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cull, baby, cull: kitchen edition
by Yee-Fan Sun
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continued from page 3

Anything that has true-blue sentimental value should be saved and put into deep storage. The twelve-person place setting of fine china that you inherited from your grandmother might not do you much good in your 375 square-foot studio apartment, but it's something you might want to have around someday. Find a place to tuck away these sorts of items for safekeeping -- in the closet, under the bed, in the garage, in your parents' basement, at your honey's apartment.

With your cabinets and drawers culled and everything put back into its proper place, it's time to take a good hard look at what's floating around on the countertops and around your major appliances. If at all possible, store any small appliances that you don't use on a regular basis -- the food processor, the juicer, the crockpot … put them away when they're not in use, and you'll find you have a whole lot more work space on your counters. In the area around your sink, consolidate your scrubbing tools -- toss any that you never use, are so worn that they're losing integrity, or leave a lingering odor on your hands after you touch them. You should never really need more than one sponge, one dishrag, one scouring pad, and maybe a scrubbrush.

Finally, get your fridge décor under control. I'm all for the personality-packed, picture-dense fridge, but don't just slap up your snaps haphazardly. Just because your best friend from college sent it to you, doesn't mean you have to tack it up. Keep your favorites up on the fridge and put the rest away in your photo albums. I like to organize mine into a collage to keep them looking neat. As for any notes, coupons and papers that you've stuck on your fridge, keep them localized to one area -- I use the side of the fridge rather than the front so they're less visible -- and toss things out when you no longer need them. Clip magnets are great for keeping those take-out menus neat and confined on the fridge -- although if you can find drawer space for them, you get extra props.

With your kitchen streamlined, give yourself a big pat on the back and take some time to enjoy all that freed-up cooking space. In the next installment, we'll tackle the living room…


check out these related articles: 
on weeding: school stuff | the packrat's guide to a happy home


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