Tuesday, June 17, 2008

KITCHEN PROJECT: Phase 1 complete!

The Project:  Two hours, two small women, a garbage bag, a recycling box;   a yellow 10x10 kitchen with really awkward narrow cupboards; a handful of rags and cleaning cloths; a staggering collection of ziploc containers and waaaay too many cooking pots. Throw in some nice new plastic boxes...and a few rolls of shelf liner! Shelf liner? It's sticky on one side. Watch it- it can totally turn on you!

My friend Lynn (she's one third of my Tiny Writers group) joined me for an afternoon of decluttering and reorganizing. It was an intimidating task but I was ready for it. We were so ready to get to work that we forgot to take the BEFORE picture.  Yeah well, there's no way we were gonna put all the junk back for a photo session...


frightening cupboard under the sink

intimidating cupboard beside the oven

kitchen table, aka Place Where Junk Goes To Die, freed of most of its heinous clutter.  

Where did the clutter go, you ask?

On the dining room table.  And it's not staying there.  

Here's Lynn.  Isn't she cute?  

Here's me, both excited and nervous about taking my kitchen apart.

 Are you seeing the chaos in this room?  I mean, I'm generally okay with a bit of chaos. But this is ridiculous.  I have about six inches of counter space in there, covered with all this stuff. What to do with it all?  What the heck is it all?  I'm not good with decisions.  That's why a job like this is sooo much better with a buddy.  Preferably a buddy with a good sense of humour!

To get started, we tackled the worst, most visible problem: the kitchen table.  We cleared it. Then we had to find a place for all that junk. The only way to do that was to empty all the lower cupboards.  This may seem kind of bass-ackwards but we needed to get that all straightened out to get more storage space.  Soon that gaping cavern under the sink was lined with white paper and free of broken crap, extra crap and useless crap.  We'd found room for the garbage can, green bin bucket, cleaning supplies (ie big jug of white vinegar) and my Grandma's watering can.  All stuff that needs to be in easy reach.

We worked our way through the two stoopidest cupboards ever built.  We got more room by sticking a couple of stacking bins to use vertical space, and boxes to hold smaller things, making it easier to get at the big stuff lurking behind.

We ended up getting into the drawer under the oven too.  See how far-reaching this table-clutter problem was?

And the result, after a couple hours of kneeling on the floor and pitching stuff and wiping dust off things?

I have elbow room!

I feel relief.   There's still more work today, but this is a good start! A few items are going into storage in the laundry room.  I'll have to do a thrift store run to pass on some things I don't need.  And of course, why stop here?  There's still the top cupboards!  Not the top of the fridge though.   There actually is no top of the fridge.  I can't see it, and therefore it does not exist.  

All afternoon I kept walking into my kitchen and looking at everything.  It's the same, but it's different.  I like it.  I may still have a few appetite problems these days, but at least now when I remind myself that it's time to eat something, I end up in a room I feel pretty okay in.

(Thank you, Lynn!)


Heidi said...

Amazing!!! This looks awesome! I am the queen of organization (and color coding and labeling!), but I can see you had more than adequate help! This is impressive work!

I find a little organization helps my mental frame a lot. I have a kitchen counter my family and the mailman are conspiring to cover completely. It is a daily chore to clear it, but on those rare mornings when I come downstairs and see it clean, I feel like the day is off to a good start.

You have a really good friend!

Anonymous said...

Great job well done, you both done so good you are hired, when can you both start?

JKB said...

This looks outstanding! Can I say I lurrrrve your kitchen!? So bright and happy, with the yellow! Seriously gorgeous...and you look so GREAT! :)

Lynn is a star! I shall go and read her blog nao. ;))

(PS It really looks good. You've got to remember, you've got 1 cat, 1 dog and 2 kids, not including über-cute hubs in that house...of course you're going to have some messiness! But looks great!!)

Lynn Sinclair said...

Had a great time Heidi -- far more fun doing a project like this with someone who can make me laugh. I'm impressed by how quickly you're able to make decisions about keeping or tossing stuff -- no hemming or hawing. But, man, all those pots!

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh man, I totally forgot about THE POTS!

Here's the deal: Lynn comes over and looks around and says, "You've got a lot of pots. I mean, that's A LOT of pots!"

So at this point I'm thinking, y'know, come to think of it, that is a lotta pots.

Then she says this stunning truth, that I'd never thought of before... "You've only got four burners."

IT'S TRUE!!!!!!!

Lynn- this was a lot more fun than I thought it could be! I was ready to get at it, but you made it easy.

Also, you'll think it's funny that that the little shedding machine dragged his dog mat into the middle of the room!

Jkb- Thank you! This was the first room we painted when we moved in. Jethro's dad did not like it! I wanted bright and happy. It really is a cute lil kitchen but not the most convenient. We just have to make the best of it.

(hee hee, that cute bus of mine has some messes to clean up in that kitchen... but we won't get into that now...)

Katy, I for one would love to. Have you got any plane tickets lying around???

Heidi! Thanks! It's true, getting organized really does help the mental state. Sadly if the mental state isn't in good shape then it's hard to get the organizing done etc etc. There are some jobs that go so much easier with someone else's hands and brains on the job.

And yup, she's good stuff!

I really have to say again that whipping the kitchen into shape with Lynn was more fun than I expected!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Wow, she's amazing!

LMAO @ "You've only got four burners." Excellent point.

Heidi the Hick said...

I know.

"You've only got four burners" might just change my life!!!

LadyBronco said...


We have the exact same countertops!
(that is just scary)

Brava, Heidi! It looks fabulous, and I too love that yellow color!

coffeypot said...

Two hot kitchen ferries making miracles! Now that's hot.

Heidi the Hick said...

Yes, the magical kitchen. Hey did you know I'm the dishwashing fairy too??? (I'll tell Lynn she's hot; she'll like that.) (and we never even used the oven, go figure?)

Lady B- you've got the 70's woodgrain countertop too??? It's like this: replacing it will cost too much, so it stays!

I keep looking at the pictures cuz my kitchen looks so darn nice. All warm and glow-y. My neighbour and I pretending to waltz in all that wide open floor space, and the Pug has been dragging his mat into the middle of the room since last night!

dilling said...

feels good, doesn't it? it's about time for that around here....

Tod said...

Oooh, shiny! :)

Olly said...

Looks great. Isn't it wonderful how things look when we clean them up? Almost new!

CindyDianne said...

YAY for you! It looks great! I always find doing stuff that that is easier when there is someone around. For me, even if they do nothing but talk to me, I get more work done!

Good job you and Lynn!

When I moved this last time, I lightened the load on pots. It was time!