Or­ga­niz­ing kitchen an open and shut case

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

TRUTH be told, I’m a bit messy. I move too fast to linger over what seems at the time to be un­nec­es­sary neat­ness — such as putting things away — and I suf­fer the con­se­quences.

But my kitchen is well or­dered. Here, I in­sist on tidy cab­i­nets that show off pris­tine stacks of dishes, as well as and canned and dry goods and spices that all have a place. My fam­ily kitchen also has a vast collection of cook­ing ac­ces­sories, so I am thank­ful for the many so­lu­tions to di­vide and con­quer ev­ery space, from the largest cup­board to the small­est drawer.

Rolling shelves take the guess­work out of what lies at the back of the cup­board. If you have a lower cab­i­net with an awk­ward in­ner space, a Lazy Su­san-style spin­ning shelf works won­ders. Drawer di­viders or cut­lery trays make the most of wide draw­ers. Use tall nar­row spa­ces for cook­ies sheets and broiler pans. Cre­ate stor­age un­der the kitchen sink with small bas­kets that can be stacked around pipes. Pre­pare des­ig­nated spa­ces with con­tain­ers that are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble for garbage, com­post and re­cy­cling.

If space al­lows, con­sider a work ta­ble. March’s de­sign of­fers hang­ing space for cook­ing tools and a stor­age shelf be­neath. A work caddy on wheels gives you free­dom to move it wher­ever needed.

Open or shut cab­i­net doors is a per­sonal choice, a com­bi­na­tion works well — open dis­play cab­i­nets will en­cour­age you to stay neat. If the kitchen is the hub of your home, make sure it works as hard for you as you do in it.

Dear Deb­bie: I am mak­ing a tran­si­tion from work­ing out­side the home to hav­ing a home of­fice. I can­not de­cide where to set my­self up. It feels strange to be work­ing at home and I need some help to get or­ga­nized. Thank you, Manuella.

Dear Manuella: You raise a very good ques­tion. More and more men and women are work­ing from home, and yet sit­u­at­ing the home of­fice is of­ten an af­ter­thought, lodged any­where there’s some ex­tra space. Con­sid­er­ing this is where you earn a liv­ing and will be spend­ing many hours, it is im­por­tant to take the time to make this space con­ducive to busy men­tal ac­tiv­ity as well as er­gonom­i­cally com­fort­able and invit­ing. You should look for­ward to spend­ing time in your home of­fice.

In her book Mind, Body, Home: Trans­form Your Life One Room at a Time, fengshui con­sul­tant Tisha Mor­ris de­scribes the en­ergy flow in a home that makes a se­ri­ous im­pact on how we live and feel. Mor­ris says of­fices lo­cated on the main level have more yang en­ergy and gen­er­ally feel more ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic. Home of­fices lo­cated on up­per floors are more in­tro­spec­tive and work bet­ter for writ­ing, heal­ing or cre­ative-based busi­ness. Set up in the base­ment only as a last re­sort, as this be­low groundlevel space might lead to feel­ings of in­ad­e­quacy and dif­fi­culty mov­ing your busi­ness for­ward.

So look for space on your main floor or higher to give your busi­ness the im­por­tance it re­quires to flour­ish. Have nat­u­ral light and a view to the out­side if pos­si­ble. Paint the walls, buy a good desk and chair, and make this room a pri­or­ity. Deb­bie Travis’ House to Home col­umn is pro­duced by Deb­bie Travis and Bar­bara Din­gle. Please email your ques­tions to house­2home@deb­bi­etravis.com. You can fol­low Deb­bie on Twit­ter at @debbie_travis.

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