Organizing a kitchen…a cancer survivor reclaims her kitchen

Client:  Single professional woman in Oakland, a cancer survivor AND fully recovered from open heart surgery, reclaiming her kitchen.

Problem:  Her kitchen was “recovery room central” while fighting breast cancer, and then emergency open heart surgery.  Medical equipment and supplies took over all counter space.  Friends and family came and went with groceries and food, overtaking her small kitchen. And while people were being extremely helpful, the kitchen suffered from displacement of just about everything.

The kitchen counter is covered with her regime of medications and supplements.

The kitchen counter is covered with her regime of medications and supplements.

The rest of counter space is cluttered with food that won't fit in the already stuffed cabinets.

The rest of counter space is cluttered with food that won’t fit in the already stuffed cabinets.

Solutions:  Working with professional organizer, Gayle Grace, we started with a sorting session, decluttering every cabinet and drawer, looking for those items that were no longer useful or wanted.  This yielded quite a bit of donation items.

Off to donation - gifts she didn't use or want, gadgets purchased, but never used...multiples of items not needed.

Off to donation – gifts she didn’t use or want, gadgets purchased, but never used…multiples of items not needed.

Then we worked together to restructure the entire kitchen.  Every cabinet and drawer was repurposed and organized…this cabinet use to be stuffed with food, now it houses the dishes.

Dishes are moved closer to the dishwasher

Dishes are moved closer to the dishwasher

This cabinet held the dishes and now houses all the medications that were on the kitchen counter.  The upper shelves hold serving containers.  The counter is now available for small appliances that were stuffed into a closet.

The counter is no longer a drug store.

The counter is no longer a drug store.

Dozens of small bottles of spices are stuffed on a shelf.  The end result, spilled spices and you still can’t find anything.  The small counter space next to the stove is unusable for cooking because it is always cluttered with stuff.

Small bottles of spices on an overhead shelf is almost never workable storage.

Small bottles of spices on an overhead shelf is almost never workable storage.

We removed the spices and made this the food pantry.  Everything is “binned” appropriate containers.  Pots and pans are better organized in the pull-outs. Counter space is reclaimed by using a serving tray to corral vinegars and oils.

Everything about this space has changed for the better.

Everything about this space has changed for the better.

Precious drawer space is taken up with useless items.

It's so easy to stuff drawers with useless items.

It’s so easy to stuff drawers with useless items.

We emptied the drawers of miscellaneous clutter and turned them into spice drawers and tea drawers. Now you can really see and access what you need.

I love to create spice and tea drawers.

I love to create spice and tea drawers.

And now, a beautifully organized and highly functional kitchen.  She does not have to face everyday being reminded of her past illnesses.

Ta Da!  A beautifully organized kitchen!

Ta Da! A beautifully organized kitchen!

With room to spare...

With room to spare…

 

Client Comments: ” It’s amazing! Sometimes, I just linger in the kitchen to take in all the beauty.  I love it.”


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