Food For Thought: Kitchen Chaos Tamed

Jan 18, 2017

A man and woman meet in a bar and get along perfectly — same sense of humor, same favorite authors and movies, food, music; they're a perfect match.  Naturally, they wind up at her place that very night.  There on the living room floor he sees a dead horse.

"My God," he exclaims. "A dead horse!"

"Well," she shrugs, "I never said I was neat."

In this week's episode I share with Nancy Leson my theory that the compulsively neat are inevitably drawn to those who don't even get the concept. Nancy agrees.  Speaking of her husband, Mac, she says. "his sock drawer is perfect and mine is a wreck.  You don't want to go in there; you'll be mortified." 

I did not mention that I organize my sock drawer alphabetically by color.

In our own happy odd couple, I am the neat freak Felix.  My wife, the lovely and talented Cheryl DeGroot, though a woman of countless other virtues, is the Oscar.  

Over the past year, despite my best efforts, she has Fibber McGee'd that cabinet to an OSHA-defying degree.  I mean, who needs 17 different boxes of herbal tea?  In her defense, I will say that she does not smoke cigars.

When I told Nance that I'd recently spent a day dealing with the cupboard issue, it turned out that she'd done something similar.

"I have been promising myself for at least a year that when I had the time I was gonna clean out the hellhole  where I keep my extra kitchen gear."   And she did. 

Photos of our respective projects above. 

Now Nancy and I can both see what we've got and put our hands on it when we need it.  Everything in its place.  It's such a good feeling that I'm fantasizing bringing order to DeGroot's office. 

Anyone know where I can get a good price on a chainsaw and front end loader?

"Neatness makes me feel like I have to be on my best behavior.  Clutter is my natural habitat."

– Maggie Stiefvater