Embrace the way you live

by jenny on 18 July 2012 - 12:43pm

I’m a recovering perfectionist. Ideally, everything would be perfectly clean and put away all the time. But I’d also like to have a life and spend less time on repetitive maintenance tasks. So I’m trying to consciously lower my standards without losing my mind.

Take this, for instance.


Having an Asian husband means rice is cooked in your home (almost) every day whether you think it goes with the meal or not. Whether you eat it or not.

Did you know that the juice from cooked rice has been used as glue for thousands of years? GLUE. No wonder scrubbing rice gunk off of rice cookers is so tedious and time-consuming. So this sight is a common one in our home — rice cooker sitting on the counter waiting to be sprayed down, soak, and get scrubbed of its gunk before being put away.


Except, since it’s used every day, sometimes it gets used a second or third time before finally getting scrubbed and making it into its designated cabinet. Which means by that time it’s been an awful eyesore and taking up precious counterspace for 2-3 days. Not cool.

These little “fights with reality” are the kind of thing that can drive a person to exhaustion. I’ve decided to make peace with my rice cooker. If it’s going to stay dirty for a couple of uses before getting scrubbed, so be it. It doesn’t simultaneously have to be an eyesore and a counterspace hog.


I had some of this ribbed shelf liner left over from a previous project. It’s supposed to “allow air to circulate” under your pristine, just-washed glassware. Whatever. It can also protect my cabinet from rice glue/gunk.


Mera kindly offered to help out and we got down to business.


Yeah, don’t even get me started on the fact that we have no access to that top drawer and only partial use of the cabinet due to poor oven placement. If anyone out there knows how to safely cut away the drywall in order to make more space for the gas line and get our oven seated another couple of inches back, I would LOVE to have a chat. That’s on my mile-long list of projects. ;)

Since I can’t easily access that prime cabinet real estate, I decided to at least make use of the space with our cooler (which doesn’t need to come out very often), along with a few often-used appliances in the front where I can reach them.

Step 1: Clear it out and wipe it down.


Step 2: Add shelf liner.


Step 3: Replace appliances along with dirty rice cooker on specially-designated gunk-proof landing area.


Step 4: Bask in the glory of reclaimed counterspace.