This is already my 10th dose and you are almost 5000 subscribers!
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For this tenth dose, I'm going to tackle a subject that I often hesitate to deal with, but that I know you like: which accessories, which containers, which objects to organize! For those of you who have been subscribing to the Sphere for a long time (thanks to you!), I did a similar topic for the dressing room in Dose #5 and this time I'm going to cover the kitchen.
Why am I reluctant to cover this topic? Because I don't want you to think that the solution to having easy to tidy home lies in acquiring storage solutions (boxes, racks, furniture...) or even in designing your space. So once again I'm going to hammer the point home because it's important and only then will I share with you what I personally use in my kitchen: before tidying you need to sort your stuffs. I know, I'm rambling a bit, but communication is the art of repeating, right?
Another person I spoke with recently told me that for a very long time she followed with great interest Instagram accounts of American women who showed how they reorganized spaces with boxes (often plastic), baskets and crates of all sizes. She was passionate about tidying up and had started doing the same thing: buying boxes and starting to conscientiously put all her items in them while trying to sort them out. The task was sometimes grueling given the amount of items she had to deal with and she confided that she often stopped along the way and didn't really get the result she wanted. Here again the revelation came: storing in boxes doesn't change much if the sorting is not done before...
Storage solutions are aptly named, they help you organize, but they are absolutely not the answer to a problem of accumulation and overflow. In fact, they only make it worse. Let's say you have X amount of stuff in your house. A quantity that makes you spend your time moving objects with the feeling of never being finished because they have no place assigned and end up hanging here and there, polluting you visually. If you add 2 storage boxes or 2 pieces of furniture to this quantity X of objects, you only increase the total number of objects to handle. Because it is mathematical: X + 2 is greater than X ;-) ! You could object that a storage unit allows you to hide objects and is not really manipulated... Certainly, but you will agree that this new unit encroaches on your living space and that it constitutes a source of visual pollution. Moreover, another of my interviewees said this to me: "to want to create storage spaces everywhere in the house to manage all our possessions, I realize now that there is furniture everywhere, it is too much too!” Whether you like it or not, X+2 will always be greater than X!
Obviously it is a balance, when there is absolutely no storage in a home, it will have to be created ... But interior designers can witness it, there is a strong increase in demand for storage furniture from their clients often at the expense of the project! We must therefore differentiate the following 3 concepts: sorting, tidying and cleaning. Sorting means changing our relationship to objects, to our way of owning and confronting the sum of our objects with the objective of reducing their number to reach a balance that suits us. Then comes the time to organize the remaining objects by assigning them a place and, why not, place them in a box. Finally, on a daily basis, we will use these objects and put them back in their place, so we will "tidy up". And when we undertake to dust or wash our objects or surfaces, we will "clean".
So, to solve your overflow problem, you have no other solution than to confront it and undertake to solve the X-2 equation instead of X+2. I know, it is difficult, it involves making choices, confronting our past, our mistakes sometimes, it simply requires the courage to change. It would be infinitely easier to buy a few boxes and not have to choose between what we want to keep and what we have to part with! But the result is not the same either and I guarantee you that the change is so beneficial that it is well worth the effort involved. Because as Einstein would say, in order for things to change, something must change.
Storage solutions should only be considered once you have completed your sorting!
And to choose the containers you want, I refer you to Dose 5 and encourage you to answer the following questions:
Question 1: What types of containers do I need in relation to my habits?
Question 2: What styles (materials, colors, shapes) do I like the most?
Question 3 : What can I re-use, create, divert from what I already own ?
Question 4 : How much do I need?
Action 1 : do your research
Action 2 : write everything down on a list
Action 3 : buy only what you need!
Indeed, maybe what I use can inspire you but maybe it is not adapted to your space, your routines, or simply to your own tastes! These are just ideas on which you can build your own system.
The goal is to create an environment that is "beautiful, practical and sustainable", a harmony that will fully satisfy our need for efficiency in our daily lives, but also our need for "contemplation". Let's not neglect the fact that we handle the objects in our kitchen a significant number of times during our day. Choosing the right containers, working on the coherence and harmony of colors and materials has a much more powerful impact than we imagine! This will prevent our brain, which functions on pleasure, from going to look for it elsewhere, in the material or immaterial overconsumption (certainly the subject of a future dose...).
Here is how I organize myself in my kitchen. I have a total of 10 units of 60cm wide. They are classic IKEA units on which we installed "full height" doors lacquered for a very smooth finish. I only have low units that are placed under my worktop. I didn't want to have high elements because I thought it would prevent my eyes from “sliding” and this is one of the main principles of Interior Ecology®. Out of these 10 elements, 5 are used for storage and the other 5 are used as follows: a freezer, a fridge (yes a small model and there are 4 of us!), a dishwasher, the garbage can and the fireplace (see on the left hand side in one of the pictures above). Out of the 5 elements used for the storage of objects here is the distribution: 3 for the dishes, 1 for the utensils and 1 for the food. But it is true that I also have a cupboard, which I call my "seed bar" in which I also store jars with starch, seeds and other ingredients of kitchen preparations as well as some alcohol transferred in old apothecary's flasks found in flea markets.
In the elements dedicated to tableware, I made categories by materials: metal gathers all my silver metal cutlery, glass gathers my glasses, tupperware and other translucent containers, porcelain all my tableware and finally ceramic for all my containers made by craftsmen (specific cups...etc). In the element that gathers my utensils, I have 3 drawers, the first is dedicated to my utensils for preparing meals such as knives, spices, various tools, the last 2 are used for "cooking" with my pots, pans, colanders, boards ... etc. Finally, in the element where I store my food, I made different boxes with themes like: "pastry", "snack", "tea" ...etc.
