6.27.2006

Don't fence me in

You'd think that after having all our shit piled in unseemly humps around our dining room, and shoved in dark corners of random cupboards for 2 months, and after 2.5 YEARS of having less than satisfactory storage where there was an 83.72% chance of opening a cabinet and having something fall on you cracking your skull and causing either permanent brain damage (34.9%) or just really severe headache, putting our dishes away (new dishes! bought at an obscene deal over 2 months ago!) in our new (spacious, dreamy) cabinets would be accomplished post haste and bring with it unparalleled pleasure.

(now how's THAT for an opening sentence?)

Instead we have put away approximately 2 plates 1 mug and 1 bowl. And the cold cereals. Because everyone knows that all cold cereals get stored in the cabinet above the fridge. But other than that... nothing. I just stare into the cavernous depths and hear the echo of my breathing and am PARALYZED by the emptiness.

Let's see... where should the mixing bowls go? Here? or... maybe over the sink?... or how about here over the stove?... or WHAT IF I PUT THEM IN THE WRONG SPOT AND THEY STAY THERE FOREVER FROM THE FORCE OF HABIT BUT REALLY ITS THE WRONG SPOT AND OUR LIVES ARE UTTERLY AND FOREVER RUINED AND WE MAY AS WELL NOT HAVE SPENT THE TIME AND MONEY MAKING OUR KITCHEN BETTER BECAUSE NOW I'VE GONE AND DONE IT!

And I haven't even TRIED to figure out where to put the measuring cups, or the cheese grater, or the George Forman Lean Mean Grilling Machine or the industrial sized bottle of olive oil. And, if you want to know the truth, the mug and bowl are on probation in their current spots -- trying them on as it were -- and the plates only got put away because we bought a plate rack. I mean, WHERE ELSE ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO GO? It would be silly to make a fuss over getting a plate rack to display our new super-dealio plates only to put them somewhere else. Though that rack might make a great filing system for our bills...

And then there's this huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge expanse of countertop. And I want to put our canisters on there. The canisters holding pasta and beans and other staple-type things. Because we invested in these canisters when we had the open shelving before and now it just seems that the countertop's the best place for them. But Kristin believes that a big open expanse of countertop should remain pristine. Like a stretch of cryptobiotic soil. Or that field where the Indian cried in that old commercial. She thinks my beautiful canisters are equivalent to the dreaded "clutter". I say -- "hey, it's a countertop, they're canisters. You EXPECT to see canisters on countertops. Where are we supposed to put them, in a CABINET? Ok, fine. You think they should go in a cabinet? Then YOU figure out which one." And then we sit and stare at the cabinets again -- sucked in by their deep gravity wells while I mutter that if we could put them on the countertop they'd already be put away. And isn't that the maxim for our kitchen? Efficiency?

At this rate it'll take us longer to move into the new kitchen as it's taking us to build it.

And I just re-read this and I realize that I have a huge assumption here. What if EVERYONE doesn't know that all cold cereals are stored in the cabinet above the fridge? What if we're only storing them there out of habit and it'd be more efficient to store them elsewhere? CRAP. Now I've only got 2 plates maybe put away. Thanks a lot, a lotta help you are. Sheesh.

Posted by Trista @ 1:20 PM

Read or Post a Comment

our cereal makes it to on-top of the fridge, but Lauri can barely reach it there; there's no way that she'd let it be stored in the cabinet over the fridge!

Posted by Anonymous benji @ 2:38 PM #
 

In the homes that I have had, the cabinets above the fridge get the rarely used kitchen items, such as serving platters, gallon pitchers, party napkins, plastic flatware. Then a lock-box with non-daily medications and ointments, goes in towards the front. (Daily use medications are stored high up in the bathroom--we had a near disaster with a child finding some "blue M&M's", so now ALL medication gets locked up) There is usually space then at the top of the fridge for the cereal.
~~However~~ I grew up with scooting a chair over to the fridge and getting the cereal in the cupboard.

I go through the same dilemma when I move to a new place and "should I conserve space and try to put ALL utensils and flatware in one drawer, or will it drive me insane with clutter and just waste the extra drawer on cooking utensils?"

Good luck, and may the space be with you!

