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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Got 20 Minutes? Then You Can Feel Better About Yourself and The Beginning Of Your Week!

Kitchen contemporary kitchen
                                            contemporary kitchen design by atlanta interior designer Brian Watford ID

Do you want to feel a little better about yourself, your family and your home?  Well, of course there are a myriad effective answers to this open-ended question....but today, I want to focus on answering this question by taking the easy way out because sometimes we just need to!  If you lack time, energy and extra funds, there are some surprisingly simple ways to do this.

Let's say that you have 20 minutes this evening, after dinner and baths etc. to give yourself a better start to your week.  I would take that 20 minutes and head to the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it is often the space that every family utilizes and frequents, often first in the morning and last in the evening.

This is going to sound a little simplistic, but just trust me and give it a shot.  Don't worry, you won't have to clean out all of your drawers and pantry in 20 minutes, besides...how much difference is that going to make to you and your family immediately?

Okay, here we go...

    Evanston Project traditional kitchen
  • Clean up any big mess, wipe down the counters and get any dishes out of the sink into the dishwasher
  • Take a step back and look at your countertops.  Empty as many small appliances, oils, extra decor off the countertops!  Now, do you really need that blender or mixer out on your counter every day?  NO!  Find a spot under the sink, in a closet off of the kitchen, in the pantry on the top shelf etc.  Essentially, you need handsoap by the sink and perhaps a sponge.  You may like to have salt and pepper near the stove.  The reality is that many families "over-decorate" their kitchens and there is usually some level of random decor residing on the countertops.  Trust me when I tell you that emptying your countertops of excess makes a bigger difference than you would expect.  Just do it. and then, wipe your counters down again.
  • Switch out your kitchen towels if you use cloth towels
  • Visit your back yard or the grocery store tomorrow am or pm and purchase some inexpensive fresh flowers.  Get home and put them in a mason jar, small bucket, glass vase..whatever you have.
  • Wipe down the kitchen table and if no one is seated and eating, there should be NO table setting.  In other words, no staging with placemats and accoutrement!  You are not staging your home to sell and you are not a food stylist, so the kitchen table should be clean and empty..unless you have some extra flowers.

Seaside whimsy in Centerville, MA eclectic kitchen
                                        eclectic kitchen design by boston kitchen and bath Artisan Kitchens LLC

 Now, do you really use that pretty canister set every day?  Have you ever used all the bright colored infused oils?  Your answer may be yes, but for now, move them out of immediate sight and experience the difference.  And then add back only the items that you really use or find beautiful.

Now, if you are thinking...I don't have a place to put this stuff.  Well here is my answer.  First, just put the "Stuff" in a basket or bag and literally place it wherever you can to get it out of sight, even if it isn't going in a location that makes sense.  Here is the reason.  You need to experience the peace of simplicity in a commonly used space.  This can be a test if you wish.  Maybe you try it and then you enjoy it and you rethink your storage.  Or...maybe you rethink some of the stuff and realize that it might be time to donate!

Remember, this is NOT about achieving perfection or the perfect looking kitchen!  It is about owning items in your home that are placed there with SOME level of forethought.  Reduce the clutter, reduce the stress.

Either way, give yourself a little break and start the week off with a clean open space in the kitchen and spend only 20 minutes to get there.  Everyone benefits and your family will notice!

Russian Hill modern kitchen
                                     modern kitchen design by san francisco architect John Maniscalco Architecture

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