Spring is starting to feel more like summer so I’m putting the pressure on; no-one has time to be stuck indoors dusting when the sun beckons outside.
This second part of my spring clean series focusses on the kitchen, which I have now completed.
My kitchen is made up of various units including much loved vinyl shelves which still have their original labels “”oldskool/acid house”, “west coast/san fran house”, “funk/soul”, “RnB/ hip hop”, hand-written by the old tenants who are lovely friends of ours and, you guessed it, DJs.
Even though they are tattered I would never get rid of them (I’m talking about the labels here), they make me smile every time I grab a bowl or plate and I think of them. Some days I feel as though I should cook in the dancing style of these genres depending on which shelf I pick, maybe I’ll try that this evening.
I love my crockery, most of it comes from donations or things people have been chucking out, so my collection is a proper mix. I have some beautiful vintage bowls, tea sets and plates which were all inherited or given to me by my grandparents.
My mum always lets me have a rummage through her garage and sometimes her cupboards to select a few key pieces I “need”. For example I had never baked bread before until my mum said I could have her large mason mixing bowl, I baked two loaves last weekend. Personally I need nice tools to encourage me to make the things I love, also the other bowls I had were too small..and plastic. I also have our huge old family spaghetti dish which served our family of 6 over many years, it meant we could all help ourselves and properly dig in. Memories are attached to things and these memories are so important, especially when it comes to food!
The best way to start with a kitchen clear out is to put aside the sets of things you use each day – favourites bowls, plates, cutlery, glasses and mugs. I tend to circulate the same things each day as they are my preferred vessels and tools.
Then take out and stack up everything else you have and put it all to one side, separate from your favourite items. Clean the shelves and drawers and use a hoover for the little bits in the corners.
Putting back particular items in new places will naturally cull what you have. Think about where you want things to go in terms of easy access. Cupboards and drawers should remain tidy, don’t be under the illusion that if you can’t see it it’s fine, do yourself a favour and sort it properly.
Think about your favourite cuisine, if you love cooking stir fry’s keep your wok on display and your chopsticks in a jar near the hob, this way you’ll have a constant inspirational reminder to cook what you love rather than ordering a takeaway.
Look at how many electrical items you have on the work surface, do they all need to be there? How often do you use them? Put anything away if you don’t use it more than once a week. This will leave you with more workspace and a cleaner looking kitchen.
Check all the dates on food, I tend to hoard far too many sauces which block up my fridge, so I’ve managed to chuck out about 50% Don’t be tempted to buy more! If you’re lacking space for everything, invest in a simple chest of drawers to house your food, this doesn’t have to be in your kitchen, rather like a pantry store. Pretty things such as lentils can be displayed on shelves in little jars. Your kitchen doesn’t need to be a clinical space, add colour with art on the walls.
Finally herbs are so important, they encourage you to cook fresh whilst also providing some greenery in your kitchen. An accidental brush of a basil leaf gives of a wonderful scent and all of a sudden you’ll have to cook spaghetti bolognese.
All images can be found on my Pinterest board Kitchen