Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A House of Order: the Kitchen

God's house truly is a house of order. So a Godly house must needs be an orderly house. Doesn't it feel like this is the carrot and we are the horse forever chasing but never quite reaching it? Lately I at least feel like I've shortened the distance between the carrot and myself.  So I'm hoping (cross fingers!!) to do a series on how we're ordering our house and lives over here.  I can't promise these posts will be regular, but I am hoping to do at least four.
Oddly enough, it all started with my almost 7 year old son. He's very tidy and has taken to heart the lesson that the Spirit cannot dwell in a pigsty.  Once he came out and commented on how nice and peaceful it was in there and that he could feel the Holy Ghost with him.  I looked at the disaster of a living room and frowned.  It sucks to be shown up by a kid and I certainly wasn't feeling anything holy.  He makes his bed almost every day and cleans up his toys when he's done and puts them away (usually). This child, and this child's bedroom, inspired my husband and I. We noticed a couple of things:
  • if his bed was made, the rest kind of took care of itself.
  • it was much easier for him to make his bed if it wasn't next to a wall. So we rearranged his room to make it easier for him to keep clean.
  • he preferred to store the Lego's under his bed (in a tub) instead of in his closet because then he would be more likely to put them away.
Those seem like simple things, but they were a revelation.

  • find the anchor in the room that makes you automatically keep everything else clean (dishes, clear counters, polished sink)
  • Can you rearrange to make more or easier to use/clean space?
  • Put similar items together in a place that makes sense.
It all started when my husband asked what my kitchen remodeling plans were. For those who don't know me well, I rearrange rooms quarter-annually and remodel them in my head bi-monthly. So I told him my dream of moving the fridge and knocking down a wall. He suggested we move the fridge and put our large IKEA cabinet in it's place. I hadn't thought of it before, but figured why not. Kitchen triangle schmiangle!  So we did and it has made a huge difference!  Now our triangle is more of a squiggle, but in a small kitchen, who cares!

Before: Fridge on the left, across from dishwasher.  IKEA cabinet (where I like to do food prep.) on the right across from stove, near door.  It worked, but it flowed weird.

Before: This is a shot after we painted.  It looks open and we thought it was, until....

After: we moved he IKEA cabinet where the fridge was and having that open space makes the whole kitchen feel bigger!  Maybe arms head space makes a bigger difference than foot space.  Food prep is now near the sink and the stove.
After: A view from behind the cabinet.  Now when we come in from the backyard we don't feel cut off and there's space for shoes.  MUCH better flow. (yes, I know I need curtains.  I can't decide between crisp white or colorful curtains.  What do you think?)
After: Now the fridge is over here where we had the pantry/bookcase thingy which was simply moved over. Still plenty of room to move around.  I also know my fridge is a mess.  THAT part is scheduled for later this week.

Unloading the dishes is my son's job, but since all our dishes were in upper cabinets he couldn't put them away.  He'd simply unload to the counter and put away utensils.  So we move the dishes into a shelf in the IKEA cabinet so he can reach them and stay in one spot and pivot to put them away.  He can also set the table without us getting the dishes down for him.  It simply makes more sense (even though I've always put dishes in upper cabinets).  
Speaking of jobs, I'll show you my cleaning charts in my next post.  Still working on assigning tasks, but I'm getting close. The biggest key to trying to organize a routine and home is to view the first few months as rough drafts.  Try it, change it, hone it, adapt it.  It's a process.   I say this more for myself than for you readers, you know, for the tough times.  :)


  1. First thought: "You want me to clean my house? ARE YOU CA-RAZY!?!?!"

    Now reading the rest of the post.

    Ugh. You are right. I should go clean my house. And reorganize my frustrating living room. And fix stuff. How dare you motivate me.

  2. If you open the window a lot in the summer/fall I probably would think twice about white curtains..they show dirt really quickly. If you don't I would consider white in the spring/summer and something colorful in the fall/winter when outside can get dark and dreary. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen a fun color can brighten your mood no matter what the weather looks like outside!
    p.s. love the cabinet and the new arrangement---it looks great!

  3. I would go with bold colored curtains. Add some spice to your clean :)

  4. What is the size of your kitchen?
    It looks similar to mine but you have so much more usable area.

    1. My kitchen 9'x17'. I wish I could go to all my neighbors who have the same house plan, but remodeled their kitchens. There's a large variety of layouts, it's amazing!

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