I tend to do most of my spring cleaning in January — there's just something about the whole vibe of fresh starts and the new year that drives to me to bedroom closet and kitchen cupboards to do a clean sweep. This past week, my partner Sam has been out of town so I've really spent some time going through drawers and cupboards and donating items we're just not using to create some fresh space in the kitchen.
So now we have more counter space and I can actually find what I'm looking for, which makes any home cook happy. Here are three more small changes that have been making me happier in the kitchen.
In addition to having an organized kitchen, I've found three small ways to feel more fulfilled and eager to spend time cooking and eating at home. If you have any little tweaks or changes you've made this year, I'd love to hear yours too. I find the smaller and more manageable the change, the more likely you'll actually carry through with it and adopt it as a new habit or routine. So without further ado, here's what's making me happy lately:
1. Heating milk for coffee and tea.
This sounds very small, I realize. But I learned this from my Aunt Vanessa who always takes time to heat up the milk for her coffee or oatmeal on the stovetop each morning and puts it in a sweet little pitcher. Myself? I usually pour a glug of cold milk into my coffee and end up having to microwave it within five minutes to heat it back up.
Taking the time to warm the milk instead makes morning coffee feel a bit more special, and eliminates the numerous trips back to the microwave.
2. Doing all the dishes at night.
For many of us, getting into the kitchen to cook a homemade meal can be a challenge for many reasons: time is a big one. Lack of inspiration or motivation is another. For me, a big deterrent is a sink full of dishes. We often cook dinner together at home but we don't always do the dishes that night — often leaving them for the next morning. And there's nothing that makes me want to prepare breakfast less than looking at the previous night's dishes. So as much as I don't always feel like tackling them, we've been making an effort to get the kitchen spiffy before we head to bed for the night.
3. Keeping bowls of fresh fruit at the ready.
This is another very small change, but lately I've been noticing I'm not eating as much fresh fruit as I'd like to be — with the gray days of winter, this isn't necessarily surprising. But I've also noticed that if a big bowl is out in plain sight, it triggers a visual reminder and I'll grab an apple or an orange for a snack instead of a handful of nuts or trail mix. Plus, a big bowl of oranges on the table just looks pretty and bright.
Any small changes you're making for a fresh start this January?
(Image credits: Megan Gordon)