Revealed: My Simplified and Sustainable Kitchen
Ok, I’m back from the trenches of the project I outlined here on Tues — and not only are the results great, but the process was actually kind of fun (I can feel my teenagers cringing already but there you have it - I write for YOU, not them!). If you are in charge of your kitchen and have trouble keeping it all together, the tips I got from Blisshaus founder Wiebke Liu might really help. They made huge difference to me in just one afternoon! Here’s what I learned and what worked:
1.) Blisshaus recommends using your “dishwasher as your anchor” and storing everything nearby for ease. It totally makes sense, but as Wiebke aptly points out in this article from Mother magazine, most of us set up our kitchen the day we moved in and were swallowed up by boxes and just trying to unpack. After reading about her strategy, I realized that the silverware was clear across the room and other items were in key real estate zones they didn’t deserve it (sorry snacks, you need to move on). With a few adjustments, I now have all dishes/glasses/etc. within arm’s reach of the dishwasher. DONE.
2) Store plates and bowls in under-counter cabinets. I’ll admit, I didn’t think this was allowed. Sounded crazy but hey, why not? Afterall, my post-surgery arms don’t need any more awkward reaching than necessary… It’s SO much easier now versus reaching up and diagonally where they were pre-Blisshaus. Highly recommend!
3) Lay water bottles and travel mugs flat. Again, another heretical idea that has legs. Much simpler now to see whether the darn thing has a top or not, and no more wobbling/falling down bottles. I did the same thing for our tea cupboard too — also makes it much easier to see what you’ve got.
4) Last but not least, put as much as you can into glass canisters. This was the part I wanted to get to because the aesthetic of it is so much better than staring at a kaleidoscope of labels & plastic every time you open the cabinet! A quick trip to The Container Store gave me almost exactly what I needed (a second run sealed the deal) and then it was time to de-box and de-jar. I didn’t do everything but most of the stuff lended itself well to this new arrangement. It’s SO much easier now to see how much you have of something & when you’re running low….(Note: my friend Carol rightly pointed out that Ikea has great canisters too)
I should mention here that my label situation is not yet done. The lady at the Container Store was shockingly excited about my project and VERY enthusiastic about my trying their chalkboard labels. I demurred knowing that I needed more time & would have to deal with it later…..so that’s a followup. What do you use??
If you decide to tweak your kitchen to the Blisshaus style outlined here, you might find yourself at a loss as to where everything actually IS! I threw some stickies on the drawers that moved so our family can re-adjust (sorry Ted, I know you’re traveling but I feel quite certain you’ll catch up with these changes fast!).
Speaking of my husband Ted, there were some interesting items that emerged during my kitchen cleanse and begged to be donated or thrown away. Plastic banana holder for long bike rides, anyone? Seriously??? I mean who invents these things?! (and who BUYS them?:)
From the absurd to the sublime, I leave you with my utensil holder that was purged of bright plastic spoons in favor of more monochromatic and sustainable tools. AND of course the ever-present little crab tile painted by friend Soraya, an artist and activist. Just as Blisshaus predicted, I feel a calm and happiness here now…