Hey there! I'm Vivian. Sometimes I write about life and sometimes I write about teaching.

This weekend I finally gave in to peer pressure and bought…an air fryer. Soooo 2020, I know. But I couldn’t imagine adding another thing to my kitchen then. After all, I did buy an Instant Pot and that thing is not small. After months of feeling uninspired to cook anything and numerous friends telling me how much they loved their air fryer, TikTok finally made me do it. So many fun recipes on that site! Once I brought my new toy home, I immediately found some things to “fry” up from the freezer, including a bag of french fries. It definitely sparked JOY! Of course, once it was time to put it away, reality hit –I had no place to put this appliance.

“Well, if we put this basket somewhere else, we can put it right here,” my husband offered. It was a good idea, but now I had no place for this basket of bags. (I’ve upgraded from a bag of bags. IYKYK.) Everytime I found a place for one thing, another item lost its home. Soon I found things in the cabinets that really needed a new home, like not in ours. Before I knew it, I was Marie Kondo-ing my whole kitchen! Pots, pans, glasses, cans of food, and everything else ended up on the counters. If it didn’t spark joy, it was out.

But it didn’t end there. Once I was free of the stuff that didn’t spark joy, I realized that the way things were stored really didn’t make good sense. Why did we have a bottle of tequila hanging out with the cereal boxes? Rolling drawers were purchased, storage boxes repurposed, and all our stuff found its way into new zones. It wasn’t the relaxing long weekend I envisioned, but I can now have crispy french fries with a push of a few buttons.



  1. Alice says:

    Ah, the joys of owning an air fryer, and that’s without cooking anything! My husband bought one over a year ago. I stored marshmallows in the drawer/basket, you know, to hide them from the kids. When my husband pre-heated the air fryer for a batch of chicken wings, yup, we got air fried marshmallows first. Face plant.

    • vivian chen says:

      Oh my goodness Alice! That is hilarious and something I can totally picture happening to my husband and me. 😂 Also reminds me of my childhood when my mom would store extra dishes in the dishwasher.

  2. onathought says:

    Nothing like some spontaneous organizing! I love it – I have been having bursts of that as well … no air fryer though … even though my kids really want one … I guess I should start cleaning out my cabinets now!

  3. arjeha says:

    It is amazing how one thing leads to another which leads to another… I bought an air fryer over a year ago and have not yet been brave enough to try it. Maybe if I brought it up from the shelf in the basement I might get inspired.

  4. Lainie Levin says:

    “Why did we have a bottle of tequila hanging out with the cereal boxes?” Depends on the day, my friend, depends on the day. ; )

    I was late to the air fryer party as well, and I confess that we don’t use it as often as we could. Maybe it’s time to branch out. Our two big things are french fries and tofu. Here’s hoping you find lots more fun uses than I do!

  5. Not going to lie, my wife got one of those for Christmas, and it does amazing fries! But better than that, we grow our own potatoes, so cutting them up, tossing them in olive oil, some Lowerys (or your favorite spices), and cooking for 15 – 20 minutes and 370 gives your the BEST homemade fries. We do our own egg rolls as well, and those are amazing in the air fryer. Our one fail, a cauliflower pizza crust. Never again!

    Next, pork chops!

    Don’t get me started on Marie Freakin’ Kondo. My wife gets going and I look around: Damn, where’s my stuff?? 🙂

  6. I love your writing, this is so funny. Mostly i use my airfryer (that takes up the space of my coffee pot which got moved to the laundry countertop) reheat fish, fries… etc. I’ve experienced the same and finally began cleaning out one cabinet at a time. It feels great when I drop off slightly used items at the rescue mission.

  7. cmargocs says:

    I feel the pain of having no room, living in a 1970s home. I have the Instant Pot that is stored in the laundry room, and a slow cooker that is taking up valuable real estate on the counter. As luck would have it, our oven/ stove broke down right before the holidays–and we got a new range/ oven that has a BUILT-IN air fryer! Yay!

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