November 18, 2017

Your Kitchen

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Please go to your kitchen, stand in the center, and ask yourself a question:

What simple changes would make this area more enjoyable for myself and others?

Keep your response simple, meaning that the changes you identify are nothing as expensive or labor-intensive as new counters, flooring, paint, or appliances. Open the cabinets. Look into drawers. Evaluate your workstations. Improvements will quickly come to mind, such as: Clean the drawer. Organize the cabinet. Put away, replace or toss such-and-such. Form your to-do list, but set aside any urge to act on it (you have enough to do).

As you do the task above, think about universal design in your kitchen. How accessible are the things you use most? What is difficult to do that might be made easier? Are there any accidents waiting to happen? How might lighting be better? Is there anyone who can’t use parts of the kitchen? You’ll probably have an insight or an “aha;” perhaps something that has been on your mind was confirmed or maybe you considered a new viewpoint. Next, pause and ponder one possible change that you feel inspired to make. Can you do it today? If not, pull out a calendar and schedule it. If something needs to be bought, jot it down on your shopping list. If something needs to be discussed with your spouse or a professional, start a kitchen journal where you keep track of the topics of conversation. Refer to the elements of a universal design kitchen not just for this one action but for any changes you intend to make in your kitchen, big or small.

As your kitchen takes its steps toward being a better work environment, share your success with others. Go through other rooms in your home. Just look for the simple improvements, just pick one change, just do it … and then enjoy it!

Konrad Kaletsch
Universal Design Resource
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