I spent naptime yesterday cleaning our kitchen. A few weeks ago, I spent a few hours emptying, organizing, and cataloging the items in our pantry, fridge, and freezer. I even went so far as to make inventory lists of what was in each so that meal planning and grocery shopping would be easier. But I hadn't tackled the real cleaning that needed to be done because I didn't want to spend all day in there.
So yesterday it was. I started by clearing all the counters and running a load of dishes. Then I rearranged some of the countertop 'stuff', including the toaster oven, knife block, coffee maker, and microwave. Our kitchen suffers from lack of useable counter space, so my goal was to make 'work stations' that would make it more convenient to do things like prep veggies and keep sharp knives out of little hands that now know how to drag over a chair and grab at things in close range. I also wanted to get rid of some junk that was just taking up space, including cleaning out 3 (not 1...not 2...but THREE) bowls that should hold fruit and instead were holding...um...everything but fruit?
I'm happy with the results, but the long-term solution to our kitchen woes is a complete remodel of some sort. We have very little storage space, very little counter space, and hardly enough room for two adults and the two kids who seem to always want to tag along in our little kitchen. Among the changes high on my list:
- Get a microwave that goes above the oven, in stainless finish to match the fridge and dishwasher
- Get a new oven in stainless
- Paint the walls and/or put in backsplash for some color
- Refinish cupboards
- New countertops (I'm leaning toward wood, or finding a way to refinish our laminate)
In my dream world we would knock out our side wall and push it out about 10 feet, add a powder room, and rearrange the counters so that we had an island. But since we don't have a spare $40k sitting around waiting to be spent, that dream will have to be put on hold for the time being.
I also added some things to my YAWYK running tally:
- 3 pacifiers Rohan never liked
- 1 old candle
- 1 can Dermaplast (we keep meds on top of the fridge so the kids can't get them, and it was there)
- 3 empty medication bottles
- 1 old baby toothbrush
- 2 boxes of rice cereal
- 5 plastic storage containers with no matching lid
- 5 dried up tubes of kids' paint
- 6 chewed up crayons
- 1 big stack of junk mail
- 1/2 a package of breast milk storage bags
- 7 storage container lids with no match
Here are some after pictures of the kitchen. You can see how small and cramped it is, and if you look closely you'll even spot some warping and staining of the laminate counters.