Yesterday afternoon I had had enough of my kitchen. My counter tops had gotten cluttered. I don’t have all that much counter space, so it was starting to bug me.

So I took most everything off except the microwave. Then I cleaned the counters with vinegar and water spray. And began to put things back that I felt belonged there.

Yes, I typically have dishes draining in the sink. It doesn’t bother me to look at that. They’re just drying and then will be ready to put up. I’d much rather have a dish drainer full of clean dishes than a sink full of dirty dishes.

I shifted my microwave from the corner, where it was, more to the middle of this counter. I’m always needing paper towels. I know it’s best not to use paper towels. But with two pets I can’t imagine not having them.

And at the other end is a vintage bowl filled with baking potatoes, sweet potatoes and a tomato I brought in from the patio.

Nothing drastic. Just keeping things clean and tidy.

I have painted my refrigerator and dishwasher every time I’m painting in the kitchen. I don’t use the dishwasher, haven’t used it once, so I’d rather if I have to have it, that it look clean and white.

If I had my druthers I wouldn’t have the dishwasher at all. It just takes up space I could be using for other things I need more.

Then I went to the other side. The farmer’s market galvanized container has my dish soap, baking soda in an empty parmesan cheese container, and my spray bottle of vinegar and water that I use constantly.

At the other side of the sink are my silverware and sponge in the little sheep figurine. And of course a set of knives. Next to that is my washing machine.

I utilize as much vertical space as I can. My kitchen utensils are placed in the galvanized container on the side of the cabinet. And my spices hang on the wall as well.

I know it looks dirty on the edge of the sink. It is the GianiGranite counter top paint that I got too thick when I applied it a few years ago.

And unfortunately it dried before I could take care of it. Slipped right under the tape I had placed on the side of the sink. So I’ve just learned to live with it.

I always feel better once I’ve tidied things up. It’s hard for me to prepare food in a kitchen where things are out of place. Goes against my nature.

And I now have new white wall shelves. They’re completely full and now I wonder what on earth I did without them.

I started out just having pretties on these shelves and some cans. That evolved into a bit of everything. It kind of bothers me seeing all that stuff up there.

But there just isn’t another good place to store those things. Like the Wetjet refills, I use when mopping the floor.

For years I used a regular mop, but with arthritis in my hands it became difficult and so I started using the Wetjet solution. It is much lighter to push.

There is one of my salt lamps on the big rolling cart. Ivy has never jumped up there. In fact she has never been on the kitchen counters. I’d know from seeing her paw prints. She virtually leaves my entire kitchen alone, thank goodness.

She much prefers the bathroom and spends a good amount of time in there playing in the bathtub and climbing up on the vanity looking at water droplets in the sink. I know because I do see paw prints there.

And she waits right by the bathtub until I get finished with my shower. Once I’m out, Ivy jumps right in.

While I shower I can see her in between the red and white curtain and the clear shower curtain, watching me.

I use that electric skillet on top of my refrigerator a lot since I don’t have a stove/oven. Next to that is a galvanized container where I keep my boxes of cereal.

I like everything to have a place and be in its place.

I’ve even been keeping the inside of my refrigerator much tidier with containers to sort food in. It’s so much easier to find things and it looks orderly.

About the time I began this task a floater appeared in my left eye. I haven’t had one of those in a long time.

At first I thought it was a pesky gnat. Those things drive me half batty.

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  1. Sorry, I see just a a cramped cluttered kitchen. Nothing tidy here. The cabinets add to the clutter with all that stuff on them. Simple white cabinets looks clean and opens up a space. For heavens sake, use your dishwasher rather having a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Nothing tidy about that.
    Bottom line is your happy with it.

  2. Brenda, You have done very well adapting to small living. It’s a shame you can’t use your dishwasher for storage of some of those things you rarely use…things that could be ‘sealed in’ without damage- like pot/pans-etc.
    Everything looks good- nice and tidy. I like a tidy kitchen, too. xo Diana

  3. Everything looks wonderful. Like you, I have to have an organized kitchen. I like for everything to be neat and organized so that I can find it when I need it. You’ve done a great job painting the dishwasher and refrigerator! I love those shelves that Nathan built for you. I think it’s comical how Ivy loves playing in the bathtub…LOL Love and hugs!

  4. I like to wash dishes by hand, mostly because it takes three days to get the dishwasher filled up with dirty dishes in order to run it, and that just seems gross to me.

    By the way, when I was growing up my younger sister and I would wash the dishes together in the evening, and around junior high school age we started singing Top 40 songs while we worked together. We discovered that my sister had a really good singing voice. She went on to sing in church and school choirs and in some musical productions and majored in music education in college. She ended up becoming a regular classroom teacher because music teacher jobs were so scarce, but she continued to sing in weddings and for other occasions over the years. The sad thing was, when we were in high school and singing in the kitchen, portable dishwashers became the thing and my mom decided she wanted one. The singing in the kitchen stopped at our house because my sister and I started alternating nights that we loaded the dishwasher. Two people weren’t needed for that job in the way that washing and drying by hand had taken both of us. My dad was disappointed because he had sat in the living room reading the newspaper while we had been singing and doing dishes, so he missed his evening entertainment! It was a good example of how modern technology can both help, and take away, from the quality of life.

