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Tips on Downsizing the Kitchen

This project is an emotional landmine for those that handled cooking the family dinners, entertaining, hosting parties and the holidays. We have many good memories of eating our favorite foods and enjoying family and friends around the table. Kitchen cupboards can conceal a mountain of plastic containers, pie tins and mismatched Tupperware.


Take some time to evaluate what you do cook on a regular basis and how you use your kitchen daily. Often our cupboards are storing things that we only need occasionally. Is it time to teach the next generation how to make the stuffing and give them the equipment they need to do it? How often do you need the turkey platter, the carving knife and fork, the pieces you only used at parties, etc.? Are you more inclined to visit family for the holidays and enjoy seeing your platter in use by a friend? Keep in mind the cupboard space at your new home may not accommodate large platters.


With my own family I noticed both my mother-in-law and my grandmother complaining about how heavy the dishes are, the glasses, and even the silverware. They had a few light weight pieces that they liked using the best. Consider donating or selling the dishes that are just too hard to handle. This can include the heavy Kitchen Aid mixer or other appliances that are just too awkward to move and are not used much.


We advise clients to move only 4-6 place settings when downsizing and moving. It’s going to be the rare occasion that you are going to cook for and serve 12.


Pare down the plastic ware and only move what you have lids for. Go ahead and recycle the butter tubs and “Cool Whip” containers. Strongly consider what you will be baking in the future. For example: we’re used to using 3 or 4 cookie sheets at one time but will you be able to get by with 2? Do you need 6 bread pans? Do you enjoy decorating cakes anymore? The ultimate question is “When was the last time you used it?” as you inventory what to move or donate.


Consider your pantry and freezer situation. If you know you are moving in a few months try to use up the frozen and canned foods so you don’t have to move it. You can donate food to local food pantries. Now is a good time to sort through your spice collection. Usually there is just a few go to spices we use all the time and lots of spices we got for that odd recipe that never get used again. Spices do lose their flavors after a few years too.


Cookbooks can be another tough subject; many come from our local churches or social groups and are a link to our family and friends. Can you pass cookbooks you don’t use on to others? Consider making copies of the few recipes you use in one cook book so you can let the book go. Damaged cookbooks are not resell-able.


We often have a big supply of dish towels and table linens. Paring these items down to just a few allow you extra room to bring items that mean the most to you.


Copyright by Christine E. Smart 2013

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Designing Moves® L.L.C. |  319-377-6891

642 10th St. #200, Marion, Iowa 52302

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