One Thing: The Kitchen

I didn’t start last week off very well. Harper had been sick so as well as being up in the night with Maggie, I was not sleeping well because I was worried about Harps and dealing with her very high temperatures. I started to get cranky about, well, everything, and of course took it out on the one person who doesn’t deserve it: my husband. We were fighting over STUPID small things, like lunch boxes, or olive oil (yes, seriously) and just couldn’t seem to connect on any level about anything. Such is married life with kids and a new baby I suppose. As soon as the girls went back to School and we had ANOTHER stupid fight I decided to channel my anger on the biggest #onething that I have been putting off for years.

And I mean YEARS.

For those of you not playing along, #onething is where I do just ONE THING from my to-do list, but not your every day to-do list. Oh no, this is the list of non essential items that sort of kind of need to get done but it’s no biggie if they don’t get done until next week, or next month, or um, next year. Those things. Just one. Every week.

You see when we moved in to our house almost 5 years ago I had either Rob’s Mum or my Mum unpack the kitchen. And since then I have just added things into them to the point of having NO idea what was actually back there because I just kept adding things on top and to the front of these cupboards. Like I showed you in my wardrobe clean up post…I might have a tidy house, but just don’t go opening my cupboards because they are a DISASTER. It makes my friends and family very happy because they know that I am all smoke and mirrors and actually a terrible home maker. Because LOOK:

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A disgrace. But I have been happy to live this way for the last FIVE years because it was all just a little overwhelming. And boring. And it was a big job. But with anger under my belt I decided to channel that energy and do an angry clean. A BIG ANGRY CLEAN.

Over the space of a school day I tackled EVERY SINGLE KITCHEN CUPBOARD AND DRAWER. I cannot emphasise enough: EVERY ONE. After being inspired by my big sister who stayed with me last week who has just sold her house and gone through the process of a BIG clean out, I pretended that we were selling the house. That strangers were going to open my cupboards and that we were going to have a photo shoot. I also went with the line of “if we haven’t used it in the past 6 months, it’s GOING.” We all have so much “stuff” in our kitchens particularly that don’t get used…we end up using the same bowls, pots and fry pans and the rest just sits there collecting dust. NOT ON MY WATCH.

Drawers when emptied, threw up collections of random shit like this:

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But on I went, reluctantly towards the end as I ran out of energy and patience, clearing EVERYTHING out of every drawer and cupboard, wiping them clean and culling. A tip pile, a pile for Vinnies and then a pile to go back in.


And the result? Well, I can now see what’s in my cupboards for a start. And now there is a place for everything, and everything will be used. Dead set, I not only cleaned out the cupboards but I cleaned up my bad mood, and the general energy of the home. I do believe that it got things flowing again (as hippie as that sounds).

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And I even took to the front of the kitchen cupboards giving them a big wipe down. That imaginary open house inspection is ready!


Now I just have to get the stuff to the tip, and Vinnies and out of the garage (that now resembles a tip). Another #onething for another day. It’s never ending isn’t it?

What was your one thing this week?
Anyone else got a cupboard management um, issue, like me?
Find the angry clean productive?
Go choose something, right now, just have a look around and there will be something waiting…


  1. That’s VERY impressive! I’m pretty sure that used cork might come in handy again though and I hope you didn’t throw out the Allen Keys, as soon as you do you’ll need to tighten something with one. Love those ‘before’ pictures, I’m almost inspired to go and sort through my drawers and cull all the old clothes, I even have the ‘donations’ bag sitting beside the dresser – wish me luck!

  2. It must be the cold weather or something because I’ve been cleaning, organising, decluttering, whatever you want to call it, too. I read about KonMari and hit my clothes, jewellery and shoes first. Then this week the linen cupboard and kitchen were hit. My office supplies are next. That will be fun, not. But, do I feel good. Love opening my drawers and cupboards just to have a look. Sad, but true.

  3. mmmm nice when it’s done beth!
    worked that anger out? … worth it! … all good!
    you’ll like this though! … I’ve got mr m on board! hellooo!;0
    I announced to him! … we are doing ONE JOB! … concept explanation!!!
    think of something you’ve been putting off! … one biggie and do it! … one per day, I added! … he thought it was a good idea! win/win!
    doing kitchen and wardrobe! … “just keep swimming!” … lol m:)X

  4. Go Beth- so good to channel those energies into something productive and see some great results. Some of my own most stressful times have had some practical outcomes. Oldest daughter leaves for a year overseas- her room got a major overhaul and I did the linen cupboard. Husband in hospital with chest pain – the pantry and all the kitchen cupboards were tackled and so on …

  5. I did the same thing this week with my cutlery and utensil drawers. I had a similar pile of crap including Allen keys and bits and pieces. Felt good to get it done. Next are my office drawers.

