Zoe and I are doing a big job in her kitchen, over several sessions, making it more functional.

We discussed making the relatively small space feel as big and useful as possible. That meant putting spices that were on top of the stove, away in a cupboard; the same for the oils and vinegars on the counter next to the stove.

One piece of it was to organize a cupboard. We tossed some foods past their “sell-by” dates. What to put where? We placed teas up top, since Zoe doesn’t drink them much, but they’re easily reached. On the bottom, there’s room for a Lazy Susan to hold spices, so they will be easy to use, too.

We had a little bit of time left. How to use it well? Zoe quickly suggested the junk drawer. Among other items, it held many batteries. We put most of them into a plastic sandwich bag. We threw out some other stuff. At the end – some empty space! Hooray!

Does she buy mushrooms? If so, I suggested saving the plastic containers. They’re a great size for the junk drawer, to keep organized any random items that migrate there. (I also use them in the fridge crisper drawers, to hold veggies. Less cleaning to do, too.)

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Reclaiming the Kitchen