The following is a guest post by Tali Wee of Zillow.
Small kitchens don’t have to be organizational nightmares. Smart reconfiguring, innovating thinking and easy design updates remove clutter and turn small kitchens into functional and efficient cooking spaces.
Less clutter also equates to less stress. A functional kitchen benefits both homeowners and potential homebuyers. An updated kitchen is a major selling point for home shoppers looking to buy, because it tends to stand out in the market. Here are some tips to get the most out of a small kitchen.
Make space for daily appliances and get rid of the less frequently used items. The old waffle iron sitting in the back of the cupboard and the extra toaster left behind by an old roommate can be donated if still in working condition. Dump the appliances that are beyond repair. Same goes with utensils, pots and pans; remove the broken and the duplicates that don’t get used to free-up space and clear out clutter.
Reduce rummaging by storing frequently used appliances and kitchen items within easy reach. Pots and pans are best stored near the range or cooktop, mixing and prep bowls near the counter top and plates near the sink or dishwasher. It’s important to make sure everything has its own space. A kitchen rack with s-hooks is a great way to store everyday utensils and pans. Plus, un-cluttered kitchen racks can also be a fun design element.
Organize the Panty
The pantry is another area of the kitchen that can use an overhaul. Chances are the groceries don’t change drastically each week, so determine the right amount of storage required and keep things in specific places. Remember that while buying bulk may be a little cheaper, it can cause clutter. Investing in transparent containers with labels makes it easier to monitor levels of food.
Avoid the Loading Zone
Keep only culinary items that have a purpose in the kitchen. Handbags, purses, shoes and coats do not belong in the kitchen. Reduce clutter by having a designated area for these items and get in the habit of putting them away before entering the kitchen. Mail should be sorted through immediately. Recycle unwanted pieces and store magazines in a reading nook or bathroom.
Bottom line is to keep what is used and get rid of what is not. Keep everyday items within reach or at eye level. Be smart with storage; items such as an oversized turkey platter that’s used once each year can be stored somewhere else in the house. Create a kitchen bulletin board to keep important notes, mail and weekly shopping list; this keeps items off the counter tops. Another handy tip is to store cleaning products in the bathroom or laundry room rather than taking up valuable kitchen space.
Before investing in a total kitchen remodel, follow these five tips to open up a kitchen’s workspace. Spend a little time purging unneeded or infrequently used items every couple of months. Regular attention to these tips help homeowners get back on track and avoid battling with overly full cabinets each time a casserole dish is needed.
What were you like when you were a child? I read this quote today and it struck a chord in me, because I’ve been trying to ease my negative thoughts lately. Zen Master Hakuin reminded me that I’ve already been peaceful, I just need to revert back to that mindset.
The older we get the more problems we create for ourselves in our own mind. I’m not talking about financial struggles or relationship issues. I’m talking about unhappiness and self doubt.
Or even little things that we stress ourselves out about: A book not being in stock. Not being able to find a pair of sunglasses. The neighbor’s dog barking all too often. These little things are really no big deal unless you make them a big deal. Believe it or not, this affects your state of mind in a very negative way.
Try starting this week off by being Buddha. Love those around you. Forgive people who have hurt you and let it go. Most importantly, be your own cheerleader. If you realize you’ve just thought something negative about yourself or your capabilities, recognize it and let it go. Then mentally tell yourself something positive to replace it.
There are many benefits to healthy snacking. It prevents you from reaching that point of hunger where you end up making bad decisions. It also prevents you from having snacks with high sugar or fat content.
Here’s what I do in my attempts to snack healthy:
Fill your kitchen with fresh produce. Snacking is healthiest with whole foods, not packaged or processed “health” foods. Find fruits you like to mix together in fruit salads or eat alone. Tree nuts are also a good choice.
Refrigerate fruits to keep them fresh longer. I also put them in pretty little bowls to make it easier to grab a handful just after opening the refrigerator door.
Don’t purchase junk food. Simply put — if they’re not in your house, you’re less likely to unmindfully snack on things that aren’t good for you. If ice cream craving hits on occasion, going out for some one-time froyo in a cup will do! Don’t have the temptation waiting for you at home.
Put a twist on your produce. Don’t like plain fruits and veggies to snack on? Add something to it. From greek yogurt to peanut butter to natural salsa, there are tons of ways to spice something up without diving into the deep end.
Trick your cravings. Sometimes there are alternatives when you’re craving something sweet and full of sugar. Take my oatmeal cookies as an example!
Most of the reactions I got were along these lines. I went from being excited to insecure to thinking everyone felt sorry for me. And when the time came to go, I was actually a little apprehensive. I let people’s reaction get to me.
Here’s the thing. I cancelled my wedding that would have been held this past March in Florida. I had travel credits and no one to tell me how to use them or where to go. If someone gave you a free ticket to anywhere with the condition you had to go alone, would you go? So I packed up a small backpack with clothes, booked a hostel, and backpacked all over Seattle. It was something I’ll never forget.
Was I lonely? Of course I was. There’s something special about traveling and therefore bonding with someone. Especially when it feels like everyone else around you isn’t alone. Did it ruin my trip? No way! I felt those feelings and they passed. I got to do everything I wanted, when I wanted. The trip was all about me. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this city I’ve always wanted to pay visit.
I’ve realized that most people are scared of too many things.
But that’s the mistake. I didn’t see anything wrong with this trip because I was confident in myself and I don’t need to be attached to the hip with anyone to do something I want to do. You only have one life to fully enjoy, yet too many people are focused on material things or feeling good all the time. They don’t take risks. They are scared to be alone. They ask why when they should be asking why not. So what are you holding back on doing because you’re afraid?
“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”