Native Writes: Organizing by the book


Sometimes it’s best to remain ignorant.

Among the many things I have read recently is a book on organizing for a beautiful home.

It’s possible, I assume, if one has ample storage space and cabinets deep enough to accommodate very wide devices to stand dinner plates on their sides, grouped by design.

I decided to try. Years ago, I bought some unassembled storage racks, so I put one together and began organizing my tableware. By design.

Two Melmac plates left over from when my sons were small. Check.

A miscellaneous plate with a fruit design. Set aside and try to remember who brought it, if anyone did.

Eight big, heavy plates with a moose design. The wooden rack, overwhelmed, tossed the older ones aside.

No way. I use them.

The rack was taken apart, to be repurposed later.

Onward and upward.

At one point, I collected coffee mugs and had the presence of mind to purchase a rack that doubled my space for them. It’s amazing how many places give away printed mugs during grand openings.

The article suggested weeding through cabinet contents and getting rid of them. No! I may eventually host a 100-person coffee party.  With my amazing luck, one of my easily offended friends might grab the mug outlining the life of a condom.

Okay. I put that one aside to donate to charity. It didn’t stay. It even offended me because one of the grand kids might find it. I remembered that it was a gift from a retired Navy captain in Summit County who still referred to his pants as dungarees.

It ended up with some “gimme” cups in a plastic storage container, headed for the garage.

Cream and sugar containers, stored with them, did not share any design. They went into the box designated as “give to St. Vinnie’s” and were joined there by three little saucers from a long-gone café, a scorched cup once part of the camping gear, and lids to missing Tupperware.

I believe there’s a place in space occupied with single socks and Tupperware.

Everything was out of the cupboard and I began to read farther in the tips book.

“Wash the shelves with warm, soapy water; dry and install new liner.”

They weren’t lined to begin with, except the cabinet for glassware which, I was advised, to wash in hot, soapy, water, rinse once, then rinse in vinegar. Wipe dry.

A roll of woven plastic yielded a new liner and the glasses were returned to their “home.”

The shelf above yielded some fake stone salsa dishes, a Dumbo milk pitcher and a couple of beer mugs.

I don’t put much on upper shelves because when God was passing out legs, I hid. He gave me some left-overs from when he was building the Seven Dwarves. They were a couple of inches too long.

I wore high heels until the day came when I sprained an ankle. There is a karmic reason my parents didn’t name me Grace. They named me Sylvia, a forest dweller. I couldn’t break or sprain anything there.

They brought me home from the hospital and enjoyed me until the day each of them died.

I did inherit my mom’s kitchen organizing, however. After she passed away, I found some 20 fast food baskets tucked in the rear of the top pantry shelf.

Truthfully, I don’t believe she ever served any food in them and she had to climb to put them on the shelf. She was five-foot even at her tallest.

I had to use a small step stool to take dishes off the top shelves. I know I put them there, but I don’t know why.

Optimally, one should have five to 10 kitchen tools.

I have about 50. They won’t go into the give-away box. I may need them some day.

I’m waiting for one of my sons to visit and open the cabinet doors.

“How come you cleaned?”

“The book you gave me told me how.”

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