I love that I’m back to reviewing books again and I was excited when I finally worked my way to Justin Spring’s The Itty Bitty Kitchen Handbook. Published in 2006, this gem is essential reading for anyone who finds themselves in a cluttered kitchen of any size.
From page six:
Since clutter is particularly toxic to small kitchen spaces, we’ll start with some purging (and even get a little touchy-feely about why it’s so hard to keep a kitchen clutter free), then move on to deep cleaning and organizing.
Clutter busting, cleaning and organizing — an unclutterer’s dream book!
Some of my favorite advice can be found in the first part of the book:
For Those Who Can’t Let Go:
Some Tips and Tricks for Kitchen Pack Rats
LETTING GO OF STUFF comes easier to some than to others. For those of us who have a really hard time getting rid of unused and unneeded kitchen stuff, here are some thoughts to keep in mind:
- Rmember that much of the stuff you are now going to make a decision about was in fact given to you by someone who, however thrifty, secretly wanted to be rid of it–and finessed the job by giving it to you.
- Console yourself that much of the stuff you are making decisions about was never meant to be held on to and has no great commercial value.
- Beware of meaningless sentimental attachments.
- Focus, whenever possible, on the possibility that by cleaning out your kitchen cabinets you will be giving some really good stuff to others. Your guilt about letting go of stuff (and your fear of unwittingly losing some really valuable stuff) can thus be vanquished through the reassurance that you are giving stuff to charity. Thrift shops that benefit specific charities are your best bet, since your stuff will find a good home, the proceeds from the sale will help a worth cause, and–hey!– you will even be getting a tax deduction.
- Finally, and most important: remember that you are not so much getting rid of stuff as making room to live.
The second part of the book is full of recipes that are perfect for a small kitchen. Not necessarily that exciting for an unclutterer, but there are some tasty recipes in there regardless.
The book’s author currently lives in a small New York City apartment that has a 45-square-foot kitchen and grew up using a kitchen on a tiny family sailboat. His advice is practical and based on years of experience.