Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Cluttered Kitchen

When I look around my kitchen, sometimes I see too many gadgets or one offs. In many of the comprehensive cookbooks, there is a section on what is needed in the kitchen and having cooked for many years, the quibbles I have with them come from experience.

Everyone cooks just a bit different. I use a particular pair of tongs for so many things that I feel that I should have two pairs for those days when I have so much on the go. There are one or two pans that are my favourites, in terms of size and how they cook. I only own one as they came as part of a set. I should really go and get a few more and let go of the sizes that don't work for me.

Then serving dishes. Never have enough of the ones that I would like and too many that stay on the top shelf gathering dust. Plates, those seem right. All the ones we have are used (except the fancy patterned ones that get brought out at only Christmas or dinner parties).

I guess that part of this musing is due to the advent of the kitchen tool library and reassessing what is needed for regular use and what is needed for those special occasions. Another reason is that, as Christmas approaches, I am reminded of a gift that I got the year my Dad died. He passed just before the holidays and the gift that I received was a convection toaster oven. I have rationalized not using it due to the size of the kitchens where I have lived but in reality, it is probably something more.

We hang on to some objects because they remind of us someone. Think of grandma's wooden spoon or the serving plate that was used for Thanksgiving Day. These are the things that we want to use and love but sometimes just don't. Sometimes we hate them and keep them solely for sentimental reasons. We have all received a gift from a well meaning friend that you will never use.

When I look around my kitchen sometimes I see memories. I look forward to figuring out how to honour the pieces that need to be honoured by making an art project out of them or finding a way to use them. I look forward to decluttering and getting away from pieces that I don't use. I look forward to letting go of those awkward presents from people that are hardly ever used or kept solely because I value that friendship. A kitchen is a place where love needs to flow from, not a graveyard where objects lie unused and neglected. That will be one of my New Year's resolutions this year.


  1. Great post! This goes hand in hand with your post about decluttering cookbooks, and I think I'm the same as you are. It's hard to let go of things for the reasons you mention, but it is actually very freeing.

  2. I totally forgot that post. It does relate. Here is the link for those that want to see it.

    It seems sometimes that stuff holds you hostage. As that clutter guy from TLC used to say, your stuff starts to own you.

    Thanks for the comment.