June 4, 2023

Kitchen Project: Before and Middle

Kitchen project is continuing.  This weekend, I emptied the entirety of the cupboards which are (hopefully!) coming out on Monday:

I also emptied our makeshift larder/pantry (the cupboard in our dining room):
Then it was time to figure out how to get it all back into the cabinets, ideally in a way that was usable and sort-of made sense
I did throw away some apple cider vinegar that expired in 2019 (although does vinegar expire?) and some sesame oil which expired in 2017.  I would love to be a person who cooks delicious asian food.  I love asian food! But, I do not cook asian food.  And asian food needs its own ingredients, like sesame oil.  And right now we don't have room to have more ingredients - we don't really have room for the ingredients we do use.  So I tried to be more ruthless about what stays in our house and what gets thrown away or donated to friends.

We do keep a back-stock of Bob's Redmill Cornmeal, because you can't get it in the UK, and because it is delicious.  We also have one of the largest collections (unconfirmed/probably not true) of Trader Joe's spices in the UK for the same reason. 

I did get everything back in, although the seasonings/condiments/breadcrumbs/salt(?? misc??) shelf is hard to view and will just need to be checked before we buy more ketchup or mustard.  I found we had two unopened ketchups. 
The next project is going to be sorting these open kitchen shelves, once we eat down our apocalypse store of pasta.  There is too much kitchen real estate being given to baked beans at the moment:
I am a bit nervous about losing this counter space - it is the largest counter space in our kitchen.  However, we will make due and hopefully the addition of a dishwasher means we won't be using counter space for drying dishes anymore, which should definitely be a net gain.
You know what takes up more room than I want?  Bins/Trash Cans.  Why so much trash can needed?  Also, this counter is a total bodge-job from the previous owners - It's higher than a normal counter, so there are two small pieces of counter holding it up.  It used to have a boiler underneath before we re-did our heating system.  The panel on the side against the wall used to enclose the boiler pipes, but is now empty.  We could get 2 more inches of space if we took that out, but the border between "inches of space" and "trashing the kitchen" is very fine.

In case you're wondering, this is our whole kitchen, from January.  We have packed about as much storage as possible in here, but will probably try to build an extension someday.  

One of the things that makes the kitchen awkward is that there are 3 doors and 1 window in the small space.  But, within the confines of what we have, we've definitely made it work well since we bought the house 6 years ago.

Have you ever done a major kitchen remodel?  What about a minor one?  What's the biggest improvement you've made to your kitchen since you bought your house?


  1. We haven't done...anything to our kitchen since moving it. It's quite dated, but very functional. You will LOVE having a dishwasher. This house is the first time I've ever had a dishwasher and it is life-changing. I actually need to go turn it on right now...! I love it all the time, but my favourite is when we have company over - instead of fussing about with dishes (or having an hour of cleanup work to do when people go home) I can just load everything and close the door to the dishwasher and forget about it.

  2. The only thing we've done to our kitchen is add the dishwasher. It was a good decision, but the floor needs some work and the stove is probably on its last legs. I feel like you NEED a kitchen, so doing a remodel on it is SO HARD. I am loving following your kitchen saga!

    1. I think you nailed it - we want to replace our oven but we use our oven so there's never a good time to not have an oven!

  3. I dream of redoing our kitchen countertops. Some idiot decided uneven yellow-beige tile with porous grout was a good idea, and it is impossible to clean and looks dirty even when all the coffee stains are wiped up.

  4. We rent, so now huge remodels here... although you might have read about our kitchen tile story and that it looks like we are (maybe) getting new flooring soon. I am excited because the kitchen is otherwise so old and ugly. I am tempted to ask the landlords if we might be able to repaint the ugly cabinets, while we're at it.
    While this is a lot of work - and you do have a small space, so you need to be strategic about things - I do hope all the work will be worth it :)