Home Improvements: Arranging Kitchen for Better Utility and Sanity

It took me a long time to accept that Cologne will be my hometown in Germany. At least for the foreseeable future. We moved into this apartment in May 2016, and I am yet to hang curtains. So you see the struggle and denial at play here? I am a big city girl, and adjusting in a relatively small city was more difficult than I had assumed. But now, I have almost made peace with the city, and have decided to show our apartment the love that it deserves.

I knew we’d be home bound on Christmas, and decided to use it for an early spring cleaning. Kitchen is the smallest and messiest of them all in our apartment, so let’s get started with that. I did mine and survived to share the lessons.

So here is presenting 5 of the most common kitchen organising challenges, that many women face, and my personal solution for them. All tried and tested yesterday. Pictures for clarity (and impressing my sasu maa).

Challenge: Cabinets deeper than my soul

I have limited shelf space, and even more limited counter space. To make it a tad bit more challenging is that half of that shelf space is in the form of deep cabinets (the ones where even kanoon ke haath can’t reach).

Hack: Big Baskets

To make those deep dark spaces usable, I bought baskets (from Penny) and stuffed them with food items that I rarely use (e.g. my keto diet supplies). This took care of the first shelf. For the one beneath it, I pushed cooking utensils that seldom make an appearance to the back. Big pots for biryani and woks for karahi. We hardly entertain at home, so normal sized utensils are enough for the two of us.

Challenge: Lack of space

As I mentioned, I have all of two cabinets, with a total of five shelves, in my kitchen. I didn’t know how much space you need to stay sane while cooking when we built it. Pehli baar and all that.

Hack: Separators

I bought separators from Ikea, which create flexible layered space. Excessive height in shelves is pretty useless for me, so with these separators, I can deck cups and masala boxes. For lower layer, I placed boxes on a tray, so I can slide them out without creating a mess. Genius.

Challenge: Hospital lookalike

Everything in my kitchen is from Ikea (other than appliances), so everything is white. It sounds great in principle but in reality, it looks bare and cold. 

Hack: Colourful frames

I bought a foodie poster and placed it in a colourful frame. Instead of mounting it on a wall, I placed it on a shelf, so I can move it around.

Challenge: Doubles of masale, paper towels and troubles

I have four packets of Shaan Bihari Masala. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. But I do have them, and they take up a whole lot of space.

Hack: Cellar

Most apartments have basement storage. I moved everything that I had double or in excess to cellar. Like most people, if it is out of sight, it is most likely out of mind as well. So I have vowed to visit cellar before buying any condiments. I also plan on taking a picture of what I have and hanging it in the kitchen.

Challenge: Cleaning supplies

Wood furniture is highly susceptible to water. So how exactly should I be cleaning my shelves, counter top, etc?

Hack: Wipes

If there is dust, then wipe the surface with a dry kitchen towel, and then use a wet wipe. I have been using DM’s Denk Mit, and am happy. No stains, fresh fragrance and inexpensive.

Happy holidays everyone!

Shaheen Rajan

Need coffee, romance, fashion and manicure to survive. KHI - DXB - CGN

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