Spring Cleaning: Kitchen Edition

I usually laugh at the idea of spring cleaning. Who has time? Well, now that I’m unemployed, the short answer is, I do! We moved into this apartment with a number of flaws back in January, and I thought spring cleaning (at the beginning of summer) would be the perfect opportunity to make the space finally work for me. First edition? The Kitchen.

Before spring cleaning in this kitchen, we had a couple of logistical problems: when we unpacked everything in January, for instance, there wasn’t a lot of planning. Food sort of went in one number of cupboards, and dishes and cookware kind of went into a bunch of other cabinets, and pretty much as long as we could shut the door on each of those cabinets, we left it at that. We also don’t have a lot of counter space, and a big chunk of my cutting block was taken up by a knife block we moved down from a kitchen with much larger counters. There was little sense of purpose or organization or direction in this kitchen, which made it actually really frustrating to cook in. And finally, we got a puppy and had not yet declared our kitchen an off-limits zone for her, so there were constantly dirty paw smears down the fronts of our cream-colored cabinets from where she had jumped up, trying to reach food on the counters.

So, I wanted to accomplish a few things with this project: greater, more intuitive organization; a cleaner space; a less oppressive vibe in the kitchen in general; and finally, I wanted that damn knife block gone. I had three drawers to work with, one long cabinet of three continuous compartments, two small cabinets that were quite narrow, and one mid-sized cabinet: it sounds like a lot, but I’m a pretty aggressive cook and baker, and we have two home kitchens (his and mine) combined into one for the first time in this space. We had a lot of kitchen stuff.

The great achievement of this kitchen reorganization, in my eyes, at least, was hanging a knife strip. We don’t have a power drill. IKEA doesn’t include screws for their knife strip in the package. I was really, really frustrated even trying to find enough wall space in a reasonable location where the knives would actually fit! And it took me a few tries with the wrong set of screws before I realized I had to get flat-headed screws so the strip would fit onto its base. But that’s really boring, right? So here are the pictures of the finished product!

photo of a kitchen counter, kitchen cabinet, and knife strip
The knife strip finds a home! And by clearing all of the cook books off the counter top and placing them on bookshelves elsewhere in the home, I have more room to dry dishes.
picture of a utensil drawer in a kitchen full of silverware and chopsticks
I can't recommend these drawer organizers enough; everything in this drawer is dedicated to serving or eating food. All prep ware is organized into the other two drawers.
photo of open kitchen cabinets with pots, pans, and other cookware.
Cookware is on the top shelf, bakeware is on the bottom, and conveniently located right next to the stove.
picture of kitchen cabinets open with dishes, bowls, and mugs
Stacking, again, is your best friend. These dishes are all grouped by type, with mugs on the bottom for easy access
photo of a kitchen
And here's the finished product! Everything clean and in its place; suddenly we have so much more counter space!


By Meghan Young Krogh

Meghan had a number of quality writing mentors over the course of her education, which just goes to show that you can't blame the teacher for the way the student turns out. Team Oxford Comma represent.

2 replies on “Spring Cleaning: Kitchen Edition”

I have also been spring cleaning. I’m trying to finally get to the point where I just need to do maintenance cleaning, instead of letting crap pile up till I can’t stand it. The biggest, most liberating part of it all has been getting rid of everything we don’t need/use/want anymore.

Your kitchen is really cute, but I can see how meal preparation would be a challenge. You have to build a collapsable island or something.

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