right here. (It's easy and free.) Now read on for this week's assignment.
Week 2 Assignment
- Take BEFORE and AFTER photos of your kitchen tools.
- De-clutter and purge. Make three categories: stuff you use regularly, stuff you use occasionally, and stuff you never use. It could be as small as a stray corn cob holder or as large as a KitchenAid mixer you got as a wedding gift and just don't use. Think about plastic food storage containers that don't have matching lids. Think about splintered wooden spoons. Ask yourself why you keep wine corks. Get into flatware and plates if you want. There must be things in there you don't need. • In the case of stuff you use regularly: set it aside. It will be going back in the cupboards, but not before you wipe down all the surfaces. • In the case of stuff you use occasionally (for me this is my ice cream maker, a grain grinder, knife sharpening stones, muffin tins), consider using spaces in the back of a cabinet. We often are asked how to maximize deep cupboards - here's your chance. Also consider boxing up some of these items - like special occasion dinnerware, seasonal things (margarita glasses? BBQ tools?) - labeled neatly and placed in the rear of deep cabinet or in a high place in the kitchen like above the refrigerator. • In the case of stuff you never use, consider giving it away or selling it. I meet so many people who keep things in their kitchen that were given as gifts. This is your chance to take a leap, be bold, and get rid of those unused wedding gifts or things your bought because you thought you'd use them but you just don't. List them on on Craigslist. Believe me, someone wants your yogurt-maker. You don't need three grill pans. Be brave! • As you go through your collection of kitchen tools, pull out duplicates. I find most people keep way too many pieces of plastic left-overs containers. Often tops and bottoms don't match. We know tongs are everyone's favorite tool, but you really only need one pair. Mixing bowls are another common offender. Small, medium and large is all you really need, right?
- Deeply clean all surfaces. Take out anything else in the cupboards and on the counter tops and wipe it down with a warm, moist cloth. We encourage you to use earth-friendly products. For cutting through grease, vinegar and water works nicely. Check out this post on favorite cleaning products for the kitchen and this one on DYI Green Cleaning Solutions. Also, vacuum, dust, etc.; whatever you need to do to make it sparkle. Deeply clean all surfaces before returning your newly slimmed-down arsenal of cooking tools to its place.
We want to see the scene before you weed things out and then after you've sorted through it all. Show us your counter-tops, cupboards, drawers and other places you keep your kitchen tools and equipment. In the "before" shot, DO NOT clean things up for the camera. Submit them to the Flickr group and make sure to write captions for each image. Remember, submitting your photos to Flickr gives us permission to post them using the name you provide. (Here's info on how to upload your photos to Flickr) This enables us to learn from everyone's projects.