I Love My New Pot Rack (PLUS: A Kitchen Makeover)

February 22, 2013 | By | COMMENTS

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Is it possible to love an inanimate object? Was Johnny 5 really alive? These are questions for philosophers, not food bloggers. All I know is that I love my new pot rack.

It all came about because Craig had been complaining about how disorganized our kitchen was and so, for his birthday, I decided to do something about it. I bought rubber gloves; I bought cleaning sprays; I bought paper towels. And then I got to work.

First, the great purging of spices. I had spices all over my counters, cabinet shelves, spilling out on to the floor. Something had to be done. Some of these spices were from the Jurassic era.

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I got rid of almost all of them, except the ones I’d purchased in the last few months. I don’t regret it at all and now my spice rack is neatly organized and way more useful because it’s actually stuff I want to put in my food:

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Then I got to my cabinets. Look at this mess!

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I emptied everything out and scrubbed the cabinets clean.

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During this process, I decided to investigate the top of my refrigerator to see if it needed cleaning too. HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD. If you had poured tar on top of my fridge and then hired a flock of seagulls to defecate on it, it would’ve been cleaner than what I found up there. It’s not for the faint of heart; I spent a good hour scrubbing and scrubbing:

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My theory is it got so dirty from all the smoke that rises up from the stovetop when I brown meats, etc. Whatever. My back hurt after scrubbing all that grime off; but it was worth it. After hours and hours of scrubbing and cleaning, my kitchen looked like this:

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Pretty, right?

As a reward, I treated myself to a yellow teapot from Crate & Barrel (I’d been using just a regular pot to make my tea every morning):

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I bought a basket at Sur La Table for storing my onions and garlic and potatoes and also anything I bring home from the farmer’s market:

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As for reorganizing my cabinets, I made the top row baking vessels (casserole pans, soufflé dishes), the middle row bowls and ramekins and, in the middle salt, and the bottom row drinking glasses and mugs:

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On the left side, the top is still baking vessels (cake pans, tart pans), the middle shelf is baking stuff and the bottom shelf is Tupperware and mixing bowls:

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I neatened up the drawers too, removing all our old silverware in lieu of our new Bakelite silverware from E-Bay:

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It’s hard to define this drawer, but I think it works (I could probably use a drawer liner):

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Here’s the breakthrough moment. I purged my bottom cabinets of all pots and pans, removing them to a bedroom. Instead, I brought all my appliances and essential devices front and center: the blender, the food processor, the toaster, the salad spinner, the roasting pan, the colander and the cutting boards.

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This is so much nicer than the jungle of pots and pans I had shoved in there. I know exactly where everything is and where everything goes.

But what to do with all of those pots and pans?

Cue a chorus of angels descending from on high with this Enclume Bookshelf Pot Rack:

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People, as I said at the start of this post (and in the title), I love this pot rack. Not only did it un-clutter my cabinets, but now all of my favorite pots and pans are just a grab away when I want to cook. Installing it wasn’t easy (I ended up calling a handyman who charged $50, which seemed fair; when you’re dangling so much weight from your drywall, better safe than sorry) but it was totally worth it. Seeing all of my pots and pans hanging there makes me want to cook more often. And after I cook and the dishes are done, it’s easy to know where everything goes. This pot rack has changed my life.

So thank you, pot rack. I may not be able to marry you in a court of law, but our love is forever. Or: until we move again.

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Categories: Writings

  • Elizabeth

    The Gentleman made me a pot rack from a bicycle wheel rim. It makes me smile all over my face.

  • NancyRing

    Looks great!!! I love the colors in your kitchen!

    Maybe you could cover the top part of the fridge – obviously not the door – with plastic wrap or the press and seal stuff. I do this with dishes that live outside of a cabinet but near the stove in our kitchen. Then, to clean, just remove the wrap and replace!

  • brooklynite

    this is really motivating! my fridge surfaces gets crazy dirty like that too.

  • Binky Bergsman

    Looks beautiful. Do you put your bakealite in the dishwasher?

  • http://thingsimadetoday.tumblr.com/ Vicky Volvovski

    ha – i have had the same experience with peeking at the top of my fridge every couple of years. it’s always shocking. sometimes i pretend like i didn’t look. that usually lasts a couple of days. then i accept my fate and clean. and buy myself something nice :)

  • Liz

    So, i realize this is a post about the kitchen organization itself, but I have to tell you, scrubbing, purging, and reorganizing the kitchen as a gift to your partner is just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. If someone were to do that for me, he’d be suck with me forever. You’re a keeper. :-)

  • Anonymous

    I do, though it’s probably not recommended. We’ll see how long that lasts!

  • The Dilettantista

    My boyfriend is back in school and my birthday is in two weeks. I’ve been trying to think up budget-friendly birthday present ideas for his student budget. I think this might be it. I also want your pot rack.

  • MC

    I’m inspired in every way- except that I do not have any desire to look on top of my fridge…llluucch. Congrats on the lovely yellow teapot! You deserved it!

  • Laura Mullin

    A word to the wise – I used to keep my onions and potatoes in a basket together and learned the hard way that it is not a good idea. It makes your potatoes go squishy.

  • Jessica

    That is a BRILLIANT idea!!!!

  • Anne

    Do you make house calls?

  • http://twitter.com/sharedappetite Shared Appetite

    I needed a good laugh: “If you had poured tar on top of my fridge and then hired a flock of seagulls to defecate on it, it would’ve been cleaner than what I found up there.” Priceless. Simply priceless.

