Tag Archives: drawers

The Continuing Kitchen Shelf Saga

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I was going to title this “The Never Ending Kitchen Shelf Saga,” but I’m feeling optimistic today.

I have to say, I like the way the shelves look.

It’s nice to have all of my cookbooks and garden books together, easily accessible and sorted by category. I’ve gotten my jars of beans and grains off the counter and onto the shelves, too. Some baskets hold small books and pamphlets; others keep medicines, vitamins, sunscreen and insect repellants close at hand. A few plants and a couple candles soften the edges.

If I have a superpower, it is the knack for arranging shelves.

If I have a “green Kryptonite”-like weakness, it is the absolute inability to sort. Every aspect of it stymies me…from deciding on categories for dozens of disparate objects to not being able to discount anything as “useless”…which is one reason this project, at times, seems like it will never end.

Fifty years ago, when my sister Brenda and I were – every couple weeks or so – forced to clean our room, this short-coming became evident.

Brenda’s tactic was to sweep everything into one (huge) mound in the middle of the floor. The next step was to yank all of the dirty clothes out of that pile and put them in the baskets downstairs. Next, pick out all the Barbie dolls, their clothing and accessories…put them away. Next, game pieces, puzzle pieces and cards. Continue, until all that was left got swept into the dustpan  and thrown away. She had a plan, and it worked!

I don’t know why it was so disagreeable to me…or why I was so disagreeable about the method.

I remember feeling absolutely appalled at the idea of sweeping everything together, where all of our belongings would mix and mingle. It seemed like we were making an even greater mess. I couldn’t stand it…no matter how many times she proved to me that it worked.

My method, contrarily, was to pick up one random object, look at it, think about it, adjust it if necessary (perhaps the doll should be wearing the blue dress instead of the green?) and finally put it in its place. Which, if the “place”  was not in order, would then lead to another distraction, and another…forever.

I still use the same tactics!

I have four kitchen drawers to clean out and put into use. They have spent the last two or three years lazily picking up bits of flotsam and jetsam that didn’t have a specific place. Now, since I have taken the large 32-drawer cabinet out of the kitchen, I really need that drawer space. Those four drawers have to go back to work!

So, I’ve been emptying and sorting.

I have a pile of dog collars: two that no longer fit Rosa Parks, one that fits her but that she only wears when I walk her on a leash and one that belonged to my old dog, Maggie, who left this world more than three years ago.

I have two mounds of art-related objects. One contains a roll of mounting tape, a package of glazier’s points, a couple screw eyes, a few oil pastels, a handful of paintbrushes and other miscellaneous objects that actually have places in the studio. The other contains bits of foil and papers that I found or saved, to use in collage someday.

Christmas related items: one hand-made ornament that needs to be glued back together, ornament hooks, ribbon and four little packages of tiny replacement bulbs for Christmas lights (though I haven’t decorated for Christmas in years!).

I have quite an accumulation of hooks, from large decorative ones – for coats or robes – to the tiniest cup hooks.

I have an extensive collection of batteries, it seems, plus two flashlights, an alarm clock and a disposable camera.

I have an inordinate amount of pest-related products: simple mouse traps and plug in devises to discourage rodents, several battery-powered devises to keep mosquitoes away and three small bottles of ant killer.

Now, I have four empty drawers, cleaned and paper-lined, ready to be put back into use.

I have all of my collections laid out on the counter, waiting for decisions to be made. What gets moved to a new location? What can be given away? What gets tossed?

I just needed a break, before I got into all of that!

…Finally!

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The cabinet is painted and in the kitchen.

The drawers are – mostly – filled and in the cabinet.

The books are back on the shelves.

The old cabinets and counter have gone to good homes. Image

I celebrated by giving my newly rediscovered floors a good sweep, and inviting a friend over for dinner and a movie.

Dinner was roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, popovers, and raspberry cheesecake. My friend brought wine, and good conversation. The movie was Anne Frank.

A fine finish to a big project!

32 Drawers!

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My boss was clearing out a room last week as part of a major renovation of his veterinary clinic, and wondered – aloud – what to do with a large chest of drawers that had to be moved out. I responded – with, I must say, too much enthusiasm combined with too little forethought – “I’ll take it!!!”

That’s what I’ve been doing. That day, I filled every bit of empty space in my car with more than a dozen wooden drawers.  The next day, I did it again. And yet again yesterday. Thirty-two wooden drawers are now stacked in my laundry room, blocking the doors to two closets and narrowing the passageway to less than 18 inches. I have not yet brought the heavy wooden bureau that holds these drawers home. For one thing, it won’t fit in my car. For another, I need help moving it. Last and most important (and the stuff my nightmares are made of!), it won’t fit in my house!

My best calculations tell me this piece of furniture, fully assembled, is approximately sixty-five inches wide, forty-eight inches high and twenty-five inches deep. It is solid wood. It is heavy. Massive. Too big for my house. It is wonderful!

Every drawer is solid wood, with channels on the sides that fit precisely over lattice strips,  to slide open and closed without the wobble, tilt or lean that many lesser drawers are known for. Four columns of eight drawers each; the bottom row of drawers are nearly nine inches deep, the other all just under five inches deep. The bureau is painted – at this time a mild beige, though I’m thinking bright watermelon red or fire engine red or a very subtle, earthy gray…or black chalkboard paint, that would allow me to make pictures in colored chalks to suit my mood or to  welcome guests or to write the menu or just notes to myself (note the enthusiasm, in the midst of this horror story!) – but the drawers are simply stained. Two drawers have chipped corners; one has a slight water stain in the bottom. Otherwise it is flawless, though huge.

This piece, of course, belongs in the kitchen. Where every salt cellar, cloth napkin and emergency candle will have a home. Where dog food and dog toys can be out of sight but easily accessible. Where crayons and art supplies can wait for my grand-children to visit. Where puzzles and games can be easily found when company comes. Where baskets for correspondence and baskets for bills can be pulled out, dealt with, and tucked back away. Where every single day I will rejoice at having so much drawer-space.

In order to fit it in my small kitchen, however, I have to dismantle my little square, tile topped table and, for now, store it in the attic. I will have to move out two lower cabinets, the counter-top,  two rows of bookshelves that hang above them and two framed photographs and a clock hanging on the wall. Which involves finding – on short notice – new locations for everything that is now housed inside the cabinets (mixing bowls, food processor, measuring cups, colanders…),on the counter-top (at this time, 16 various-sized glass jars with flours, grains and dried beans in them, a cookie jar filled with dog biscuits, a cast-iron piggy bank and a framed photo of my grand-daughter)and on the shelves.

My mind races. Do I re-think the Living Room, now, in order to pull one of those bookshelves out and put in into the kitchen to hold the books and canisters? Should I make this just slightly more complicated than it already is and take this time to re-locate one cabinet and the refrigerator? And how about the new flooring, as long as I’ve got everything torn up?

This may be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done…or one of the smartest. I’ll let you know.