First of all, I have to say that packing up my kitchen was a dream come true, in more ways than one. Obviously, I was super excited to be starting the process of gaining function and more space in the heart of my home. But I was equally excited about having the opportunity to go through every single item - EVERY ONE OF THEM - and go all Maria Kondo on them. (Insert my best hippy voice) Do I love it…..? Does it spark joy…..? And……If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a no. (In my very best serious entrepreneurial voice, whatever that is)
I couldn’t do it alone though, I hired my good friend and extreme minimalism Jaime, of Jaime Declutters, to help me out. Cause where do you start?? It’s so overwhelming! It’s like throwing out your jeans from high school that will never fit the same. It’s hard! So she started for me, and she just pulled everything out of my whole entire kitchen. Then she organized things by category or use, and encouraged me to pick just one, (or two) of each thing instead of, say, five. I entertain a lot, like, A LOT, so she was totally ok with me keeping more of some things than your average family of four may need. AND she also understands the psychology behind downsizing and she offered me lots of grace and patience.
So we made a big no pile, a big yes pile, and a big maybe pile. They were all big because I had a lot of stuff. Jaime knew that eventually the majority of my maybe’s would become no’s but apparently our brains only allow us to purge so much at once. Interesting, huh? I bought a half a dozen or so of the largest Tupperware bins Target sold and packed most of my kitchen in those. We packed it up as if we were moving out, and kept very little available for our 2 plus months without a kitchen. Here is what we used…
We are currently 2/3rds done and I will say we haven’t swayed much from what we originally kept out of storage! And when I say storage, I mean in the unfinished part of our basement. I will tell you, I spent the month before we started packing up our kitchen, downsizing the crap in the little storage space that we have, in anticipation of filling it back up with boxes. Most of the rooms that aren’t directly affected by the remodel, have a fair amount of extra furniture and home decor in them. I left my kids rooms out of my storage plans so they could have a little normalcy at the end of the day!
We did add a microwave to the mix, AND….A PIZZA PIZZAZZ!!!! How have I survived without that little machine all my life?! I purchased one of those on Amazon a day and a half into the remodel when I realized we couldn’t make pizza. I have no shame in my game, we live on pizza most of the week remodel or not! But the best thing about the pizza pizzazz is we can also make chicken nuggets and fries and ROASTED CAULIFLOWER!!! A vegetable! We made a vegetable. During. The. remodel. I am so proud. So if you are planning on doing a remodel any time soon, put this on your Easter Bunny wish list because it’s a must have in my opinion.
We also have used our instant pot a fair amount, we make taco meat in it at least once a week. Easy meals are not that hard to come by and who are we kidding, kids and adults alike usually prefer it! One of my favorites is making rice (you know, the microwave kind) and adding cashews and coconut oil, maybe a veggie if I’m feeling fancy. Three out of the four of us will eat it! Quesadilla for you, son. The fanciest dinner I’ll make is pork carnitas.
I can make the whole meal in my instant pot. Love that contraption also, now that I’m not afraid of it!
My best suggestion to you if you are planning a remodel is this: Invite your close friends and family over for dinner and tell them all about your exciting remodel. THEN, this might be uncomfortable but you can do it, ask them if they would consider trading having you over for dinner during your remodel for dinner in your new kitchen after it’s done. I know that sounds strange, but here’s the thing…we don’t carve out enough time for the ones we love anyway. This is a great way to start a new habit of breaking bread with the ones we love. We have eaten at a friend or family members house an average of twice a week since we started our project.
When you share a meal with friends on a random week night, when it’s just your two families sitting around cooking together (or watching), something happens to your friendship! I value these moments all year round, which is probably why we are blessed to have so many invitations. We feed and host our friends and families all year long and now when we need it in return, our peeps are showing up left and right.
So consider using this as a springboard to a new routine that involves deeper friendships and reprioritizing your relationships. I didn’t mean to go all deep on you, but here we are. Moral of the story, do a kitchen remodel and have your friends over for dinner.