3.16.2017

Spring Cleaning Cheerful Kitchen

The kitchen is truly a happy place for me. It's a place where I relax and listen to music as I get creative, cook nourishing meals to keep us going or bake naughty treats to indulge in, and love on my husband and guests by cooking and baking for them.
It's that spring cleaning time of year, and I don't know about you but my kitchen is always one of the first spaces that needs a scrub, and also one of the biggest cleaning jobs. 
But once it's finally clean, I remember why I love my kitchen! For our kitchen we chose cheerful patterns, happy colors, and a clean and fresh mood. 

I love cheerful and unique kitchen touches like graphic hand towels, chalk labeled canisters, and a turquoise fruit bowl.
Our most frequently used dishes are fiesta ware, but I've really enjoyed building a collection of unique and whimsical mixed dishes. It's surprising the charming colors and patterns you can find at places like Target and Walmart for cheap! They are so fun and cheerful when mixed together, and make setting the table a creative project whenever we use them. 
There's a couple things in my kitchen that are totally necessary to keep things organized and running. The first one is my menu planner. 
I used to menu plan in a regular spiral notebook, but I wanted a little more structure. I was very picky and searched on Etsy until I found the one perfect for me. Carrie Elle makes these wonderful meal planners. The pages are customizable and simple, and the grocery list on the side is perforated for easy tear-out. Although, I never tear mine out because I want to repeat meal plans and having the whole grocery list in one place makes it easy! I love that I can flip back to past weeks and find a few repeat-worthy menus, and our week of dinners is planned just like that. 
The whiteboard on the fridge is also a must. We have two columns: the first is what we need to pick up from the store (basics not included on the menu plan grocery list, or household goods), and the second is cut produce currently in the fridge. We had too many times where we forgot there was half of an onion or pepper in the fridge already and cut open a new one, creating food waste. This list helps us keep track of what's in the fridge. At the end of the month, this list can help us figure out what crazy last meal to throw together before we go grocery shopping! 
Does my kitchen usually look like this? Heck no. Usually you'll see a small pile up of dishes, at least one banana in the fruit bowl that desperately needs to be baked in banana bread within the next 24 hours or it's long gone, and the popcorn maker or a tupperware of cookies out on the counter. Ultimately, the kitchen is a place we live and a major function of daily life. Even though it's certainly not always shiny and clean, I love that my kitchen is a place of creativity and cheerfulness!

What helps you keep organized in your kitchen? Let me know in the comments below. 

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