But I have made progress on my kitchen blitz nonetheless. I'll start with the last job completed, which brought the greatest amount of satisfaction. We have a short fridge, because it doesn't have a freezer on top. So as clear spaces tend to go, they often collect stuff.
Stuff like, well meant, Christmas presents. They were lovely gestures and I kept them for a while, but then they became a magnet for a raft of other things I'm not quite sure to do with either. I bit the bullet and decided to remove these items to find another home.
This space became a far more practical use, for holding large containers, which are often difficult to store. My home-made vinegar jars are on the fridge, fermenting away, and more importantly - out of the way. The tall spaghetti jar in the middle, hardly gets used; except for winter, when I make a lot of chicken noodle soup.
By far, the best improvement of this tiny space however, is bringing my large cake tin down from the top cupboard. It's used a lot, so getting it off the high shelf meant getting the step out to reach it. Now it's just within reach, and I can also store my baked goodies here. Instead of taking up counter space, when I put food in it.
I also found a safe haven for the cookie jar. As we have a little cookie monster who helps himself if they are in reach, presently.
Baking paraphernalia ~ before
The next cupboard to tackle, was my baking cupboard. It's used quite a lot, so it needed to be organised. It had a cull, a few years prior too, but it was time for another purge - just to be sure.
Not surprisingly, I didn't remove a lot from this cupboard. But hey, you've got to check, right?
Just because you're only getting rid of a few things, doesn't mean it's easy to cull either. I have two rolling pins. The small one, was one my mother gave me. The larger one came with my husband. He's a chef and that was part of his professional kit.
So naturally, which one do I use the most? The one designed for professionals of course! It's larger, heavier and requires less "oomph" when it comes to rolling pastry or cookie dough. The smaller one, had some sentimental value because it was my mums'. But she was the one who taught me, not to hold onto things which only collect dust.
I chose to hold onto the sentimental value of the lessons my mother taught me, and practice them, rather than hold onto the object.
In the end, the only things to be culled from my baking cupboard, was the rolling pin and two small, cake tins. I have other cake tins I prefer to use, and I decided for the blue moon occasions, I might use these, it wasn't worth keeping them permanently.
But sorting this cupboard, did have it's other benefits too!
Namely, getting off all that crud which ends up on the floor of the cabinet. I'm sure it's not unhygienic - I've worked in bakeries with much more crud around, but it's still not a bad practice, to wipe it out, once in a while either.
First I swept it out with a dustpan and brush, then used miracle spray for clean-up. If you haven't heard of miracle spray, you make at home, you should try it. Easily removes those hard marks, like baking crud, or squished food on the floor. Peter has a thing for sultanas, and we always find one mooshed, somewhere.
Afterwards though, my cupboard came out looking, brand new! Plus it smelled clean and fresh too. If nothing else, it was worth emptying the cupboard, just to do this job.
So maybe, not all room blitz, have to have a lot of things removed permanently. Sometimes, you just have to make the effort to clean the space, and reacquaint yourself with what's in your cupboards.
Baking paraphernalia ~ after
There's not a huge amount of difference between the before and after shots, of this baking cupboard. I made a few small changes. Like moving the grater up the top shelf. But it can easily be moved back down again, as the changing seasons, often dictate, what baking tins and trays I use the most.
If you have the luxury to be flexible (ie: space) then don't be afraid to change things as you need them. I'm sure my baking cupboard will continue to evolve, as my baking needs change too.
Ironically, the rolling pin, my mother gave me, was when she gave up making pastry and biscuits, once all her kids moved out of home.
To my delight, one of my kitchen drawers, came up sparkling clean, with a reshuffle and wipe out. I'm not normally one to get excited over shiny things, but this drawer full of sparkling utensils, surprised me. I would open the drawer, just to look at them!
It might seem silly, but I earned that little pleasure.
So this is what my kitchen looks like now. A little more organised. Which makes me happy to look at, and to use.
But in the interests of full disclosure, I don't want people to think this all about making a kitchen look prettier. I mean, it's certainly nice when they are, but the whole point to a kitchen, is this...
Your kitchen is for making mess! Food mess! On this particular day, the dishwasher was holding my second load of washing, and I'd just finished, hand-washing the dishes from making jam too. If there's not dirty dishes to attend, then there's clean ones to put away! Always making more to put through the cycle. Again and again.
It took me two hours this morning, just to unload the dishes from the day before (both the dishwasher and the hand dishes on the sink) clean up from breakfast and feeding the chickens. Because I make mess, gathering the chicken scraps too! I will soon be messing it up again, by making fruit salad and quiche.
I hope this doesn't sound like a complaint. It's not. It's just explaining the reality of what a kitchen is supposed to look like. So when you see a nice photo in my kitchen, just know I made a tremendous amount of mess first. And another mess will come after that. There will always be cookie crumbs somewhere, a sticky patch on the floor, smudges on my cooking jars, and cobwebs in the corner. Hey, a spiders got to eat too!
Always in use
This recent blitz in my kitchen, wasn't about making a picture perfect kitchen. It was about making it as efficient as I could to work in. Just blink, and the mess returns. This recurring theme, often makes me wonder what kitchens of our grandparents and great-grandparents must have looked like, most of the time?
I remember visiting my grandparents in a cooler climate when young. They always had a pot of porridge, either soaking on the wood stove for the next morning, or holding one in the process of being consumed. There were always piles of dishes on the sink. There was never any clear spaces on the benches, for slabs of butter, bread bins and condiments sitting, waiting to be used.
There was meat in Eski's, sitting on the floor, waiting to be dealt with, to put in the freezer - after slaughter day. Fat sitting in pans or saucepans, waiting to be used for cooking or something else. While we should never feel ashamed for admiring a nice, clean kitchen - miraculously, if it's our own! But equally, we shouldn't feel ashamed if our kitchens looked used either. Because, certainly, that's what they're meant for.