The True Kitchen Makeover: A Simple Adjustment That Can Save You Thousands

I’m going to tell you a story that might make some of you feel better about your lives.

When I first moved into my house, I knew that we would need to remodel the kitchen. Before we bought the house, it had been owned by two elderly spinster ladies who, to say the least, had kept things to a bare minimum. Old countertops, old cabinets, you get the idea, and, at 6’x7’, it was simply too small. I had children to feed.

After a year or two of “making do,” I told my husband that It Was Time. We needed a kitchen makeover.

So we started to plan. I combed through pictures and magazines, poked at appliances at the nearest building store. Together, Kurt and I sketched out my dream kitchen, making sure it had plenty of room for everything I needed and many things that I’d always wanted.

Everything began to come together.

Then something funny happened: as I began comparing my current kitchen with my projected one, I realized that I… well… already had many, many things.

I had planned a big, new space for washing my dishes, but, hmm, actually I already had a decent wash space. Sure, it wasn’t the shiniest sink on the block, but it was perfectly serviceable. Maybe I didn’t need to do much with that area of the kitchen.

Then, the cooking space. Jamie’s Dream Kitchen Plan contained an extension of the counter area around the stove, as well as — angel choir! — a new stove. But…on further thought…my current stove got everything good and hot. It was a little quirky, but it worked fine. I had just enough area around it to do what I needed to do.

Okay, I thought, I’ll leave the cooking space.

Storage space, though, would certainly need renovations! The kitchen was just too small. Too small to move around in, too small to store all the food we needed, just…too small. Right?

True Kitchen Makeover: Dehydrates in Glass Jars

But by that point, I was looking at everything with fresh eyes. And I could see that, sure, my kitchen wasn’t huge, but with a little ingenuity it could really hold a lot. It also occurred to me that my old Ohio farmhouse provided lots of other opportunities for creative storage. There truly was space for everything… if I was willing to see it. There were plenty of nooks and crannies — fun places to put beautiful jars of canned tomatoes and milk jugs packed full of dried beans and herbs.

So, why spend thousands of dollars if I already had everything I needed?

I put the renovation plans in the trash. Then I set myself to the cheerful work of loving my kitchen.

The point is this: you can spend lots of money trying to get the kitchen that the marketers at Lowe’s and Martha Stewart Magazine tell you that you need to be successful. Or you can adjust your attitude, choose to be grateful for what you’ve got, and get down to being creative.

I recommend the attitude adjustment. It’s more fulfilling… and cheaper.

You can do what you need to do with what you’ve got right now.

Want to get more encouragement like this? Sign up for a free class and receive our homey kitchen letter — kitchen inspiration and laughter once a week!