Have you been in a new apartment or home lately? Did you happen to notice the height of the ceilings? No one seems willing to settle for a mere eight feet anymore. These dwellings boast nine or ten feet as the norm. High ceilings definitely have their advantages. They tend to make small rooms appear more spacious. Tall walls extend the vertical room for hanging paintings and photographs. The extra foot or two of altitude affords the resident additional shelving in closets and even roomier cupboards in the kitchen. Unfortunately, the only people that can even reach the upper regions of those cabinets are either NBA stars or descendents of Vikings.
Still, people have to work with the storage hands they are dealt. When it comes to finding homes for kitchen equipment, space is at a premium. Being vertically challenged, we sympathize with our clients who have no choice but to place small appliances and serving ware in cupboards with high altitude shelves that seem to border on the doorstep of outer space. Every time they need to take something down, they run the risk of injury from a fall from a stepladder. In our estimation, it is a case of poor design that contributes to the growth of C.R.U.D. (Completely Ridiculous Useless Debris) of a different sort. The contents resting on these penthouse shelves may be useful, but their location isolates them. They fade from view and ultimately consciousness, joining the ranks of “orphaned” C.R.U.D. Food in these high places goes uneaten and spoils. These are few examples of what we have recently discovered in those shelves at high elevations: expired supplements, Britta pitchers, food processor attachments, straws, electric can openers, sherry glasses, popcorn makers and zillions of ice cube trays.
Orphaned C.R.U.D. is quite common. It is not solely the preserve of high cupboards either. Piling presents another source. Whatever gets buried on the bottom, out of sight, can remain there unnoticed for decades. Stuff that is trapped in opaque bags or unlabelled suffers the same fate. When we work with clients to organize, accessibility is key component. If things are too hard to get to, they fall into disuse. If forgotten, they are sometimes needlessly replaced, often at great expense. Literally years can go by before anyone even checks to see what is there.
You will not be getting any taller, unless you are still in your teens. Our answer is to downsize. Climb up there one more time and decide if the majority of the occupants are worth saving. Keep only what you can see and touch without risking a 911 call and a hip replacement. This may mean sacrificing or finding another more suitable location for some non-essentials in another part of the house. Designate a day to visit your more remote storage areas. It is worth the effort.