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Assisted Living – Downsizing Your Kitchen



Imagine that you must reduce your full-size kitchen into one 10’ X 12”. I am not talking about open floor space here but the footprint before the appliances and cabinets are installed. This is a two-bedroom model so it could be slightly larger or much smaller.


It is really helpful if you know exactly where you are going to move and have the exact measurements but if you are still in the looking mode and are wanting to get a jump start, here are some steps to take:

  • Envision what meals you will prepare in this new environment. Talk it out with someone who can help you with a reality check.

  • Designate some of your cabinets that you think might match the kitchen size you will have. Likewise, perhaps 2 drawers and a part of your pantry

  • One by one empty these cabinets and put back into them the bare minimum of what you think you will need.

  • Designate some cabinets to hold the items you are not taking with you and/or put the items into boxes.

  • If you have a month or so before you move, practice living with what you have kept. Now you have the chance to pull back out that favorite skillet if you are missing it and replace it with a saucepan you have not used.


Of course, the hard part is accepting that your lifestyle is changing. The way you entertain will change. The amount of cooking you have done in the past will change. Begin to envision new ways to entertain that will be simpler yet still a lot of fun.


Now you come to grips with the idea that a large skillet can take the place of your paella pan and wok. An immersion blender can take the place of your food processor and blender. A hand mixer can take the place or your huge stand-alone mixer. The divided dish you always used to put your chopped vegetables in before you added them into your stir fry can now be substituted for some small bowls you use for eating.


Resist the temptation to stuff as many pots, pans, utensils, dishes as you can into the cupboards and drawers. Envision yourself being able to reach in to the cupboards and get what you need without pulling out a lot of items to get to that one big pot. Think of drawers that can open smoothly and you can see what is in them without having to root around.


Besides the bare minimum basics, you will want to keep a few pieces that make you smile. You may want that beautiful olive dish that you watched the potter make in Italy. Or you may want to keep two Waterford wine glasses you picked up on your trip to Ireland. You might want to keep two place settings of your Christmas china. If you are having four people over, mix and match that special china with everyday pieces.


When you finally move into that smaller kitchen, really plan out your zones (dishes/cooking/food storage) so that everything will flow easily for you. Take out that favorite vase you brought and add some flowers. Enjoy

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