Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The messy family reforms: Project Three

The kitchen sink. Probably the worst place in the kitchen. It's crowded and always in use; there are always dishes around to deal with. And, to make it worse, it is in the direct sight line of my front door. Yes, this is what people see immediately upon entering my house:

How about a closer view of that sink area?

It's important that you know that this
picture was purposely taken on a very busy cooking day. But this is what happens when dishes stack up. (Note that there is a dishwasher in the picture; it is not working right now. Perhaps it is unfixable, a victim of our extremely hard water. My children are gaining valuable experience as they learn to wash dishes by hand!)

Also please note that my house does not tilt; I am just a poor photographer. But I learned how to fix that tonight!

I often laugh when a blogger posts before and after pictures of a really messy room. I'll look at the picture and think, "huh, that doesn't look so bad. What's the problem?" Then I'll see the after picture and not discern much, if any, difference. Close inspection reveals maybe 3 things out of place. Ha! Either these ladies are lying or they have much higher standards than I do.

My sink is stuck in a corner and though it's a double, it's very small. And shallow. That attractive white dish basin behind the water pitcher (which belongs on the coffee counter!) is used as a busing and soaking tray; the right sink is for washing, the the left sink holds a draining rack.

Here is the draining area in its usual state.

Note the orange thermos just in front of the paper towel roll. You can just barely see the nearly inaccessible fire extinguisher behind the towels. Handy! It's even better when there are large knives sticking up from the draining rack!

Now we have to fix this mess. If we wash all the dishes we can put the busing tray in the sink so it is somewhat out of sight.

Some may wonder why the Kitchen-Aid and food processor (behind the Kitchen-Aid) are taking up valuable counter space. There isn't cabinet space for them, and I use them too much to put them away in another room. It just works better for me to keep them close at hand. If I am having company and really need the space, I find a place for them elsewhere, sometimes even on my bedroom floor.

I'm OK with having a few clean dishes in the drainer; the kids are in training to put dishes away whenever they see any in there. If any are left over at night, I don't mind putting away clean, air-dried dishes in the morning. I've read it's more sanitary, too!

Note the accessibility of the fire extinguisher!

Now, even clean, this area does not look pretty. Another thing you should know is that I have no memory of the ugly green countertop and backsplash when we looked at this house. Or the cheap, worn-out cabinets. When I walked into the house the day we moved in I was stunned and thought "I would never have chosen a house with a kitchen this crummy!" And yet I did. We figure we were providentially blinded to the flaws.

A houseplant that tolerates low light and a nice valance would do a lot for this view. But that will come later. Right now we're focusing on keeping things clean and uncluttered.

This is another area that will demand constant attention, unless we start eating nothing but takeout on paper plates. Since that's not going to happen....


DADvocate said...

You're sink looks a lot like mine, except mine's not in a corner. Being single and having two teenagers living with my full-time at the present, messes grow faster than killer kudzu.

Marbel said...

Killer kudzu.. love it. When we travel south, we always admire the kudzu-covered trees because we don't have to live with them.

It is hard with teens to keep dishes clean. Especially glasses! Someone's always drinking something and though I am all for re-use I can't make them drink milk out of a glass that just held lemonade...

GretchenJoanna said...

Just before I read your line about the ugly green counters, I was noticing how pretty they were in the first picture. ;-) If you have to have a tiny kitchen, it's nice to have a cheery bit of color.