  5. I’m with you , Brenda, regarding kitchen tidiness. I can’t stand to try to work in the kitchen when the counters are cluttered and things are out out o- place. And I like those counters and my stove top wiped clean, clean, clean. That is the one hardest thing about sharing my home with my daughter and sometimes her boy-riend who cooks quite a bit here. They are very bad about wiping down stove and counters, especially a-ter they cook something with grease that spatters. Yuck. I clean it up most times but it gets aggravating. Kitchen work is always my priority every morning . I have pretty good storage, but since my daughter and her boys live with me now it is somewhat tricky to -ind good places to put all the -ood. And we are in serious need o- a larger re-igerator. To locate anything it’s like trying to do one o- those little thumb puzzles where you move the keys over and up and down to get the numbers in the right sequence! Crazy.

    Supposed to be hot here all week. I did get out to water my rose buses today and pulled some weeds even though my sore throat hangs on and am still taking pain pills so I can stand to eat. See doctor again tomorrow and will see what he says. So sick o- being sick.

    Have a good Monday, Brenda. Pats to the babies.

  6. Love seeing your kitchen Brenda. I love when the kitchen is clean and bright too. I like to move things around on the counters too when I clean. Just feels more clean for some reason when you change things up some after cleaning. Have a great week.

  7. What about removing the drawers and hanging them on the wall as shadow boxes? Pinterest has some really cute ideas. Nathan could then add shelves and you could (as someone else suggested) use baskets to store things.

  8. When my dishwasher dies I used it for my pots and pans, already has all the dividers you need, it fits cookie pans just perfect.

  9. I like things neat and organized in my kitchen, too. Though the one cabinet that drives me bonkers is the one with food storage containers because there’s no easy way to store them with their lids. We’ve even tried different organizer products on the market and nothing worked. It’s mostly glass containers, too. We need a lot of them because when I cook we purposely have leftovers for Brian to take to work. So not only do we store the food in the fridge in these containers, but he takes containers of food to work, as well.

    I couldn’t live without my dishwasher! I always have a ton of dishes because I do a lot of cooking. If I lived on my own, I could probably manage without one.

    1. Melanie, those same glass food storage containers of mine go in the bottom produce section drawers of my fridge. I store the lids in a vintage box on my big kitchen cart shelves. If I put food in those produce drawers I forget it’s there and it ruins. This way I know just where my glass containers are for leftovers!

  10. What if Nathan could take out the drawers and put in some shelves in their place? You could hang a little curtain over it if you’d like. Get baskets or other containers to fit in the space to make access easier. that would give you another option for storing the not-so-decorative things.

    1. Then I’d have to find someplace to store the drawers. Which is why I put the upper cabinet doors back on a few years ago. Ran out of space to store them. Can’t store them in the maintenance shed where Nathan works. You can’t even walk in there. I tried to walk in there the other day to get an AC filter. It is filled to the brim with appliances, etc. The shed is small and that’s the only place they have to put things.

  11. Brenda you are a master at organizing and making all things look good. I guess the artist in you comes out when you are organizing as well. I love seeing all your pretty things and how you arrange and utilize them. You give new life to old things. Ivy is probably watching you in the shower making sure you’re ok and don’t drown. Funny how cats are fascinated by water. I’m glad you found her some new “ acceptable “ toys. I hope Nathan is doing ok and progress is being made getting his son out of foster care. Nathan is such a handy guy making those shelves for you . He seems like such a nice young man from what you write about him , I sure hope things go well for him. Hope you can rest this Sunday . Be well.

  12. Brenda I bought a new dishwasher about 15 years ago and I have not used it once. I got a new one because I like the looks of it better than my old one. We have been empty nesters for 25 years. And it is just easier to hand wash our dishes. I store extra dishes , cups and other various kitchen items in my dishwasher.

  13. I read on another blog, where the person does not use her dishwasher either. But she does use it to store her art supplies, and some craft items, because she has no other space for them. I have never had a dishwasher, because I just did not/ do not want one. Washing the dishes in the sink is fine with me. Love your kitchen, and how you arrange everything. I too, cannot work in a space that is not organized, clean or with things where they don’t belong. My DH thinks I have OCD. maybe… but he is just the same, so it works out for us.Hugs from WI..

  14. I love your kitchen and share your feelings that the kitchen has to tidy before I begin cooking. I , too, choose to live without a dishwasher, love to get my hands into warm, soapy water. Your shelves look great the way they are. They would also look great with a variety of vintage containers to hold some of your more everyday stuff. Vintage, such as locker baskets. Of course, it wouldn’t do to get them too heavy.

  15. Well, I love your cozy kitchen and wouldn’t change a thing – but if those commercial product boxes bother you being out in the open you could get a few square baskets and stash the mop refills etc in them!
    If my cat, Rosie, lived there, she’d be sitting on that top shelf every day (and no one would know how she got up there!) – with a swipe of her paw, your pitchers would go SPLAT! – and when you asked her what she doing, she’d just flick her tail and look annoyed at you!

  16. Brenda, I bet you have the neatest and cleanest kitchen in your entire complex! I also enjoy seeing all of your stuff. Your garden and your cozy living area is just perfect. So glad you have the space to call home. I miss my old house but not the work. I have reached another plateau in life and I am trying to adjust to my limits and I am having a hard time. So glad you have Nathan to help you out when a problem arises and I know you help him too. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday with your fur babies.

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