We moved in to our home three and a half years ago. It’s a rental, so we tried to limit how much we spent on renovating it, but as it was a dump, we ended up spending a lot of money and even put in a new kitchen. That kitchen is the bane of my life. It’s big, so we were very happy to find a kitchen with all appliances from Ikea for €4000. Everything was done in a rush and I designed a layout which in practice turned out to be illogical. It drives me nuts – we have so much counter space and yet we’re always stuck in the same corner. If one person happens to need something out of the fridge and the other person decides to empty the dishwasher at the same time, the fridge person -so to speak- is stuck in the corner with no way out. Lets just say there’s always a lot of “excuse me” and “can you move out of the way?” in our big kitchen.
The boyfriend won’t let me take it all down and have it reassembled in the order I would like. He has a point. I have reorganized it more times than I care to remember. To add to my frustration, a creative acquaintance added some custom cabinets but also took down other practical cabinets because they were in his way (!) and then vanished off the face of the earth leaving us with an almost finished kitchen.
After the most recent and most successful reshuffling of cabinet contents I decided to make peace with my kitchen for now. When I have a couple of thousand to spare I will take all the cabinets down and rearrange the layout. As I obsessed about all the things I hated about the kitchen, I realized I should be more loving towards it. It is after all the place you spend time creating nourishing meals for yourself and your loved one, it’s the place you show yourself some love.
What I wanted was a space I’d be happy to be in all the time instead of being frustrated because it ‘doesn’t work’. I came across the article below by Aparna Khanolkar and I felt like it was written for me :-). I actually have an incense burner, candle and a photo of Sister Chang Khong in my kitchen but I never thought of lighting the candle before I start cooking as an act of reverence. I love that idea so I do it most days now when I cook.
Aesthetically speaking I like clutter free kitchens which is a challenge for me as I am one of these people who uses everything in the kitchen when I cook, so there’s always heaps of stuff lying around afterwards. I have always liked storing my grains and rices etc in glass jars as I love looking at them all pretty and healthy looking. I bought a nice graphic artwork and since yesterday it hangs in the empty white space that was left after some of the wall cabinets were removed, and suddenly – the kitchen feels finished! There’s a few bits of equipment I’d liked to get but I have all the basics and even though it’s not perfect, I am looking forward to hanging out in my kitchen even more.
Organize Your Kitchen For Efficient Cooking
Cooking is a pleasure and pre-requisite to maintaining good health. It can be a task of ease, grace and great joy when we have the kitchen organized and structured for proper flow and functionality. Eating healthy is vital, but how we cook directly impacts our health as well. Cooking in a hurried pace and being stressed out may still put a beautiful plate of food on the table, but it’s quality is diminished by the frustration we experience while cooking.
One of the ways to ensure that cooking can be pleasurable is by organizing your kitchen to include proper utensils as well as a stock of essential staples. Even if your kitchen is small, find ways to bring in beauty with fresh herbs and flowers. I have a small altar in my kitchen with a photo of my guru, an incense burner and a candle. I always light the candle before I begin cooking as a token of my gratitude and reverence for the act of self-nourishment.
If you do not have enough room for all your pots and pans, get a pot rack and hang them. This will open up space for organizing dry goods. One of the ways to attract abundance is by displaying what you have in an organized and abundant manner. I prefer glass jars to store lentils, beans, rice, nuts and other grains. Besides the asthetic value, it is always clear as to the supply.
Commit to using wood and cast iron in the kitchen. Invest in two cast iron skillet sizes – 9 inch and 14 inch. Use wooden spoons for cooking to avoid toxins from plastic spoons and utensils. Stainless steel is a good choice for soup pots. The use of paper goods in the kitchen is minimal in mine. I use cloth dinner napkins and cloth towels for clean-up. A good quality chef’s knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife and a couple of bamboo cutting boards are all you need for cooking healthy meals. A blender or food processor will further contribute to saving time on prep.
If your kitchen is organized and is well-stocked with staples you are more likely to be inspired to cook. And cooking at home is not only healthier, but also cost-effective. Have at least 2 lbs of rice, quinoa, a variety of beans and legumes on hand. Make available spices such as cumin, turmeric, pepper, fennel, cinnamon and sea salt. Have olive oil and grapeseed oil for cooking.
As a way to save money and time, I prepare a menu each week before I go shopping. I buy exactly what I need and don’t waste money on buying foods that are tempting but may go bad because I did not have time to cook it. Shopping at farmer’s market allows me the simple luxury of eating organic, locally grown and seasonal produce.
Like anything in life, when you are organized, you will be more productive. In the kitchen, it results in stress-free cooking, delicious healthy meals and happy diners.