And now here is what I personally use as containers. To store my seeds and starches, I like the round base jars from Ah Table Cuisine with their pretty light wood hermetic lids. I buy them at Naturalia and use the 3 smaller sizes, but the larger size is perfect for Spaghetti. If you are looking for a stackable model, I also use the ones from Point Virgule that I find at Aguablanca and that have a square base and a bigger capacity.
To create sub-categories, I am a fan of the wooden crates from Monoprix that I use all over my house! They come in two sizes and I use both sizes depending on the space I have. For my spices, I love the simplicity of the metal lidded jars from Habitat that I've been using since I moved out of my parents' house and set up on my own! So it's a pattern that has continued for years! To store under my sink, but above my trash can, my ecological sponges, my dishwashing liquid, my trash bags and my dishwashing tablets, I opted for the great sliding drawer of the Variera range from Ikea. To avoid the visual and mental pollution created by chattering packaging, I transfer my oils, vinegars and other preparation sauces into Ichendorf containers, sorry I can only find a link to Amazon, but I had personally bought them at the Conran Shop or at Merci. To create vintage style labels and easily identify my products when needed I use the Dymo Omega.
Finally, all my dishes come from Raynaud's, but a little tip that makes all the difference: I went to the factory store in Limoges to get them. So yes, you have to make the trip! If you click on the link here, I will give you the address. It's perfect especially if you are looking for white tableware. It is second choice but of very high quality and at unbeatable prices if you need to equip yourself.
Oh yes, by the way, if you look closely at the picture of my dishes, you will notice that you can hardly see the little holes in the Ikea cabinet, you know, the ones that allow you to change the height of the shelves! Well, I plugged them with the covers proposed by the brand...
These are some of my little tips or products that I like and that I wanted to share with you. If you like it, I will certainly do another one on the bathroom or the laundry room! Feel free to give me feedback on which formats you like.
Note: even if these objects are far from perfect regarding their production method, I try to favor natural materials as much as possible. Let's hope that the offer of products that are beautiful, practical and sustainable will grow.
Interior Ecology® is not a method to help you tidy up, but a true art of living to make your daily life more beautiful, simpler and more in line with your values! Don't hesitate to make your kitchen a real masterpiece by scripting your compositions and adding purely decorative objects to create visual breaks and breathing zones!
If you need help, I propose to exchange, during a session of a few hours in remote, to answer all your questions and motivate you to finally free yourself! You can contact me by email at email@example.com or via Instagram.
If you work in a company / for a brand, you should know that I also organize conferences for employees or your best customers and that I can create content for your products. More information on my website.
Finally, if you like what I do, the content I share, don't hesitate to tell your friends, your relatives, your colleagues, show them my Instagram and suggest them to subscribe to the Sphere too! Thank you for your support in the development of my business to help me accompany the change in lifestyle and consumption!
I share a small personal anecdote in each dose I send you! This time it's not related to what I said above...
I have always believed that I lacked self-confidence... And in fact, if you ask me today, despite the anecdote I am about to tell you, I would certainly still say that this is the case...
Yet many things I have done in my life tend to prove the contrary, starting with the decision to resign from a rather well-paid job, in which I totally mastered my art, to dedicate myself fully to L'ARRANGEUSE and to get out of my comfort zone! As I was telling this story to Audrey, from the Essential Parenthesis, I realized something that I will share with you at the end.
As you may know, I am not a "minimalist", but an "essentialist". I've never referred to myself as a "minimalist" and I realized I had to invent a term to define myself when a subscriber, in reaction to one of my posts, said "you have 18 swimsuits? So you're not a minimalist at all! Indeed, you know that in my philosophy of Interior Ecology what counts is not the quantity but to make sure that everything we have, we have it for good reasons and that there are no "stowaways". All this to say that yes, in my house, swimsuits are essential and that I own a large quantity of them and that on each of them I have no doubt!
This long intro to tell you that in my house, we don't joke with swimsuits! One day, while I was looking for a swimsuit for a special occasion, I found a model absolutely perfect, but not in my size. There was another one, from the same collection, with a very similar design, but no, it wasn't the one I wanted! Obviously I ask the saleswoman if she can find my size in another store, but no, nowhere in France there is the model I want, in the size I want... I'll have to make up my mind, either I take the other one, or I give up.
Forget it? It's not really my style! Honestly, I couldn't tell you how I came to this conclusion, but here's the thought that crossed my mind: "I'll go directly to the brand's headquarters!” We all agree that at a brand's headquarters, they don't sell products or welcome customers, but I decided to go there anyway. What did I have to lose?
So I looked for the address, managed to enter the building, found the offices and explained my request to the first person I met (who turned out to be from the marketing team)! After a long time of flabbergasting, she looked at me attentively and said this magic sentence "what astrological sign are you?", I answered "scorpio why?" and with a big smile she said "we will find you your bathing suit Miss, but please, promise me that the day you are looking for work you will come to see me". At that time I was still a student.
I only recently understood how bold this step was, at the age of 20, and showed a real capacity to have confidence in myself. I was aware that I needed a bit of madness but above all courage to present myself to this woman and to show her all my speech and my determination! Today, I understand that there is a fundamental difference between "lacking confidence" and "being afraid". Just because we are afraid of something doesn't mean we can't do it. And the best way to fight fear is to take action.
Thank you for going to the end of this dose that I hope you have entertained, questioned or inspired. We'll see you in a while for another dose! Until then, go to the essential!