The January Cure – Tackling the Kitchen


As i told you last week I am participating in Apartment Therapy’s annual January Cure. Starting January 1st participants are given daily or weekend tasks to help them create a “new” cleaner and more organized home. I spent last weekend cleaning the floors which I finally completed on Monday. I was also instructed to buy flowers for the house (I was really good at that.) This week however was the first FULL week of work and there were quite a few chores to be done.  Here’s how things went:

The first assignment for the week was creating a clutter collector or and Outbox. A place that can be halfway house where things sit while their fate is being decided. Keep? Donate? Pass On? Put it in the outbox while you decide. Now this particular task is something I already do but does not have an official location. I always have a pile of stuff somewhere that will be heading out soon but I like the idea of giving it a home. I have a giant wash tub down in the basement that will make a great outbox. Probably a few of the items siting in it right now can be the first to go.

The biggest project for the week was to Purge the Pantry. By big project I means a big mess which also means I must share another not so lovely photo. The pantry before…photo 5Once the task got underway let me report that things got a whole lot worse before they got better. Emptying the pantry was step one which looks like you just returned from a major grocery run from the outlet grocery store where all the boxes are torn and the cans are dented. The big mess has now moved from the pantry to the counter tops.DSC06777The main problem with our pantry is not just that is messy it is just not a good depth for what we are storing there. The deep shelves allow a lot of storage but it also means things are double stacked and get lost way in the back. When you need something you have to move everything around and when the kids are the ones doing this it usually means things don’t get put back the way they were found. The second problem is you just can’t see what is on any shelf other that the one right in front of you.  I could have reorganized things just to get it cleaned up but I know it would have gone right back to a big mess in just a few days.

DSC06775Since the shelves are adjustable and the pantry can accommodate different depth shelves I decide more shelves with less depth would work better.

One trip to the hardware store for more shelving and a couple of cuts to get them to the right length and I was in business.

DSC06784By alternating deep and shallow shelves I was able to create storage that was only one item deep with more open space to see what was on the shelves below. I also adjusted the heights of the shelves so there was no wasted space. This also let me add an extra self.

DSC06785Last I rearranged things so that items used everyday are at eye level and the occasionally used items like dry goods, rarely used condiments, and my large appliances were on the top and bottom shelves. I have to say this project has only been complete a few days and the space working worlds better already.

Why didn’t I do this a year ago?

Bonus, I had an extra piece of shelving left over so I added a shelf to one of my other cabinets for better storage there as well.

The next day’s assignment gave me a bit of a break. I was to do a Mini-Meditation this entailed finding a spot in my home to sit that would give me a view of a room or area that I feel is especially problematic. Then pick a project to tackle in this area at another time. You guys saw my first January Cure post? My sewing room drawers are a nightmare, actually a few things could use some work in this room but the drawers will be project #1. (I have a feeling I will be revisiting this room very soon.)

The next day(s) it was back to hard work with A better Kitchen by Sunday Evening in other words cleaning the kitchen and de-cluttering/organizing as you go. That includes cleaning the fridge, the cabinets, and every surface! I was at this much of the weekend and I am pretty sure I only scratched the surface. The fridge and freezer are clean and I purged a bit from the cabinets but we have a very small kitchen so there is not a lot of extra.  I also cleaned surfaces that I have not cleaned since we moved in. Crazy things like the knife block, do you know how dusty those things get? The toaster, 3 lbs of crumbs in there. The cabinet under the sink, yuck, clean now.  The storage drawer under the oven, gross! Everything falls down there, and if you pull it out the floor below, even worse! I accomplished a lot this weekend in the kitchen but I think more scrubbing may still be in order.

The last task on my list is my favorite and fortunately happens every week. Bring home and enjoy your Weekly Flowers

flowerLast week was orchids, this week I chose tulips to go in my awesome new (old) West German vase I scored at the thrift shop this week for 3€ ($3.60 the exchange rate is getting better have you noticed?)

There you have it. I am tired but feeling good about the progress going on.

Ready to jump into the new week of assignment.

Wish me luck!


  1. LH says:

    You’re inspiring! I’m way behind on the cure. I had to comment though because I have the yellow coffee cups that are in your first picture along with the plates. I don’t have the pitcher though. The set was my mom’s. It made me smile seeing it in your kitchen.

    • I am trying to keep up this time since I failed miserably last year. It is a lot of work but it does feel good to get it done. If nothing else it is good guide even if you only get a few things done.
      Funny you noticed the coffee pot, the marking on mine says Independence Ironstone maybe together we could have a full set 😉 I just love the yellow. I got my set at an antique mall when we lived in Alabama I frequented regularly. Every time I went I would see if it was still there and it always was. One day I finally broke down and bought it. I think I paid $16 for all three pieces.

  2. You are an inspiration! Wonderful. I saw your sewing room on another blog. Great ideas; thanks for sharing.

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