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May 12: Hub of the Family

Updated: May 14, 2020

The kitchen is the center of most homes - the place where we prepare healthy foods for those we love. It holds our treats and our "comfort" foods. Even in homes with formal dining rooms, a lot of families eat in their kitchens. In the new "modern" home, people are choosing "open" floor plans that encompass the kitchen, dining room and family room. One, big, happy room! In "closed" floor plans, we always tend to wind up in the kitchen! My mom would tell me (as I stood at her kitchen sink eating off of a plate) "Don't stand up eating - it makes the house poor!" as she shooed me to a chair.

Since the kitchen holds such an important place in our lives, getting and keeping it organized can be a challenge for us all. The same questions emerge: do I have enough storage space or do I have too many things? We need storage for fresh foods (refrigerator/freezer), dry foods (pantry/shelves), dishes, silverware, pots and pans, and those "special" appliances and utensils (cabinets/drawers/counter-tops) that we may only use once a year (crock pot, air fryer, cheese grater, garlic press, etc..... sound familiar?)

If you haven't "purged" your kitchen in a while, now is the time! Pull out all of your dishes. Do they match? Are there odds and ends, chips, cracks, or dishes that you just don't like? Trash the broken ones, and donate the others. Treat yourself to some new dishes, glasses or pots if you need them.... but don't forget to get rid of the old! Sort thru your "special" things and decide if you really need or want them. These things may be better stored in a pantry or in a china cabinet so that they're not in your way when not in use.

The same thing goes for your kitchen as it does for other rooms: if it's hard to get items in or out of their spot, you will be tempted to pile things on your counter, leave them on the dining room table, etc. Clear out what you don't need and make room for what you really like and use. Add artwork, a new rug and dish cloths to brighten up your kitchen quickly. Kitchens should be inviting to everyone in the family so don't forget to store things at "child" height if you want to teach your children to put away and take out their things - and learn to cook! Yes..... everyone should learn the important of healthy eating and how to prepare healthy food. If you have a senior living with you (or you with them!), make sure your kitchen is safe and things are easy to reach and open.

In my kitchen, I insist on comfortable chairs (I do a lot of work there on my laptop) and a television with my favorite networks to watch while I'm cooking (no I do not watch cooking shows!). I also have part of my teapot collection and cookbook collection displayed in my kitchen (on a rotating basis - see May 10th!). Whatever makes your kitchen your "happy place", make sure you add lots of it to your kitchen. For whatever the reason, happy cooks tend to be good cooks!

Take Away: Since you spend so much time in your kitchen, it should be one of your "happy places". Fill it with things that you love (textures, tastes, smells, sights...) and that are easy to clean and maintain. Being able to find what you need, when you need it, is joy! Now do your magic and share that love! Tomorrow we will discuss the cousin to the kitchen - the dining room. About the Author: L. Sidney Irving is the owner of Sidco Properties, a real estate company dedicated to educating and assisting those that want to buy or sell a home, Sidney loves to organize herself and those around her because she believes that an organized space brings peace and fosters creativity. May the power of organization be with you!

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