The kitchen is truly the heart of the home. It is that beating place that nurtures us, sustains us, call to us. My kitchen does not have a lot of the things that Martha Stewart might consider necessary. I don’t have a work triangle, granite counter tops or all stainless steel appliances. What I do have is a lot of light, tons of cabinets and a huge sink. As I got out my notebook yesterday and began to look at my space with a critical eye I found a lot more to recommend it than to criticize.

What I needed most was to reorganize. I am getting rid of all the plastic in my kitchen. I can store nearly everything in mason jars. I have a good supply of 1/2 gallon mason jars and other 1/2 gallon jars. I spent some time yesterday saying some (under my breath) bad words as I emptied cabinets and moved shelving to accomodate the larger jars. Passing on most of my plastic containers freed up a whole cabinet. After thinking about it for a while, I moved the appliances I don’t use every day to that cabinet. The plus is that I have a lot more space on my counters. The minus is that I have to get them out before I use them. Some things. like my food saver, I use a lot. We will have to see if I am willing to get it out and put it away after each use. If not, it will go back on the counter.

I store a lot of rice, beans and wheat. I can dozens of jars of tomato sauce each year too. These food need spices to keep them interesting. I spent a good deal of time on my baking/spice cabinet yesterday. I tossed some outdated spices but, for the most part, I go through them so quickly, that seldom happens. I have been collecting baby food jars to store the spices herbs I grow or buy in bulk. Bruce is working on the plans for a tilted shelf that will hold the jars on their sides. Right now, I have spices and herbs in several different kinds of jars and tins and I sometimes have to search for what I need.

Today I tackle the drawers. I am heading to town first. I will hit the Good Will and look for some drawer dividers or shallow baskets to keep my huge supply of kitchen gadgets organized.

I have learned some organizing lessons over the years. I used to try to do a whole room in a day. Now I break up a big project like my kitchen into manageable chunks. My fucus is to make the space functional with an eye toward needing it to work well in a crisis when I might be feeding a lot more people with minimal energy available.

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