15 August 2010

A Place For Everything

We were so naive. While the house was under construction, we were excited to move into our new home, get unpacked, and be able to keep like things together. For instance, while our kitchen in the condo had a lot of storage space for the tiny kitchen that it was, we had outgrown it, so we kept serving platters and less often used mixer attachments in the built-in cabinet in the living room and cloth napkins upstairs in the linen closet. Not ideal.

Now that we have almost (but not quite) more space than we know what to do with, we've been able to organize everything* in a much more logical manner -- everything for the kitchen in the kitchen, all tools in the storage room in the garage, etc. And that's the problem.

In 1200 square feet (and no garage, no basement, no usable attic), nothing was ever too far away. If we needed a screwdriver, we didn't have to look any farther than the top drawer of the left toolbox in the sunroom ('cause that's where you store all of your tools when you don't have a garage, basement, or attic). As soon as we finished loading our tools into the garage storage room, we realized that, if we were in the back bathroom and wanted to, say, tighten a cabinet knob, we had to walk (or run, in the event of a cabinet knob emergency) through the guest room, down the back hall, across the great room, down the mudroom hall, through the mudroom, out across the garage, and into the storage room. And we'd have to remember to grab the storage room key because, like the door from the garage to the house, we keep it locked.** And then we'd have to hike all the way back to the guest bathroom. And then do it all over again to put it back once we finished using it. So we quickly figured out that, while it's great to be able to keep everything all together, that's not always the most efficient way to organize one's house, and we've started thinking about setting up multiple stations for different things that are needed in more than one place. (Costco started us doing this in the condo with cleaning supplies, as, for example, a four-pack of Clorox wipes was enough to stock the kitchen and three bathrooms.) Now it's much more intentional. We started a set of basic hand tools in one of the mudroom drawers (although my preference would have been the kitchen "junk drawer") and picked up an extra set of our favorite Oxo measuring cups and spoons (it's nice to have an extra anyway for when you measure a tablespoon of oil and then need a tablespoon of sugar). Only time will tell what other second sets we'll identify a need for as we continue to get settled...unless you, dear reader, have any personal experiences or suggestions to share?)

*When I say "everything," I mean "everything that we've unpacked," which is by no means everything. There's still a room full of packed boxes that we're slowly wading through.

**Don't mess with Texas.

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