Do you feel penalized by the dearth of drawers and cupboards in your kitchen? Do you have cookware and crockery squirreled away in little stashes in the laundry room, guest powder room and coat closets simply because you can’t find the space in the room where they belong? This is not an uncommon situation; most often experienced by people who love to cook. Believing somehow they managed to be short-changed in the great kitchen lottery, they spend their unhappy lives perusing kitchen makeover magazines.
Kitchen renos are proven to enhance the quality of life and increase the re-sale value of a home. But, what if you don’t have an extra thirty grand to invest in such a project or worse still, what do you do if you are renting and can’t do any demolition? Our answer, as always, is to take a good look at what is populating those shelves, counters and drawers, and you might find, with a dose of lethal purging, you have all the room you need.
For example, let’s look at one kitchen drawer in particular. You can easily identify it because it will take you a minimum of three to four tugs to wrestle it open. Once opened, you will discover the major source of C.R.U.D. infestation – several years’ accumulation of take-out menus. To be clear, we believe take-out menus fill an important need. People who hate to cook would probably starve without them. Few words in the English language are as seductive as the word “delivery.” And with most working people’s schedules today, having a quick dinner time solution, minus the drudgery of cleaning pots and pans, seems like sort of deliverance in itself.
If you are flabbergasted by the sheer volume of menus in that bulging drawer, you might also dare to get on your bathroom scale to see if there is a correlation. After all, how many come from local pizzerias? Chinese and Mexican take-out foods are high in fat and calories, as well. To understand why so many have come to lodge in your high value kitchen real estate, you need to think about how they arrive. Some are sent as flyers and inserts in local papers, or are hand-delivered to your door. However, their chief mode of entry is when the food is delivered. They always staple a new menu to the paper bag. In typical robot-like fashion, you tear it off and add it to the pile that’s already living in the drawer.
Of all of the things we suggest you do to reduce C.R.U.D. in your home, this is one the easiest. Take them all out of the drawer and sort them by restaurant. You are likely to have many duplicates. Eliminate the older ones and any that have grease or soy sauce stains, keeping only the following:
1. The most recent from each restaurant. It will be the one with the highest prices.
2. Keeping ones from restaurants that are still in business.
3. Keep only the ones that offer a free soda or eggroll with your order.
If you want to engage in really risky behavior, you can recycle the lot. Every menu you will ever need is available on the Internet or as an app on your smart phone.