Welcome to my Life Detox series! What is a life detox, you might ask? Well, I’d say it’s different for everyone. For me, I’m focusing on seven areas in my life (which I talk about here in my intro post) that I wanted to clean up. While I try to put a lot of focus into nutrition and what I feed myself and family, there are other aspects in my life that I felt were lacking. If I eat organic when it’s important and stay away from processed food (which, ahem, I don’t always….but that’s for part six), then why am I putting toxic chemicals on my body through my makeup, skincare, and household cleaners? And if I thrive in an organized environment, why am I constantly surrounded in CLUTTER?! Lastly, if I know the importance of and see the benefits of taking time to be mindful, practice yoga, and clear my mind, then why don’t I do it on a regular basis?
SO. I set a challenge for myself to clean up parts of my life and I thought hey! Why not share it as part of a blog series?
This brings us to today – creating a capsule kitchen. We’ve all heard about capsule wardrobes, where you pick out 30-40 key items in your closet for the season, and store or donate the rest. By the way, items like outerwear, athletic clothes, and pajamas don’t count. These are every day items that you would wear on a daily basis.
I decided to take the same concept and apply it to my kitchen. However, I honestly had no idea if I could really get by with 30-40 items TOTAL in my kitchen, so I decided to make a list of what I would need. I decided that items like bowls, cups, plates, and flatware didn’t count individually, but I did add them as singular items. ,
So here’s what I ended up with:
- Spatulas (3 max)
- Wooden spoon
- Mini whisk
- Vegetable peeler
- Wine bottle opener (priorities, folks!)
- Cookie dough scooper
- Garlic press
- Kitchen Aid paddle attachment
- Vegetable grater
- Small Pot
- Medium Pot
- Small sauté pan
- Medium sauté pan
- Large sauté pan
- Large cast iron pan
- Large food processor
- Small food processor
- KitchenAid mixer
- 2 cookie sheets
- Cooling rack
- Set of mixing bowls
- 6 coffee mugs
- 6 water glasses
- Large baking dish
- Medium baking dish
- Bread pan
- Muffin tin
- Set of measuring cups
- Set of measuring spoons
- Wine glasses
And here are some before and after photos.
First up, a before of my spatula/whisk/random stuff drawer:
Before of pan/measuring cup/other random stuff drawer:
Last, a before of our cup and bowl cabinet:
This obviously doesn’t show every single cabinet and drawer, but I figured you get the point. Less stuff. Less clutter. More sanity.
So what happens to all of the other STUFF?! There were a lot of things that I definitely didn’t want to get rid of quite yet, and other things, like a waffle maker and random baking dishes, that I use on occasion but not enough to warrant realty space in my kitchen. Luckily in our laundry room we have a couple of storage shelves where I was already keeping extra kitchen appliances. I took a random afternoon before we had Soren to reorganize the shelves, making space for the new stuff that I was sending downstairs.
You might be wondering, then, if I still have it and it’s still taking up room elsewhere in our house, then what’s the purpose of the whole thing? Am I just transferring clutter from one space to another?
I don’t think so. The kitchen is a space where I spend a LOT of time. Between recipe development and just cooking for pleasure, I love being in the kitchen. So when it’s cluttered and overstuffed with too many things, it doesn’t feel as relaxing to me. Now that I’ve done my kitchen capsule, my drawers are less cluttered, my cabinets aren’t overflowing, and there’s a sense of order to things. Which, in a time of life when things feel crazy, gives me a sense of peace.
HOWEVER. I do have one confession to make. You see, my silverware drawer is basically the opposite of orderly. A few months ago Lars started taking interest in choosing his own silverware, and our organizer has movable slats that don’t stay in place very well. As a result, forks were sliding into the spoons and the butter knives into the forks. It was a mess to try to keep it organized. So I threw in the towel, took out the slats, and now our silverware drawer is a free-for-all. As in, when I unload the dishwasher, I just throw them all in without organizing it. While this is basically the opposite of my kitchen capsule, it’s actually somewhat freeing to not have to organize this drawer and I’m keeping it the way it is for the time being. I’m hoping to find a utensil drawer organizer at some point that doesn’t drive me crazy, but until then, our silverware is what it is!
SO! My tips for creating your kitchen capsule:
- Go through your kitchen drawers and cabinets and take inventory. Think about what you’ve actually used in the last six months and what you use on a regular basis.
- Put the stuff that you haven’t used in the last 6 months in storage or some place still accessible but not in your main kitchen cabinets. If you have a ton of kitchen storage (unlike us) store some of the rarely used appliances together so they’re not in the way in cabinets with things you use a lot.
- Don’t think of it as getting rid of stuff. You don’t have to do that! Just store them elsewhere so they don’t contribute to daily clutter.
Overall, I’ve been really happy with the things I’ve kept and the organization of my kitchen. I have found that when there are less things to organize, it’s easier to re-organize them when they get messy again. It hasn’t been perfect, as in my kitchen things just naturally tend to become disorganized, but overall it has contributed to feeling much better about the state of clutter!!