycare to attend the entrance ceremony and then spend some time in Luka's room with him and his teacher. After several shopping errands, we finally made it back home so I could eat my lunch. The little dude was exhausted and had fallen asleep seconds after getting into the car, so shopping was nice and quiet for me today. (I still hate shopping though. More on that later.)

I decided to devote this entry to showing off my organizing projects. A friend mentioned that she didn't think online classes like those from simplify 101 could possibly apply to our tiny Japanese homes, but I think everything is very adaptable. Plus, we are blessed to have an Ikea, along with several other cute interior furnishing stores, in the area. Maybe these photos will inspire others to take action on their homes - at least give you some ideas of what you can do.

I have nearly 50 photos, so this will be divided into several posts. Here goes!

The Kitchen
I'll tackle this room first. I am not going to show photos of the inside of my fridge. I wish I could say that my labeling system worked wonders to keep it organized, but it did not. Food gets thrown in there (by my lam-o dh), and it is hard to control.

Other stuff did work though, and I want to show it here.

Always looking for more counter space, but of course, we have to own this huge toaster oven for toasting things like shrimp tempura, and thus no room for an espresso machine or anything that I would actually want. And, for those of you in the USA, yes, this is basically our ONLY counter space.
On the right side of the counter, I recently added the two-tiered shelf for fruit and bread. We used to have a bowl that was always overflowing with rotting fruit and bread. On the extendable shelf, there are a few of my most-used cookbooks, a cookie jar filled with baby crackers, a recipe file for new recipes after using them. And, to answer your question: No, it does not always look this clean.

The above magnet was placed there by my mom and me. It was meant for our new knife set that we received for Xmas. Yusuke nixed that as soon as he saw it and we now have a traditional-type of knife holder.
Later, I made 2 magnets that say "Ailin's Art" and now I have one place to hang her wonderful art pieces. ONE at a time. Not tons all over the house. Just ONE, and it gets replaced when she brings home something new.
Below is the clipboard with my cleaning routine.

I recently switched out a very small drying rack for a 2-tiered rack, hoping that this would prevent against having piles of dishes drying all over the kitchen. I also hope that my husband and I will be better about putting dishes away every day, but that's another story. We do have a dishwasher, but it is about the size of a breadbox.

I don't have much pantry space, but I wanted to show how I have categorized some of the food.
Kids' Food
Sick People's Food
Curry Roux, etc.

It goes to show what is commonly eaten in our house. But, having kids' food and sick people's food easily accessible is quite important, I think.

This is my baking and breakfast cupboard. You see the array of coffee cups on the lower shelf. Isn't that a cool place for them?
The above containers are labeled as follows:
Extra Baking Ingredients (2)
Breakfast Ingredients
Dessert Ingredients

That is about it for the kitchen. There is more that I could do to improve it, but this is enough for now.

1 comment:

Jill said...

Cool ideas for the kitchen Mande! By the way, I think our house is even smaller than your condo (762 square feet), so any ideas you have on space saving would be VERY welcome!