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simplifying: the kitchen

In simplifying on 03/17/2010 at 11:16 am

Finally have a baking “closet” – everything at my fingertips. Bliss.
Kitchen counters are cleared of everything but the necessities.
Everything for making lunches is stored in the same cabinet.
Top shelf of the fridge holds leftovers ONLY.

Time Saver: When I’m making muffins, I mix up extra batches of the dry ingredients and store in clearly labeled Ziploc bags. Next time we get a hankering for apple pumpkin spice, all I have to do is add the liquid ingredients and toss them in the oven.

How do you save time, space, and sanity in your kitchen?

p.s. Layout changes are coming to this space over the next couple of days…in the spirit of simplifying, of course! So please bear with me. It might get a bit messy around here.

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  1. That’s great, Gina! Looks wonderful. I’d say the best thing I’ve done to make my kitchen more workable is to have a place in the cabinets for EVERYTHING except the coffee maker. Even my toaster goes in the cabinet, as does the utensil crock. I don’t always put everything away, but when I get the urge, the counters can be completely empty in 2 minutes.

    I know I haven’t been commenting here as much as I used to, but I’ve still been reading, and you’ve been inspiring me so much. I was already feeling the pull to simplify and organize, but I wasn’t actually *doing* it because it seemed like such a huge task. But reading your blog has made me feel so peaceful about it, and as I work, I’m realizing that since I’ve been keeping clutter pretty well purged, it’s not as bad as I thought — I just have to find a place for everything now, because I only have things that we need and use. So thanks for posting about your journey to simplify your life. You’re a blessing. :)

    • Our counters were so cluttered. I didn’t realize how much it was complicating life until I cleared them. What a difference! Thank you so much for your very kind words. Every day I am humbled that busy creative women with homes and families and to-do lists actually pause long enough to read these ramblings. So thank YOU!

  2. it feels so good to re-organize every once in a while doesn’t it? your kitchen looks beautiful! hmmn, how do I save time in the kitchen? i’ve totally let go of pre-children cleaning standards, it’s sanitary and it’s organized but there are little finger smudges everywhere and i consider it a beautiful piece of art. xoxo

    • Wise words, Mandy. We have stainless appliances and I’ve reached the point that I can totally overlook all the fingerprints.

  3. I am in process of reorganizing my kitchen too. A clean refrigerator and clean counters are so freeing!

  4. I love getting a glimpse of how you are simplifying throughout your everyday. We have a very small kitchen and a real lack of storage space. I’m currently wishing to find an old fashioned pie safe at a mud sale or somewhere this spring and use it for food storage.

    :)Lisa

  5. I am always looking for ways to make my home run more efficiently. I have little spots around the house with all the things I need in those “spots”
    Up in the loft: sewing, wool, spinning, felt.. supplies all together.
    A desk right by the butcher block in the kitchen: Mae does her work there and I can help her while I cook or do the dishes… so on.
    Things like that. All the supplies for what is needed right there together so I am not running around the house searching.
    Lovely posts Gina. I am always inspired by simple things and love to get a peek at how other Mama’s are doing it :)
    Have a wonderful day and happy St.Patty’s Day today.

  6. I wish I could let go of the fingerprint smudges. My OCD gets the best of me sometimes. I clean as I go. That makes a major cleaning job not so daunting. My daily wipe-downs are now the norm.

    I have an organized kitchen. That saves a lot of time. My pantry is set-up where all items are visible and easy to grab. I keep extras of staples so that I don’t go to grab a can of pumpkin and ???…I’m out.

    The fridge is similar. Milks/juices in their spot. Condiments organized together…salad dressings & sauces (soy, BBQ, etc.), hamburger toppings (pickles, mustard, etc.).

    The kids have one of the veggie bins to use for their stuff like cheese sticks, yogurts, etc. That way if they want something they can be independent and grab it themselves. I keep a lot of fruit here as well. It make healthy snacking much easier.

  7. I’m a big fan of mixing up extra cornbread, muffins to freeze in ziplocs for later. I also double and triple things like lasagna or mac n’ cheese when I’m making them for dinner and freeze them. I always complain about it the day I do the extra cooking, but love it when I get to pull it out of the freezer and not cook that night. Speaking of which, I’m down to one such meal in my freezer–better get cooking!

  8. More great ideas! Keep ‘em comin’!

  9. Ooooh! What a good idea, for the muffins!! I will do that next time!! Thanks!

  10. Wow, the new space is looking quite lovely. And hooray for simplicity!!!

  11. I just keep the most simple and basic utensils. It has to be multi-purpose or it’s out. Love the idea of the plastic containers for baking goods

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