Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Kitchen Reorganization – One Year Late

The kitchen in our “new” home is rectangular, with an L-shaped workspace. The sink sits below a cheery window; a small set of drawers is on the left, and a larger drawer is to the right of the sink. Similarly sized upper cabinets flank the window. The stove and fridge are to the right of the sink. Across from the fridge, a window overlooks a small table and chairs. To the left of the window, a modest bank of upper and lower cabinets houses canned good, extra dishes, and some small appliances – the whole space is adequate for two or three folks moving about.  

When we moved in, I tried to organize the kitchen to reflect how I prepared and served food; the larger drawer seemed perfect for flatware, the upper right cabinets held all our cups and glasses; dishes went on the left sided cabinets. I did not, however, factor in what Doug would be doing while I served dinner. He graciously helps set the table:  while I am ladling out the chow, he was close by, trying to get the silverware and glasses. We were constantly in each others' way. I occasionally lost my charm.

Now, good help is hard to find; so an “aha” moment dawned finally. After enduring this congestion for almost a year, I rethought the layout, and switched the knives and forks, freed up the big drawer for cooking utensils – heretofore jammed into the small lower left  bank of drawers. I kept the plates on the left, out of range of the stove, but  moved the glasses from the right to the left. Doug had space to do his thing, and I no longer have to stand aside while he rummages for forks or glasses. The switch took maybe 30 minutes after making a run to get some small cutlery trays, and a few drawer organizers.

It took hundreds of collisions before I thought through how to make it easier for Doug to keep helping me. Preparing dinner is important – but so is serving it with a minimal fuss.  My first layout made sense for me, but not for anyone trying to help me.

Next I thought I’d cull the canned goods for anything expired: I found a dozen plus dead canned goods – and some spices that were fours years past their prime. No, I didn’t check the dates when I unpacked from the recent move.  Everything still seemed fine.

Didn’t we  just get here, anyway?

Actually, it will it was five years this AUGUST that we have been in Texas, four, since we set up housekeeping in a garage apartment. Then I recycled kitchen stuff I haven’t used, sometimes in three years.

Is there a wider application here?

  • If I want help, make it easy for others to help by thinking through what might work better for them.
  • If I don’t want to get sick, or make Doug sick, get rid of stale food. And inventory those habits, hurts and hang-ups more conscientiously  than I did the canned stuff. Keep what is good. Get rid of what is not working for me!  

When you blame others, you give up your power to change.  ~Author Unknown http://www.quotegarden.com/responsibility.html

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