This tip is dedicated to some of the most frequently asked questions. I am referring to the questions I receive from the readers of these posts (keep sending them in- that's the best indication to what interests you!).
Would you be surprised if I told you that well over 90% of the comments and questions refer to the most mundane matters of our day to day life; Laundry, rags, ironing, knick-knacks… ?!
I am going to throw around some ideas I find useful.
If you are lucky enough to have place in your house for an open ironing board all year round, you're set to go. Most Israeli homes don't have that luxury. Where would be the most convenient place for you to do your ironing? kitchen? hallway? bedroom? whatever that place is, plan for a pull out ironing board in a nearby closet. I find this accessory very useful. Leave room in the closet to store the iron and prepare an electrical outlet in the closet or nearby. If the ironing board is behind a door (rather than a drawer) ask the carpenter to put in 180 degree hinges, those will enable full opening of the door so that it is not in your way while ironing. Now, all you need to do is pull out, iron and slide back in. No schlepping of heavy ironing boards and no need to block up large areas while ironing.
This is a very smelly issue, one that affects aesthetics and hygiene too. What to do with those horrible kitchen rags?
One option is to buy the microfiber rags, they tend to wash out better than the regular rags, by hand or in the machine. They also come in colorful designs. When not in use you could drape it on your dish rack or on the side of the sink.
The second option is reusable- disposable paper towels. These are made of a material I would define as somewhere between fabric and paper. They last well in wet conditions. You could wash out, wring out and reuse several times. The advantage of these is that they are disposable. No need to keep around in the sink or on the counter, no hygiene or odor problems. Use it and chuck it. This is my favorite option, although not very "green".
So far, there is no law in Israel forcing us to sort our garbage or separate the recyclable from the rest. However, several cities and municipalities have started separating the garbage (including my own, in Gush Etzion), and I imagine it won't be long before it becomes the norm all over the country. What does this mean? In my kitchen there are several different garbages:
- Organic waste
- Glass bottles
- Plastic bottles
As you could imagine, it seemed like the biggest ordeal when we first began but eventually we got used to it. What I discovered on the way is that separating the organic waste from the rest solves the odor issues. I also discovered that the organic waste take up the least space, most of the volume is built up by packaging (containers, boxes, bags, etc). So even if you are not forced yet to do so, separating the organic waste could be advantageous. Buy a small garbage, so small it could go on the counter or hang on the wall– like this. That will be for the organic waste.
Now for the rest. Do you have a corner in the kitchen for a free standing garbage? go for rectangular or half a circle, those take up the least space and fit nicely against a wall. If you are getting a stainless steel bin look for the fingerprint- proof models. Important tip: these bins shown in the links are not cheap. Seems like a waste for a pile of waste (ha-ha). From my experience it is worth the cost. They are extremely practical, cleanable and space efficient and they last forever!
Don't have floor space?
Take advantage of the space under the sink for storing your garbage can. (don't forget- the "smelly" garbage has been separated)
What kind of garbage should you buy? The garbage cans sold for sink-cabinets are usually pretty small. I find the most practical solution is to buy a large rectangular plastic bin sold for offices. You may find the height too high to fit under the sink, take a cutting knife and shave a few centimeters off the top. Measure out the width inside the sink unit and try to get a narrow bin, narrow enough so you could fit two of them under the sink. Use one for bottles and the other for the rest.
Do you want a pull-out bin? Don't buy the pull out bins sold for kitchen units. They are small and pricey. Go for the same bins described above but ask the carpenter to put a pull-out shelf on the "floor" of the unit. Place the bins in this draw. Make sure the side are high enough so you don't need to bend down to pull out the garbage.
Important: measure the inside of the unit only after the plumbing has been connected to the sink and the dishwasher. The piping takes up space too. This is especially important if putting in a pull out shelf.
One day we'll discuss laundry…
Creating spaces people want to live in