Living in Ireland: Inside My Kitchen
I find it fascinating to see how people truly live in their homes. If you leave your curtains open at night when I’m driving by – I’m going to look!
I know you guys do that too! Don’t worry. I won’t make you admit it.
If you’re moving to Ireland or if you do that thing you’re not admitting to this post is for you.
If you come here for pretty pictures…uh…you might want to skip this one. I’m flinging open the cupboard doors so you can see inside my kitchen in Ireland. Who knows what might fall out!?
Handy Husband and I have lived in a lot of homes – big and small, new and old. I think we’ve covered all the housing types too: apartment, condo, duplex, single family. This house in Ireland is what I’d call a duplex and was built in the 1960s. I can tell it has had some updates over the years, but I’m not sure how recent.
As we prepped for our move here from the U.S., all the warnings from the relocation people about how small, comparatively speaking, Irish homes are did not phase me too much. I knew I’d need to sell, donate or giveaway a lot of belongings, which I did. Even my grandma’s china found a new home.
Guys. I purged. I really, really purged. I KonMari’d the crud out of my home. I was ruthless. Do I need to mention Grandma’s china again?
Yet, I still had too much stuff. Either that or I had too small of a kitchen. Yeah, that must be it.
Oh, boy. Moving In Day is never pretty.
I’d be lying if I said that photo doesn’t give me all sorts of nervous twitches.
We’ve lived in Ireland for about 18 months and I’m continually tweaking how our home is organized. Last week I was trying a new arrangement for our frying pans because the one I want to use is always on the bottom of the heap. Not only do I have to make dinner, I have to fight with the frying pans too. There’s only so much a girl can take.
Below is how all four of my lower cabinets are looking today. I’m not saying it’s pretty, but it doesn’t give me a panic attack.
We don’t have a shallow drawer for silverware, so I’m using a silverware caddy in a deep drawer. The forks were relegated to the back because of a “stab me once shame on you, stab me 14 times shame on me” situation.
The silverware caddy is not ideal for knives, but the alternative would be a knife block on the counter. Just kidding. That’s not a serious alternative for me. Clear counters are next to godliness or something like that.
I keep sandwich bags in the silverware drawer to streamline the lunch-making process. Doesn’t guarantee the kids will eat their lunch though.
The basket above the toaster holds my bread making supplies. And so far, the new frying pan situation is working out quite well.
Below is what my four upper cabinets look like now.
I feel compelled to explain a couple of weird-ish things. In the upper right hand corner I have a paper bag full of lids for my freezer jam containers. It’s just a way to keep them corralled. In that same cupboard, Handy Husband is experimenting with making his own gin. Should I make a ‘gin is my jam’ joke? Nah. I shouldn’t do that.
The yellow Pyrex bowl and the colander were my grandma’s, so I didn’t get rid of all her stuff. If you look hard, I’m sure you can see my guilt stuffed in there too!
Our refrigerator is small. Not quite dorm-size, but definitely not American-size. That’s what they call refrigerators in Ireland if you have one that is normal for an American kitchen.
Our refrigerator has a cabinet door face, which helps it blend in with the rest of the kitchen. Below the refrigerator is a pull-out drawer where I keep cereal and snacks. Above the refrigerator is a small cabinet where I keep flour, oil and jam containers.
On the sink wall is my washing machine and dishwasher.
I used the dishwasher once, but it made me mad, so I haven’t used it for dishwashing since. Why did it make me mad? Well, it’s so small that I’d probably have to run it at least twice a day. That’s just ridiculous for our family of four.
I decided the dishwasher was prime real estate and could be better utilized as storage. It now holds pop, beer, tonic and water. I’ve got some funnels in there and a few random spices too.
I thought washing the dishes by hand would annoy me, but it doesn’t. I got used to it while living in our temporary Irish housing. It’s also been a good opportunity to teach my kids that all-important life skill of how to wash dishes.
In other news, I can’t promise we have clean dishes.
As a total random aside, I figured out recently that I can hang my flip flops by a magnet on the side of the dishwasher and then they aren’t always in the way. It’s not my prettiest solution, but it does work.
Let’s move on because sharing all of these pictures is a little nerve-wracking and I really want to straighten those Tupperware lids. However, if you’re moving to Ireland, I wanted to give you a snapshot of real-life, not staged-for-a-blog life.
What else can I tell you?
- It took me a stupid amount of time to realize I had to pull my vent hood OUT in order to make it work. I also had to read the manual that came with my cooker (aka: stove) because the symbols for bake and broil are different.
- Having a washing machine in my kitchen makes me scarily efficient at laundry. Dirty underwear piled up where you cook dinner is just not cool.
- I don’t keep a ton of cleaning supplies any longer because I don’t have space. I have garbage bags and laundry detergent under this sink. Upstairs in the bathroom I have one all-purpose cleaner I use for everything. I also use vinegar for cleaning.
- This console table (see below) on the wall opposite the sink holds the microwave that came with the house, large cooking utensils that don’t fit upright in my ‘silverware drawer’ and extra dishes. I keep a cabinet that stores lesser used spices, aluminum foil, paper plates, etc. in the dining room.
You may have noticed I don’t have many small kitchen appliances. We didn’t bring any with us when we moved to Ireland because the outlets are different.
I purchased what I considered were the absolute necessities, a toaster and an electric kettle, the day we moved in from a store called Argos. I figured I’d make do without the rest for a week or two. Well, that turned into 18 months. It turns out you can make most everything – except smoothies – by hand.
Is this my ideal kitchen? Nope.
Have I made this kitchen in Ireland work for us? Yes.
On a list of priorities when you move to Ireland, an ideal kitchen is WAY down the list. It might not even be on the list. Finding housing in Dublin is very hard due to supply constraints and cost. After hearing a lot of nightmare stories, I’m ridiculously thankful and happy that we lucked out with amazing landlords, a safe neighborhood and friendly neighbors. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the best part about living in Ireland is the Irish people.
If you want to know more about living in Ireland, check out these posts:
Living in Ireland: Christmas in Retail 2017
Living in Ireland: Storm Ophelia
Living in Ireland: That Time a Tree Came Down
Living in Ireland: Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Living in Ireland: Back After A Month in the United States
Living in Ireland: As Seen On My Commute
Living in Ireland: A Trip to the Hardware Store
Living in Ireland: Spring Flowers In Our Yard
Living in Ireland: Grocery Shopping
Living in Ireland: What to See my Hot Press?
Living in Ireland: Merry Christmas 2016
Living in Ireland: Christmas in Retail
Moving to Ireland: Grocery Item Look Alikes
Moving to Ireland: Primary School 101
Moving to Ireland: First Week of School
Moving to Ireland: The Great Purge
Moving to Ireland: Human Kindness is Overflowing
Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #1
Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #2
Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #3
Moving to Ireland: Temp House First Floor
Moving to Ireland: Temp House Second Floor
Thinking about visiting Ireland? Read on!
The Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands with Kids
Our Favorite Irish Castle Tour with Kids