I have lived through three kitchen renovations! (I’ve moved quite a bit as an adult.) My first grown-up kitchen had two sinks, a wine refrigerator and a rotisserie oven (with buttons and settings I never understood!). The second kitchen was 500 square feet with a walk-in pantry and an island bigger than most New York City apartments. (I could never find anything in that kitchen!) Now, I have what I call a peaceful kitchen. It’s bright white, with open shelving and has a basic little closet for a pantry. There is no wine frig or island, but because of its simplicity, it is my favorite kitchen of all time. It’s uncluttered and easy and that has brought me peace. This peace has overflowed into eating...and preparing meals is peaceful too!
I’m a fit pro, so of course I believe in the power of movement, but the truth is your health is much more dependent on what - and how - you eat. Plus, our lives revolve around the kitchen, so I encourage you to organize and simplify your kitchen. Make it peaceful. A peaceful kitchen will lead to peaceful eating.
There’s no need to renovate, just edit and align. Here are my five do’s and don’ts:
- Don’t over stuff drawers, cabinets, refrigerators and freezers. When these compartments are too full, the immediate visceral reaction is one of stress.
- Do keep a clear countertop. Try not to store too many do-dads on the counter. In my current kitchen, I have canisters and a coffee maker on top - that's it! My blender and other appliances are stored underneath, with easy access, out of sight.
- Do throw out Tupperware, vases and other freebies. I’m talking about things we just seem to accumulate. For instance, flowers are sent to your house and the container they came in stays in your possession by default. Get rid of it. So much precious space is used storing things we could easily live without.
- Don’t think more is better. I read somewhere that all a kitchen really needs is 1. a small saucepan, 2. a skillet, 3. a pasta pot and 4. a strainer. Yet, I look in the Williams Sonoma catalog and suddenly think I need several different waffle makers! Just say no. Less is more in the peaceful kitchen.
- Do fix or replace broken appliances. Many kitchens have something “on the fritz”. Once, I had a garbage disposal that “spat”. (That was an embarassing problem.) My friend has a ventilation system above her stove that makes a high-pitched grating noise. Do you have a light switch that doesn’t work? These are little annoyances that steal your peace. Fix ‘em!
I definitely see a coorelation between one's kitchen and one's overall wellbeing. Strive for a serene kitchen and watch your whole life benefit.