Look out kitchen here I come. My adventure as a renter making a lifetime home continues…
Read time: 2.5 minutes
Our kitchen has been on my mind a lot lately. I have found myself intensively cleaning it in recent weeks, which has given me a more intimate insight into its nooks and crannies than I perhaps would have chosen. I wish I could say it’s because I just love to spring clean on my Bank Holiday, but sadly it was mostly due to an infestation of field mice. Field mice I tell you! In London! We have no idea how these little country bumpkins have found their way to a hugely concreted area near the North Circular, but they seem to have mistaken our kitchen for a meadow. I’m taking it as a compliment and no one can tell me otherwise.
Happily (for us, not them) these little critters are now under control again (holes blocked and EVERYTHING sanitised), but it brought to my attention that our kitchen is woefully unsuited to our needs. Particularly now I have found out I am pregnant. I’m not just talking about its undeniable appeal to vermin. I’m talking about its layout, its organisation, its functionality.
I’ve long known this but it just seems like such a massive job and so I have been putting it off. It’s one of those tasks we all know we should do but who has the time to go through their spices and check the dates? Who wants to see that jar of coriander from 1996 and be reminded of their slackness? One cupboard at a time, I guess.
Like many people I suspect, the kitchen was pretty much the first room we filled with stuff and got up-and-running when we moved in. And that’s worked well enough. But, I have barely moved anything from the cupboards I originally stuffed things into that day. It’s now now crying out for some serious reorganisation. I realise now, I have things I use all the time stashed out of reach, and things I never use gathering dust right in front of me. And everyone has a cupboard full of Tupperware but without a single matching box and lid right? Or is that just me?? I’ve got used to it (because I really like eating and so a little bending and stretching seemed like a fair compromise) but only because I a fairly fit at the moment and so can go about my business fairly unhindered. When I’m massively pregnant, holding a baby in one arm constantly, or when I’m 83, I may not be so care-free about the fact my cereal bowls are way above my head, I can’t open my microwave ,and I have to reach floor level to get the milk. We have already had a little taster of this when my husband broke his little finger recently. It makes very little sense and it makes our lives, and that of our guests (I mean real invited ones, not the mice..) unnecessarily difficult.
Obviously if I had the cash (and it was my house) I would rip it all out and start again with a beautiful new one designed to my exact specification. We do not have that luxury, but there are plenty of clever tweaks that can improve our user experience, now and for the future. I have mentioned lots of these before in other posts, but I will be taking you through what I manage to achieve in my rented kitchen over the next few blogs.
And one good thing about leaving it a year since moving in is we now understand much better what we use, how we use it and how we move around in our kitchen. So if we make some improvements based on some sound universal design principles now, hopefully we won’t have to do it again for a very long time.
Thanks for reading. If you are in the process of doing up your kitchen, maybe you’re thinking about it, or if you just want to make it work better, get in touch. Would love to hear which bits you love/hate.