  • Jenny

    It looks perfect! I love the pot rack!

    Jenny (http://my-kitchen-diary-en.blogspot.com/)

  • Kathleen Neumark

    What did Craig say when he saw it?! I hope he loved it.

  • John

    Adam, heard about your blog from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen and have been reading so first time commenting.

    Nice job on the cleaning and organizing of your kitchen.

    Though one thing I would recommend is do a GOOD cleaning, from ceiling to floor at least once yearly, or better yet, twice yearly (fall/spring say) and you’ll be amazed at just how dirty it gets in that length of time, and that includes move the fridge, and stove, and clean all around, behind/under them, and vacuum the coils of the fridge while at it. It’s amazing how much grody stuffy ends up behind/under them – and as you noted, do the outside of them both, all sides, and top, and lift up your stove top and clean under it if possible. Most newer electric stoves, maybe the gas stoves too, to allow you to clean out under your drip pans, it’s amazing how nasty that area gets too (believe me, I know all this all to well as a cook).

    I used to be more diligent about this sort of cleaning but not in recent years, though late last fall did a good chunk of the kitchen and got the area around the stove. Your kitchen will thank you by looking mucho cleaner, and you’ll feel better knowing your kitchen is spotless.

    Use ammonia and water, scrubby sponges (the softer blue ones) and have at it. :-)

    I use a wall grid that is plastic coated wire to hang my pots and have had it for about 14 years or so, and it’s in need of replacing as the plastic coating is drying up and flaking off in places but has served me well all this time. Bought it at Extra Space/Storables with black metal hooks and has been in 3 apartments, the current one now over 9 years. I just wash, and hang up to drip dry and would not go back to shoving most used pots/pans in a cupboard ever again.

    Again, nice job and such a cute kitchen.

  • Bob Y

    I do this every so often too – it feels so good for a while. Great post!

  • Nance

    Doesn’t the artwork above your stove get gunky, too? I have artwork in my kitchen, and I have just about decided not to. It gets the same tarry gunk on it that my fridge top does from my cooking. I have no range hood to prevent this.

  • Anthony W.

    Me likey the Wonder Woman glass.

    When I was just a wee lad, I had a McDonald’s Hamburglar glass that I absolutely loved. One of the saddest day’s of my college career was when it got broken during a move back home after the Spring semester of my sophomore year. Wish I had that glass today for all the great memories it was tied to.

  • Brenda Johnson

    Definitely — onions should be kept separate from potatoes. the onions off-gas in a way that causes your potatoes to go bad. Your kitchen, however, is adorable.

  • Jennifer Burchett

    Stealing it!

  • Brenda Johnson

    I must have that pot rack.

  • Brenda

    Laura is correct Potatoes + Onions = Yuck

  • Joan Schipper

    Had the same thought. I like to store onions and potatoes in the dark and have found that they are happier is separate cupboards. They are like children that play well together in organized activities but really need to have separate bedrooms.

    I love your cute corner kitchen. Nice light in there. Seems like a great place to cook – especially now.

    One question, is your pot rack strong enough to act as a shelf and accommodate the dutch oven and that other pot on your stove top?

  • Connie

    I ordered this same pot rack 60 seconds after I read this post. Can’t wait to see it!

  • Nancy Hudson

    Your before pictures look like my after pics. Guess I have to do a re-reorganize.

  • Chungwan

    I thought I saw Lolita’s tail on picture 7.

  • Mike

    Awesome post, Adam. I’ve been procrastinating on doing a much overdue “deep” clean of my kitchen. This post was definitely a well-timed message!

  • laura

    Fantastic – nothing says I love you like a good cleaning! Two suggestions, if I may? 1. label your shelves so things go back where they belong, and 2. put a clear lucite barrier on the wall behind the pots so your wall doesn’t get dinged up. Beautiful kitchen! You deserve it!

  • laura

    Fantastic – nothing says I love you like a good cleaning! Two suggestions, if I may? 1. label your shelves so things go back where they belong, and 2. put a clear lucite barrier on the wall behind the pots so your wall doesn’t get dinged up. Beautiful kitchen! You deserve it!

  • laura

    Fantastic – nothing says I love you like a good cleaning! Two suggestions, if I may? 1. label your shelves so things go back where they belong, and 2. put a clear lucite barrier on the wall behind the pots so your wall doesn’t get dinged up. Beautiful kitchen! You deserve it!

  • laura

    Fantastic – nothing says I love you like a good cleaning! Two suggestions, if I may? 1. label your shelves so things go back where they belong, and 2. put a clear lucite barrier on the wall behind the pots so your wall doesn’t get dinged up. Beautiful kitchen! You deserve it!

  • laura

    Fantastic – nothing says I love you like a good cleaning! Two suggestions, if I may? 1. label your shelves so things go back where they belong, and 2. put a clear lucite barrier on the wall behind the pots so your wall doesn’t get dinged up. Beautiful kitchen! You deserve it!

  • Johanna

    OMG, I have that exact same pot rack! Except I painted mine black. I love it SO much! And I just bought your book on Kindle. We are SOO soulmates. Okay, I’m stopping now before you get a restraining order. It’s just that I’m such a fan! Stopping. Now. I promise.

  • drew

    I too do the same thing give my kitchen a good deep cleaning..I Also pull my stove out and sweep and mop under it its amazing how stuff gathers under there

  • http://twitter.com/kinglet749 kinglet749

    One of the funniest food posts I have ever read. I hope Craig is as happy as you are :)