  6. I am totally an angry cleaner! Thank you to my passive aggressive mum! How good is it getting rid of stuff. And wiping the cupboard doors. Ahhhhhhhh

  7. Well done! A big clean like that is so cathartic, don’t you think? Those bloody corner cupboards are such a killer – nobody EVER knows what sits at the back of them. By the way, how did you find the time to do all that in one day with a baby?! Kudos.

  8. Oh yes! Angry cleaning is the best cleaning! I get to throw out all the stuff that has been bugging me and somehow find a way to blame my husband for everything that is out of place (even if it wasn’t his fault I can imagine it is because ANGRY) haha. Then when it’s all done, it’s like I’ve cleaned away my anger and I feel triumphant. Like I won the fight or something!
    I have been feeling a lack of motivation lately – things are OK but I’m not as fired up as usual to get stuff done. I hope my house proud mojo returns soon because there isn’t just ONE thing to do! x

  9. I cannot express to you how happy your disgraceful cupboards made me Beth.

  10. I am, at the moment in an RV in the US, and have equipped it with the very basics. It will be interesting to see how we survive without all the gadgets in the kitchen at home. I have one pot and 3 frypans of varying sizes. Four plates and bowls and four knives, forks, spoons. One broom and a few sponges. Tongs, bottle opener, which is the most important article, and a couple of sharp? knives. All from Walmart. The ironic thing I noticed is that you can buy knives without ID but you can’t buy alcohol, even if you are obviously in your 50s!

  11. so inspiring! I really think a good decl;utter is good for the soul xxx

  12. Awesome Beth, I’m inspired by you and by my currently clean home. I’m recently without employment, but now I’m going to ‘work’ on my own #onething list. You know, look for the silver-lining of this cloud, make the most of my time and finally get those things done, like my 2nd born’s baby album (he’s 5 and a half!). Now………where to start?

  13. An angry clean is a great clean!

  14. michelle says

    Why do we put these little bits of crap back into our drawers? I have a basket on the bench top meant for bread. It’s so full the bread just sort of perches on top.
    And now you’ve done it, how good is a basket full of light globes?! I have one. It makes me feel like maybe I’m a grown up and have my shit together!

  15. I have a few stupid corner cupboards and I can’t even REACH the crap back there. Might need to get my small, agile niece over for some drawer diving.

  16. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I’ve been doing that for the last few weeks, I had one cupboard that I was ashamed of in my kitchen so I did what you did and did them all.Good job Beth Xx

  17. So inspiring Beth. School went back this week and I headed into the ‘cubby house’ (storage room), my girls’ robes and the kitchen as I start purging and packing for our treechange! We have 18 months in an apartment while we search for our Southern Highlands home. So I have the boxes for ‘deep’ storage – S – see you in 18 months; G – garage – my to be finished stitching projects and fabric and then A for everyday – apartment! It took me a week to tape up 3 boxes! However Vinnies have done well and things feel lighter. Here’s hoping this week is faster! A kitchen in a day!

  18. I threw out three quarters of my kitchen about 2 months ago. My cupboards look so bare now but I love it. So easy to see everything and I now only have things that I use at least on a weekly basis, didn’t use it weekly, it got chucked. I am now the owner of just TWO pieces of Tupperware/plastic containers.

    With less stuff, there is less opportunity for crap to pile up and the house to appear messy. Heading down the minimalism path was one of my better decisions!

  19. Beth, I’m not gonna lie…your cupboards scared me!!
    Well done on finally getting to such a massive and simultaneously mundane job. You’ll have to have visitors now just so you can show them the inside of your cupboards too 🙂

  20. I thought I was the only one who played the game of pretending we are selling our house – it works an absolute treat! The other game I play when doing a clean up is pretending we are going to do a house swap or have a VIP guest!

    Enjoy your beautiful clean cupboards, it is amazing how a big clean up makes you feel good, enjoy x

  21. Beth, you have made me so happy this morning. YOUR CUPBOARDS LOOK JUST LIKE MINE! Thank goodness. I love the idea of pretending we’re selling the house when cleaning out drawers and cupboards. The drawers. Sheesh. Under the sink! Don’t go there girlfriend.

  22. far out! that is a good job done!! my husband is overseas for about 12 days and I set myself a list of those kind of things to do, one a day until he gets back. so far I have de-cluttered the drawer of everything that was dumped in there when we moved in 18 months ago (lots of tape measures), de-cluttered the butler’s pantry (finding an inspired spot to put a little wine fridge), and sorted the resident hoarder’s bedroom of fear. great when it’s done! next is the “holding shelf” in the kitchen where I put my paperwork that needs attention or to go upstairs. I am actually a bit fearful of what overdue notices I am going to find!

  23. Reading these old posts after midnight waiting for the after hours dr for my sick kid. It’s calming my nerves.


  1. […] also managed to drop all the things off to Vinnies from last week’s angry kitchen clean. The garage? Still filled with all the rubbish for the tip. That might happen this […]

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