5 Things I Do “Wrong” in the Kitchen That I Just Refuse to Change — Ever

published Feb 5, 2023
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I’m generally a rigid rule follower, I swear. But if a rule doesn’t make sense — I’m looking at you, “Don’t wear white after Labor Day”) — I feel no obligation whatsoever. And because my family and I spend most of our quality time together in the kitchen, and around the table, I want that space to feel sacred, where the only rules allowed are ones that serve the greater purpose: bliss. Here are the rules I break with zero shame (and why you should, too). 

1. I don’t fold kitchen towels. Ever. 

There is no bigger waste of time than doing an unnecessary task. Sometimes folding makes sense; I always vertically fold my shirts and yoga tights. But all of my towels are the same. I don’t need them vertically — or even horizontally — folded to choose which amongst them is perfect for wiping the passion fruit smoothie mess left by one of my beloved family members. It takes literally seconds to move them from the dryer to the drawer, and that’s all I’m willing to spend on them. 

2. I do not maximize space in my refrigerator.

Hear me out. I found the most beautiful fruit bowl at a yard sale — one that checked all the boxes (low-profile, minimalist design, weighty). Just looking at it made me happy. I brought it home with delight, where it lived in a cabinet for years because I prefer my counters clear. Then I rediscovered it during one of my massive decluttering kicks, and because I couldn’t bear to lose it, I had to use it. Now it lives in a place of honor in my refrigerator, reducing the shelf space by half, but doing so gloriously. I have never once missed the space. And I may be an outlier here, but I don’t want my home to look like an efficiently run pharmacy. I want it to look like my home — full of quirky, beautiful things I bought for a dollar at yard sales. 

3. I store my butter in the spice drawer. 

People have feelings about this one. And for that reason I store “guest butter” in the refrigerator. But in defense of our core value (bliss, remember!), I must argue strongly that nothing tastes better than room-temperature Kerrygold on freshly baked bread. (While it is safe to leave butter out at room temperature, be sure to avoid these common mistakes.)

4. I won’t remove our misspelled pantry labels.  

My daughter covered our pantry in masking tape labels one day when she was maybe 7. We’ve only purchased instant oatmeal once in our life together as a family, and it happened to be that week, so “oatmeel” stares proudly at me underneath a bread basket. The spelling is not the only freewheeling quality to this labeling system; she also utilized a random selection of Sharpies for the task. But I suppose my maternal side is stronger than my inner control-freak, because I live in fear that one day my daughter will find these labels embarrassing and will remove “friut” and “plastic bags in the back” from our lives forever.  

5. Our nursery chair is spending its retirement years in the kitchen. 

This one gives me pause. The nursery chair’s stay in the kitchen was supposed to be temporary — a stop along its way to a new home where babies are rocked, not where curry is made. But this chair, the most comfortable one in the house by design, is the reason my teenage son sits in the kitchen after school while I make dinner, occasionally looking up from his phone to tell me about a movie or book or video game he enjoyed. And so it stays.

What rules do you have zero patience for? Let us know in the comments, because solidarity.