Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to Old Tricks

Friday afternoon I was rooting around under the kitchen sink looking for something (I forget what now) when I found something else entirely - a rather large puddle.  It was near the back of the cupboard and there was a basket over it which explains why it wasn't noticed sooner.  Obviously we had a leak and we had that leak for a while because the bottom of the cupboard was warped and all the forgotten bottles in the back were covered in hard water residue/mystery scum.  

Well, crud.

My husband called the landlord who said he would be out the next day to have a look.  We pulled everything out from under the sink and dried the area, leaving the doors open so it could air out until the landlord's arrival.  When he showed up Saturday morning, he poked around and said he had to run to Home Depot for a few things but would be right back.

Don't you know he came back with a NEW SINK AND FAUCET???  

I was so excited!  Our old sink was the white enamel kind and it had a lot of chips and stains.  You could follow Fly Lady's sink shining instructions until your hands looked like Madonna's, and that thing still would not look good.  Also, the old faucet was one of those cheap stock ones - very low, very old, very crusted with years of hard water crap.  You could barely put a large pot under it.  I hated it so much that I had even considered just buying one eventually even though this is a rental and I'd be out that money, so you can imagine how excited I was to see those boxes!

Yes, I am officially old.

After he had worked for a little while, he announced that he didn't like the sink he bought and wanted to exchange it for a different one.  The second sink is made with a thicker gauge stainless steel to make it more resistant to denting, is insulated to make it a bit quieter, is way deeper, and has the drains set farther back to allow for more room/access under the sink.  Pretty clever huh?  Not only did he come back with a new sink, he replaced the drinking water faucet for the filtered water with a pretty brushed nickel one.  The old one was part plastic and sort of cruddy from the previous renters.  I cleaned it best I could, but never trusted it enough to actually get drinking water from it.  Thank goodness for the fridge dispenser!

The new faucet not only is taller, allowing me to fill even my really large stock pot in the sink now, it has a sprayer!  I haven't lived somewhere with a sink sprayer in years.  It's the little things, I tell ya!  As a final fun detail, he decided that since he had gotten rid of the air vent thingie for the dishwasher that used to be up there, he'd replace it with a soap dispenser.  One less thing to clutter my counter tops!  Yay!  Here's what it looks like now:

I don't have a before photo, but you'll have to trust me when I say it's a million times better.  To keep with the theme of improving things in the kitchen, I went ahead and told my husband I'd put all the stuff back under the cabinet.  I started by cleaning all the cruddy bottles.  I checked sprayers and tossed any bottles that didn't work or were empty/almost empty.  Since we mostly use natural cleaners, some of this stuff has been here since we moved in almost two years ago!  Then I put things back so that the stuff that got used often was right up front, the other stuff was put away neatly, and NOTHING was left in the back to be forgotten.  Here's how it looks now:

My husband was off with his friends working on his fantasy football draft, so I went ahead and cleaned some of the other lower cupboards that I had been meaning to reorganize anyway.

The two small cupboards flanking the stove were way underutilized before.  I had a wok and a teflon frying pan on that top shelf - that's it.  Talk about a waste of space!  The bottom shelf literally had a bunch of random items for which my husband couldn't find homes, so he just crammed them in there all willy nilly.  No more!

Now the colander, sieves, and salad spinner are on the top pull out shelf.  This cabinet is right next to the sink so it will be easy to just grab these items by where they'll be used most.  On the bottom I have little used items that I didn't want to get rid of just yet - a Little Dipper Crock Pot, some cake decorating boards in a basket towards the back, a small roasting pan, a tortilla press, and some steamers.

In the other cupboard I put all the plastic storage containers on the top pull out drawer.  Since that's where leftovers are put away, it makes sense for them to be there!  If you're thinking I don't have much - you're right.  I don't care for plastic.  The little I do have is mostly of the Gladware variety, for my husband to take leftovers for lunch.  On the bottom shelf are my hand mixer and pasta maker attachment for the stand mixer. I don't use them a lot so they're near the back.  I also have the waffle maker back there and a plastic pitcher that is occasionally used for making iced coffee.  In front of those are the potato ricer and a hand mixer, as well as the plastic bin I use for making bread dough.

Everything that was in those two cupboards was previously located in this double cupboard by the fridge:

The cookie sheets and muffin tins were also in there.  As you can imagine, this made this cabinet a jumbled mess!  Now it just holds pans and everything is neatly arranged so I can grab what I need easily.

It feels so good to be able to work on getting things organized again!



Blogger Kat said...

WOW I really need to go through mine again. I usually do it at least once every couple of years but this one's overdue with the overflow of all the baby stuff.

9:55 AM  
Blogger emily said...

I like seeing how other people organize their kitchens....we just bought a condo and are moving slowly. I've been hooked on pinterest finding low budget tips for organizing!

11:29 AM  

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