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Maybe one of the most important concepts to grasp going into the process of purging is this: God intends our space to be a tool that serves in the fulfillment of our purpose --- not for our purpose to become serving the space, enslaved to the stuff we need to keep rearranging to make it functional.
We're going to kick this part of our series off in the kitchen. With some coffee. Because, friend, when it comes time to purge, a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus is what will get you through! That, and the promise of a space that serves you and your family better.
At the end of this post is a free printable to help you purge your kitchen, and reclaim that space for God's best for you and your family!
Because our home is very open concept, the kitchen is a main hub of activity. We're raising a tribe of good eaters. They require 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. Much of our homeschooling is done at the dining table. Our giant breakfast bar, located between the living room and kitchen, can quickly become a catch all. And, to top it off, our laundry is located in a closet in our kitchen. With eight of us, I do a load of regular laundry a day, and several extra loads of linens on the weekends.
Below, I am going to post an insane amount of pictures. I'm posting what areas looked like BEFORE my original purge 4 months ago, after that was completed, what they looked like yesterday morning, and what they look like now that I've gone over them again!
Before we start though, it's important to note that purging should work for you and your family. There's no secret number of items to be had. It's simply having what you need, without a surplus. Whether you tend to hoard things out of fear of not having enough, or simply don't ever go through to get rid of things that are broken/missing parts/outdated - you can benefit from letting go of some stuff. Not moving it around. Not figuring out cute baskets to shove it in. Let it go. (Tell the truth - did you just burst out in song??)
This is our kitchen:
I, personally, love clear counters. My husband, on the other hand, enjoys having everything easily accessible. This is our compromise!
Our Kitchenaid Mixer sits on the counter, next to our stove. This, and the attachments we've gotten to go with it, are some of the best investments we've made! We use this several times a week, and it's pretty!
To the right of the stove is our Bunn coffee maker. My goodness, I don't know if love is too strong a word for an appliance, but I think I love our coffee maker. 3 minutes - that's how long it takes to brew a pot of hot coffee.
Next to the coffee maker is my Pampered Chef turnabout, full of our cooking utensils. At the sink, we have a bottle of Tropical Traditions Disinfectant. I'm a big fan of natural cleaners - and this stuff is hospital grade AND plant based. It's safe for our tribe, but gets the job done. I also have a spray bottle with a bit of plant based dish soap and water, for easy cleaning of the table, counters, and stove after meals. We use Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day handsoap and love the Basil and Rhubarb scents!
On top of our fridge, I keep a few favorite cookbooks: Joy of Cooking Cookbook and Whole 30. There are some recipe cards sandwiched in there, as well! Behind the cookbooks, is our knife block. I previously consulted for Pampered Chef, and got an incredible deal on them. They have served our family well --- especially the bread knife that we use for our homemade GF bread!
On the other side of our fridge is our fruit bowl. There are always bananas there, so hungry kids can easily grab a healthy snack between meals (or snacks!). The whiteboard is used for jotting down quick notes, listing the day's activities, and school instruction.
This is our laundry closet:
We keep only one basket here to collect dirty clothes. It is the only hamper in the house. I do (at least!) a load of laundry every day, and linens on the weekends. This keeps it from piling up and becoming overwhelming!
Our oldest has taken an interest to starting the laundry, and is learning how to add the (homemade) powdered detergent and then the clothes. With a little more practice, I'll have solid help getting laundry started! I do all the folding, and everyone puts away their own clean laundry (except the baby, and the older kids take turns putting his away!)
See that striped folder hanging off the shelf? It's our paperwork binder. When mail comes into the house, I open it immediately, to avoid paper clutter. Things that need to be kept are filed in this folder. Everything else goes straight to the shredder or recycling. Paper clutter is the worst, and has to be addressed as soon as it enters your home so it doesn't take over!
This is our living room, as seen from the kitchen:
The china hutch on the left houses our extra dishes, glasses, and serving dishes. It isn't china, but it's a pretty blue and matches! The computer hutch houses the computer the kids use for school, our printer/copier, DVDs/CDs, and game systems. We have eliminated almost all of our individual DVD hard cases by using a large DVD wallet. This single tip has saved us an incredible amount of space!
Okay, now, back to the kitchen cupboards! While I prefer clean counters, there are appliances I still use often. I store our T-fal Acti-bread Bread Machine (that I use regularly to easily make GF bread!), Crockpot Programmable Crock Pot (which is also used frequently!), and toaster under the sink.
Below I'm going to show you some cupboards in 4 stages: Pre-purge, post-purge, yesterday, and today. As you'll see, the cupboards didn't stay perfect --- and several of them had quite a bit added back to them. But only a day of working in the kitchen (while juggling kiddos, a dentist appointment, and normal everyday life!), and things are back on track!
Here is our food storage cupboard. I got rid of pieces that didn't have lids - or lids that didn't have containers. I donated pieces we don't use on a regular basis, and cut down on the number of pie plates I owned!
This is the kids' dishes cupboard. Each kid has 3 plates, a bowl, and 3 cups. Everyone uses one cup a day, and cups are left on the dining table, or on the counter next to the fridge, so that everyone stays hydrated without creating a crazy amount of dirty dishes! At the top of the cupboard are my manual food processor, simple slicer, and quick slice. Being a Pampered Chef consultant has its perks!
A note on dishes: We run the dishwasher almost every night, and I unload it in the morning after breakfast. After meals, everyone is responsible for rinsing their plates and utensils and putting them in the dishwasher. No one likes a sink full of dirty dishes!
This cupboard houses things we want to keep out of reach: Meds used on a regular basis, supplements, essential oils, batteries, and sharpies. Keeping smaller items in this tupperware container makes it easy to pull out, locate what I need quickly, and put it back!
This WAS our junk drawer, and is now our school supply drawer. We have extra office supplies in our closet, near our office space (coming later in this series!), but this drawer houses sharpened pencils, with a case for scissors and glue sticks (to minimize the baby's use of them!).
These are our remaining cupboards - dry goods, baking supplies and spices, pots and pans, and our canned goods/condiments.
The dry goods cabinet is mostly for coffee, chips/snacks, and the rare left over bread! We don't eat cereal, because there are both gluten and oat allergies in our family.
The only thing not pictured in the baking cabinet is our Pamela's GF Flour that I use for making bread and GF baked goods. It comes in a 25 lb bag, so we keep it in our storage closet.
We own one set of stainless steel pans with glass lids, a large white stock pot, and 2 colanders. There's also a waffle maker and Ninja Blender in that cupboard.
When we find good prices on something, we stock up - hence the 3 giant cans of peanuts! We also go through GF pasta and tomato sauce pretty quickly, so there's typically a good stash of both here.
So, are you ready to be intentional with your kitchen?
Part 2 of being intentional with our space will give you a look at our kids' rooms, and how we keep toys from overrunning our home!
Has this inspired you to tackle your kitchen? I'd love to hear from you --- and see pictures of your progress! Do you have questions about specific areas of your kitchen? Let me know, I'd love to help you be intentional with your space!
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 6! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe of little people to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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