Did you accept the challenge Spring Clean Kitchen Challenge? It’s been six weeks since I wrote about our big kitchen remodel and my determination to follow Cynthia Townley Ewer’s (Cut the Clutter) three rules for organizing an efficient, convenient kitchen. I invited my readers to accept the challenge and many did.

It’s time for a confession and an update.

Confession: My beautiful new kitchen is finished but it is not yet an organized and efficient kitchen.

Related: Spring Clean Kitchen Challenge

Do you recall Cynthia’s first step in creating an organized kitchen? She says we must harden our hearts and dare to dump everything that is not absolutely necessary and useful. I thought this would be easy. It’s not. There have been days I have felt like giving up and just throwing everything back in the way it was. I’ve been doing a lot of praying.

Here is just one example. I discovered I have six wire mesh colanders. Why? How? I know, and I’m embarrassed. Being disorganized is expensive because we keep buying more of what we have already because we have no idea what we really have because we don’t know where it is.

Cynthia’s three rules (here) have not been to easy to follow, either. There have been times in the past weeks I’ve wished I’d never found her book and website. But those feelings quickly fade one drawer, one cupboard—one step at a time.

As for an update, I’ve decided to do this with photos, amateur photographer than I am.

First, two before shots:

This kitchen, as lovely as it might appear, was not efficient, nor was it constructed with quality materials. It was falling apart, and I mean that quite literally. Two drawers were being held together with Gorilla glue and duct tape! The hinges on several doors simple broke in half. It was time to either repair or replace. We chose the replace/remodel route.

And now for the after photos of the remodel that my husband did in his spare time, nights and weekends in just 10.5 weeks. I know! Breathtaking, amazing and the only way to do a remodel on a budget.

This is an IKEA kitchen, people—cabinets and quartz counters. We waited for IKEA’s 15% off Kitchen Sale, which dropped the price even more. We had the floors refinished, which was a fraction of the cost of installing new flooring. Appliances are all GE Cafe except for the Fisher & Paykel dishwasher. Bar stools are from American Furniture Warehouse ($67 each).


The GE Cafe cooktop is induction; not gas, not electric. I’m learning a new way of cooking and loving it! My husband is also a master tiler. How did I get so lucky?



Two gigantic pantries (they are tall and I am not), plus a utility closet.

This might be my favorite thing: Our new coffee bar!


Drawers … so many drawers and all of them with lights inside that come on automatically, the way a refrigerator light works. Brilliant, my sweet husband!

Perhaps you noticed all of the empty shelves and cupboards. Most of the drawers are empty in these photos, as well.

Next week I plan to open them and show you my hard-fought progress at making this kitchen as efficient and convenient as it is beautiful.

And so my Spring Clean Kitchen Challenge continues, even though it is now Summer. How is yours coming along? If you feel comfortable, give us an update in the comments area HERE.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Caught yourself reading all the way 'til the end? Why not share with a friend.