On Organizing a Kitchen

About every six months I take leave of my senses and decide to reorganize my kitchen. I pull everything out of every cupboard so I can see the space it takes up. I play music, open a beer, and get excited about finding a smarter way to store all the things. And 9 hours later none of the things have found a home, and I am crying and drunk in another room because I just can’t face hefting the heavy food processor with its 700 parts into every single cabinet one by one only to find it won’t fit. AGAIN. Blame the beer. Blame my OCD. Blame my total lack of spatial cognizance. Maybe I just didn’t play enough Tetris.

The goal is to reverse the tide of clutter that creeps its way on top of things. Stand mixer on the counter. Cookbooks on the hutch. Case of wine on the table…well, you get the point. Even if some reshuffling is necessary when you need to use something, everything really needs a home inside a cabinet. Unless you live in a magazine your kitchen will never look that attractive with all your stuff just laying around, no matter how artfully. Also here in the real world things that sit out all the time risk getting dusty and if I so much as think about frying an egg a fog of atomized grease rolls over them.

That idiot stand mixer is back in the corner of the counter because it’s too tall and too heavy; either it lives there or gets demoted to a doorstop. Vegetables are exempt as well; I will forget they’re in a cabinet until the potato shoots start popping tiles up. I also have some bags of chips out, partly because it’s nice to have them accessible but mostly because I can’t find anywhere else to put them and believe me, I tried. I’m also banking a little bit on always having at least one dirty pan in the sink. Because if every pan in this house were clean at the same time hell will have frozen totally over and then we will just have to store that last pan in the oven. My food scale, which I use because I still have no earthly clue how much pasta is a serving, is such a strange shape that it had 7 or 8 foster spots before I found it a good home…somewhere. But other than all of that, my counters, table, and hutch are clear.

So now the kitchen is done until the compulsion strikes again in the spring or until I can’t find the salad spinner, whichever comes first. Thanksgiving may be an interesting meal. Here you go everybody, I had to cut the turkey into 9 pieces and roast each one in a menagerie of soup pots and pyrex because a few months ago I found some absolutely brilliant place to store the roasting pan.


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