Kitchen Cure – What is this, anyway?

Every year, The Kitchn, a food and cooking website that I follow, does a Kitchen Cure, walking readers through a step by step process of cleaning out and reorganizing this space. Here’s a post talking a bit about the philosophy behind the cure, and here’s where you can scroll through all their posts about the cure. The idea is that you have about 10 hours worth of work, broken up into one-hour chunks, and the cure walks you through them over a period of two weeks. You’re doing it at the same time as lots of other people, so a community springs up. You can see how other people organize things, and get tips, ideas and encouragement as you go.

In the past, I haven’t signed up. But this year, it’s good timing for me for a couple of reasons. I’ve lived here for just over a year, so it’s a good milestone for a deep clean. It’s time to pull things out of the cabinets and wipe them down, and consider whether or not they get to stay. It’s also a good time to reconsider the organization. As it is now, I’m using the space pretty well, but I know I can do better. And some things are certainly not working well in their current spots. (Tupperware is a great example here, I am constantly taking out or putting away plastic containers, and they’re in an awkward spot.)

I also had some problems with the fridge last week – it wasn’t staying cool enough. For a couple of days it was holding at a pretty steady mid-60s, which is a good 30 degrees higher than you want your fridge set. Meanwhile, the freezer was fine, but frosting over much more quickly than usual. I’d just defrosted it a couple of weeks prior, after not having to touch it in a year, which seemed odd as I hadn’t changed anything in how I use it, and it was holding about the same amount of stuff as usual.

Ultimately, maintenance came by and defrosted the freezer in order to replace a part. I have no idea how long it was off. (I also had no idea until I started in on cleaning the freezer last night that they hadn’t wiped out all the water – there was a thick film of ice on the freezer floor. Luckily it came up easily.)

My household budget for the year is pretty much spent, but I’ve decided that I’ll take a little bit of money out of my savings to put towards organizing supplies for this project, and maybe an upgrade or two. After all, for how much time I spend in the kitchen, it’s a good investment for me. And since it’s open to the rest of the apartment, keeping things neat and organized is important.

Here’s an overview of my kitchen last night, after I got home from work. No special cleaning was done before I took this – it’s a pretty typical state for my kitchen. All of my before and after photos will go up in this set on flickr, and I’ll be posting the before and after photos as I work through each task.

Before: Kitchen