The Kitchn Cure Day 13: Exploring the Ways in Which Your Dish Cupboard and Your Shoe Rack Are Not the Same Thing

published Sep 23, 2015
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Esthera and Gus’s Bohemian Abode (Image credit: Ari Moisan)
(Image credit: Henry Chen)

The Kitchn Cure Day 13: Sort through your dishes and serveware.
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Today we’re going to rummage through our dish and glassware cupboards and upend our various drawers of silverware, tools, and implements. We’re going to sort through and clean out and rearrange all manner of kitchen chaos. Hurray!

But first, let’s talk about shoes.

Shoes are purely functional objects, right? They protect and support our feet, keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer, allowing us to traverse all manner of surfaces and distances with ease and joy. Well, this functionality is true, but it’s often not the whole picture. For some of us, our shoes also have to be beautiful, and sometimes, that beauty trumps their function. So often our shoe rack is divided into beautiful shoes and functional shoes, but very rarely do we possess functional and beautiful shoes (not never, just rarely).

This is not true of the things found in our kitchen cupboards.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris

Perhaps more than anywhere in our homes, the stuff in our kitchen reflects that old, but deeply true saying that we should only possess things that are useful or beautiful. Not only that, it is very easy, in my opinion, to find kitchenware that is both useful and beautiful at the same time. So unlike our shoe rack, our kitchen cupboards and drawers can be stocked with things that both delight the eye and get the job done.

Just like our pots and pans in Day 6, our dishes, glassware, silverware, and various implements need a kind and considered going over. Bring the golden rule of beauty and functionality to each piece and see how well it holds up.

Today’s Assignment

  1. Take a “before” photo of the inside of your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Take a few brave photos and post them to your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook account, and use the hashtag #kitchncure.
  2. Remove all your dishes, glasses, cups, platters, and any other assorted serveware from your cupboards. (Bonus activity for hardcores and hummingbirds: Take advantage of this moment to change your shelf paper.)
  3. Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water. Grab a sponge and wipe down the cupboard shelves, doors, and hardware. Allow to dry.
  4. As you return your dishes and serveware back into the cupboards, use this as an opportunity to weed out the ugly and unworkable pieces. Each time you pick up something, consider if you really want to hang onto it. Does it comply with the golden rule of beauty and/or functionality? Do you often avoid it because it doesn’t work well or offends your sense of beauty and proportion? Is it chipped, stained, or broken? Can you live without it? Then set it aside for your thrift store/rummage sale/giveaway box. Or in some cases, simply just toss it.
  5. If any piece is dusty or dirty, wash and dry it before returning it to its shelf.
  6. Consider whether or not your current cupboard arrangement is working for you, and shift things around accordingly. Keep everyday items like dinner plates, mugs, and glasses on lower, easy-to-reach shelves. Put larger serveware pieces and less-used items up higher.
  7. Move on to your drawers. Remove all flatware, utensils, tools, and gadgets. If you have a utensil crock, empty it. With a fresh bucket of warm, soapy water and a sponge, wipe down the insides, fronts, and hardware of each drawer. Wipe down the inside and outside of the crock. Allow to dry.
  8. As you return items to the drawers — as with your dishes and glassware — consider what is truly useful, functional, and good-looking. Anything that isn’t should go into the giveaway box. Note: If possible, keep your wooden utensils off to one side, as we will be working on them on day 15.
(Image credit: Henry Chen)

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