Posted by Blogger Lizzardbits @ 3:27 PM #
 

Great writing, Trista. Glad to have found your blog. Looking forward to visiting your others.

Jo Anna

Posted by Blogger saia and chago @ 3:46 PM #
 

weird. I keep cold cereal in the pantry (or, um, the laundry room with shelves in it)
I am of the "counters must be kept empty" school & it drove my Mom crazy. We never found a middle ground. Well I yielded a bit when the giant coffee pot had to go on the counter - she then insisted that the pasta could go there to.
of course now that she is in Florida you KNOW that pasta is put away.
as in not on the counter.
:)

Posted by Blogger Calliope @ 4:19 PM #
 

So glad to hear I'm not the only one who contemplates for hours about organizing her cabinets! Best of luck in your looming endeavor.

Perhaps I'll have to ask your assistance when we finally buy a house and move all of our boxes out of storage. It might save me a couple of days of contemplating. ;)

Posted by Blogger Mandy @ 9:53 PM #
 

I think it is also sometimes a reluctance to finish something that has been a part of you life so a long time. Like the mess is more comfortable. And no, I cannot relate to that at all.

Posted by Blogger charlotte @ 10:30 PM #
 

Our cereal goes in the pantry. Mostly because I'm short and wouldn't be able to reach on top of/behind the fridge.

Maybe...wait a week and then deal with big things like where stuff goes. Let the cabinets sink in. It'll come to you when you go reach for a glass, and go to the cabinet they're supposed to be in.

Damn, did that sound hippy/new agey cheesy. HAHA.

Posted by Blogger J @ 7:11 AM #
 

The rules (in my world):

1. Cereal and other staples must be easily accessible.
2. Glasses and mugs should be near the sink and/or the fridge.
3. Plates and bowls should be near the stove.
4. Canisters and pasta jars double as decorative items and useful objects; thus, they should be kept on the countertop. Ditto for fancy coffeepots and espresso machines (and perhaps even KitchenAid mixers if you are lucky enough to have one).

I have NO IDEA what's in the cabinet over my fridge. I can't get to it for the snack bin and storage baskets on TOP of the fridge!

Posted by Blogger hd @ 8:21 AM #
 

I guess I should clarify since I didn't post pictures. The cabinet over the fridge is IMMEDIATELY over the fridge. There's space for maybe a finger to slip betwix the cabinet and the top of the fridge. And it comes out clear to the edge of the fridge, too. Kristin claims that she can reach the front of that cabinet, but we'll have to put stuff we never use in the back of it.

J, I totally did your trick last night. Yeah, it's hippy as all get out. But I was making dinner and I needed some olive oil, and I just automatically reached in the cupboard above the stove for the oil. Of course nothing was in there. But I thought, Ah HA! THIS is where the oil should go. And then I informed Kristin that I had put the oil away and she gave me a look like I was on acid and said, "I'll never be able to reach into that cupboard to get the oil, it is NOT going there." Which is too bad, really, since it's the most perfect place for the oil.

I guess we'll just keep thinking about it...

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 8:39 AM #
 

We're too short to store cold cereal over the fridge. The only stuff that gets stored there is the stuff we never use but can't seem to throw away.

Posted by Anonymous Liza @ 12:46 PM #
 

Every time we move, I hate trying to figure out the kitchen stuff. I think you got the cereal in the right place. Also I think cooking stuff like oils, spices, sugars and flours should go above the stove. For convenience sake, make sure to put dishes and utensils surrounding the dishwasher so they are easy to put away. If you guys need a 3rd opinion, let us know. You know how we are with organizing. We still need to come see the kitchen.

Posted by Blogger Merr @ 1:31 PM #
 

If you ever fantasize about savoring a delicious extra hour of lolling in bed, then, some day, when Jacob is a few years older, you might find yourselves deciding to move the cereal boxes to a lower cupboard.

How about buying a handsome, small olive oil dispenser to go with the canistered pasta, and the commercial kitchen-sized bottle can go above the fridge with other stockpiled items you tend to buy in bulk?

It sounds as if you have a counter-depth fridge? Oooooh, I'm so envious!

Posted by Blogger zilla @ 1:27 PM #
 

Excuse me. Julia, not Jacob. Why did I think you have a Jacob?

Posted by Blogger zilla @ 1:28 PM #
 
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