I’m taking a look at OUR kitchen with new eyes today. My excuse for this room has that it’s a man’s kitchen, the place where my husband spends a lot of his time and the place where I do not. (Think about it, guys, a new take on the man cave!) J-M’s acquired responsibilities are grocery shopping and preparing meals. I never do these things unless he physically cannot (i.e. he is away on a trip or is sick). This means he stocks and organizes most of the cupboards with the equipment and ingredients he needs.
Our deal over the past 15 years has been that I do the clean-up. Even when I am away J-M will leave the clean-up till I come home, unless it’s for days at a time. I don’t mind (with the minor exception here and there) because I do believe that his responsibilities outweigh mine in this area. Imagine all the meals I haven’t prepared! It’s worth coming home to a pile of dirty dishes now and then.
Most people might say that having someone to clean up after them might bring them the joy they need in the kitchen. Recently J-M suggested I hand a portion of this task over to the girls, like stack the dishwasher, and I realized that I do not want to give this up. I even enjoy it because there is satisfaction at the end of it. Look at this thing of beauty, a spotless kitchen. I did this.
As such, I shelve the dishes and have organized most of those cupboards to my liking.
But there are grey areas in the kitchen. When our tasks are so distinct, there is a large crack for things to fall between. For example, we do not have a lot of serving dishes. Most of our meals come straight from the pot to the plate. As dish washer, I haven’t put up the fight for extra dishes, even if I presume that serving dishes was a female invention. It’s prettier.
There is also the no man’s land of items we use both to prepare and to put away. For example, no one has taken full ownership of the Tupperware cupboard. Who should organize it and to the benefit whom? My stacking methods do not necessarily mean easy access for J-M and so neither of us wins. We need a system for the Tupperware. Also, the pots and pans cupboard could use some help.
Our kitchen could be described as Basic. There are enough cupboards for all our dishes. We have minimal equipment and our counter is not cluttered. But it can feel cold, both visually and physically. It has a ceramic floor and in the four+ years we’ve lived here we have yet to put curtains on our windows. I enjoy lighting candles and making tea in this kitchen.
I treat the kitchen more as an extension to my office, which is the kitchen table. I look into the kitchen when I work at my computer. Doing it now! Hi kitchen! I treat the fridge somewhat like a bulletin board. We bought the fridge for a great deal at a scratch and dent sale; it works perfectly but the doors are pretty banged up. The salesman offered us a solution: Fridge Art. Sold!
Besides the clutter on the fridge, the minimalism in the kitchen keeps me sane as I work. Counter’s clear, head’s clear.
I wonder if and how the kitchen might change when I start working in it. Will I add a throw rug? Will the fridge art get in the way? Will I use different tools than J-M? These are the questions I have started asking.
I’m curious to know what’s important to you in your kitchen? What brings you comfort and what helps you to work in it? Tell me, is your Tupperware cupboard organized?
More evidence that this is J-M’s territory: