Can you remember the day you finally parted company with your old kitchen appliances? Whether the occasion was precipitated by a move, renovation or they simply up and died, the sense of release is rarely paralleled in modern life. We imagine you have no regrets replacing a freezer that required a combo of scalding water and a hair dryer to defrost, or a refrigerator that kept you awake with the thrum of its over-burdened motor that sounded like an insect hive. Nor do you miss the stove that required you to light the pilot light every time you needed to boil an egg. Neither would you pine for an oven, so encrusted with burned entrees, which no amount of steel wool could erase. Suffice it to say, no tears were shed when the old, leaking dishwasher took its leave.
We often return to the kitchen in our C.R.U.D. (Completely Ridiculous Useless Debris) blog for one very good reason; kitchens act as both storage and work spaces. New items, mostly in the food or paper goods categories, are introduced to the kitchen on an almost daily basis, so you have be extra diligent to maintain functionality. The storage space is always expanding and contracting, depending on the number of meals being cooked and the number of trips being made to buy groceries. Keeping a kitchen functional definitely qualifies as a balancing act, between the semi-permanent inhabitants and the consumable ones. It seems our clients are always fighting for every inch of space they can muster. This translates to no room for the non-essentials.
Nevertheless, when we haul everything out of the cupboards and drawers, we tend to find the remnants of appliances past. The fridge may be rusting away in a municipal landfill, but the old crisper drawer, plastic ice cube trays and shelves you removed so you could store an 18-pound turkey overnight are inexplicably buried in a cabinet you would need to hire a crane to reach. Your new stove may have a ceramic cook top, so why are you still hanging on to a set of burner covers with sunflower designs? For that matter, what are those extra wire racks and broiler pans doing wedged between the fridge and the counter? They certainly don’t belong to your new sleek, state-of-the art built- in convection oven. You swapped the old microwave that hogged all the counter space for an under-the-counter model five years ago. You really don’t need the oversized tempered glass carousel tray, which should have left with it. In other words, when you unloaded the big-ticket items, you neglected to finish the job.
We don’t make this stuff up. Many of these leftover items are really still in there, if not relegated to the basement. They are parts and accessories designed for a specific use for a specific model, and won’t work as spares, with the possible exception of the broiler pans. When you decide to take these neglected pieces to recycling, use the opportunity to dig a little deeper into your collection. Here is what you may encounter – glass carafes from bygone coffee makers, blades from absent hand mixers and food processors, a plastic utensil basket from the decrepit ex-dishwasher and the cord that belonged to the electric kettle you donated to a church bazaar years ago.