ONE FREE THING EVERYONE CAN DO TO UPDATE THEIR KITCHEN
Designers are just like everyone else. We sneak in some weekend internet time to save photos of all kinds of inspiration for our homes. We are trained, and have years of experience, that help us see things others might miss. In our minds, there is always a “what if” churning. Some concepts take time and money. All good. Plan the work and work the plan. But what can we do now? Personally, I’ve found that small accomplishments in our home keep me motivated. Something that can be done quickly, like “right now”! Basically for
sweat labor free and make me feel like I have made a positive difference in our life. Tall order…easy fix!
LET’S CLEAN OUT AND ORGANIZE THE FRIDGE!
Let’s look at these two examples of the most depended upon appliance in our homes. Our humble ice boxes. If you are among the ones who remember when we had to use blocks of ice to keep the temps up, then you already know the theory of how to store only the food you will be able to consume. You also are probably a pro at keeping a refrigerator clean. The rest of us fall into these two categories or somewhere in-between.
The “I am going to eat that later” group. (left)
The “I am going to cook that later” group. (right)
Ok, now that we have had a little laugh, let’s be honest and identify! Let’s also really look at these two photos. Are they really that different? First impression, the one on the right appears healthier. However, it can quickly turn into a box of decaying food. See the similarities now? The organizing guru we recommend of Ashley Organizes is quick to remind us that even organized clutter is clutter. I’m guessing she would give both these food storage systems an F. I do want to know the story behind the flag in the left fridge tho. (See I told you…designers see everything!)
So let’s roll up our sleeves, get out your choice or combo of white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda (best products to clean with for food safety) and empty our beloved boxes. When they are clean and shiny, let’s rethink how we want to use them.
Ok, we may not all get to the point of these styled photos for Bosch but we can certainly implement a lot of the concepts. I am the first to admit I’d like to have my cold food storage look like this when we open the door. Take another leap with us today. A fellow blogger, asmallwardrobe, is always simply insightful in breaking down steps to organize our closets. Here are some of her tips. We’ve realized these tips can apply to what we are talking about today as well!
Organise things in categories. “We all have a lot of stuff, even if we are in the process of minimizing. Storing things in categories is a basic organizational tool to keep you on top of your belongings. Not only does this make it easy to find them, but it also means you can see how many of those things you have.” Refrigerators already give us a head start with all the compartments and cubbies. It’s user error that gets us in trouble. Easy to resolve with a little household training. I am not beyond blue painters tape labels to prevent questions! Don’t you just love the way she spells “organise”?!
Get rid of duplicates. “Most people do not need more than one of anything. Unless your objects have specific purposes, and you use them often, you can probably afford to let them go. If you have more than one of something, say goodbye to the duplicate.” Yes, she is talking about clothing, but the same can apply to the 2 or 3 half bottles of ketchup you have hanging around. Busted.
Find new functions for things. “One of the biggest hacks to reduce the range of things you own is to find new functions for your things. You don’t need specialized products for specialized purposes.” We’ve been repurposing for years. Glass bowls, jars, bottles have endless, repeatable uses. We’ve posted before about using glass vs plastic for food storage. It is simply safer, earth friendly and with a little prep work encourages better nutrition. Food can be “pretty”.
Limit your range of
clothing food. The same idea can apply to the foods we buy. Shop more often, buying less at a time. Cooking can limit the “new things” to buy. We’ve learned how to use many of the same ingredients to make multiple dishes. We are honest about what we like and this helps on a regular basis. We’ve also learned to take advantage of healthy frozen meals, Trader Joe’s or our own, as a large part of consuming what we buy.
Digitize. “Converting physical objects to a digital format is one of the simplest ways to reduce clutter. Paper, photographs, books, DVDs and CDs takes up a surprisingly large amount of space. The possibilities for compression are endless!” This is a subject very dear to my heart. I could, and will, write many more posts about the benefits of using technology as tools to fit our needs and ultimately give us the decor we crave. However, I am also quick to trash apps that simply don’t work for me. Apps are personal and take a commitment from “us” to use them or they are just digital clutter. Recipes to me are like Pinterest and Insta Gram to others. I can read recipes for hours. I used to save so many that there was little time to cook them! Enter Paprika Recipe Management. This is a program/app worth paying for. Today, even print recipes can usually be found online. Take a photo out of a cookbook and enter it. Enter your own recipes. Paprika allows me to save, delete, revise, categorize, share recipes and make shopping lists from all my devices. Phone, Tablet, Computer all sync. This is my number one personal app that I have mastered. Not only am I organized with recipes, I can meal plan from it and yes, buy only what we will consume.
One more thing we’d like to discuss that may help us all achieve ongoing refrigerator bliss. Consider a second unit. Nope, we are not a Smeg dealer but we do have a little fixation on the comeback of the vintage classic and the idea of creating storage that works. The example above goes against all the conventional design of the past 3 decades. Bigger units, built into expensive cabinets, with stainless as the holy grail for finishes. So the designer “what if” that floats around our brain is the luxury of having two units. Side by side, separated in the kitchen design, or in a pantry. Built in or freestanding. Stainless or not. One for food prep items, one for food storage. One for the chef, one for the family. One for beverages, one for produce.
The possibilities are endless and exciting. How much different could our lives be if a second ice box was not only designated to the garage or basement? Let’s consider the idea of having more space where we will really care for it and use it. This may go against some of the rules of downsizing and minimizing promoted today. Yet it goes along with the idea of creating systems that work for how we live and making our lives better.
While you are dreaming about whatever “what if” you’ve seen this weekend, stand back and admire your updated kitchen every time you open the ice box door!
Considering a kitchen renovation? Thinking how you might be able to include a second unit, perhaps a true working pantry using some of the space you already have?
We’d would love to work with you via our virtual and digital design packages.
JOIN US WEDNESDAY AND SEE HOW YOU CAN PRACTICE THESE REFRIGERATOR TIPS!