Pete, the delivery man called. He was on his way to deliver my new stove. I opened the bottom drawer to my old stove and began taking out the contents. I removed the pot and pan lids and piled them on the adjacent counter. There were eight of them. I put the two sauté pans and the two heavy iron skillets next to them. I took out the stack of mixing bowls and placed them on another counter. Last to come out of the drawer were two loaf pans and several round cake and pie pans.
The drawer was empty, and the contents now cluttered my kitchen counters. How did all this stuff fit in that one drawer?
I made a mistake
Pete arrived and began the process by removing my sixteen-year-old white stove with the lopsided coil elements. Then he brought in my shiny new stainless steel stove with the ceramic top. Pete was in and out in fifteen minutes. I was excited!
I opened the stove drawer and saw that the actual drawer was tiny.
What? Wait a minute; I measured the drawer at the store. I selected this brand because the drawer opened easily and because it was deep.
Then I remembered. I had not measured this exact model. I had measured another model that was the same except that it did not have a self-cleaning oven. I chose the model with the self-clean feature because due to a sale it was the same price. I just assumed the drawer would be the same. They looked the same on the outside.
What I did not realize was that my new oven with the Aqua Clean feature – had a depressed area in the bottom to hold water. That depressed area protruded several inches beneath the oven. The result was a shallow stove drawer.
Changes are coming
I was mad. Why hadn’t I measured the drawer in the stove that I purchased? I looked down at the drawer and realized that I was going to have to make some significant changes.
Where was I going to put all this stuff? The skillets wouldn’t even fit in the drawer. I was also mad because I liked the way my kitchen was set up; it worked for me. I did not want to change anything.
I needed a different perspective. What if it were one of my clients who needed help with this problem?
I put on my Professional Organizer hat
The client would call me for a consultation to come in and figure out how to fix this. I put on my Professional Organizer hat. I opened the cabinet door above the stove and began my assessment.
The cabinet above the stove is where we kept five or six boxes of cereal back in the day – when all the kids were home. We’re empty-nesters now. There was one lonely box of Cheerios in that cabinet. That was a change that I had not noticed.
The Professional Organizer’s voice said “Let’s move the oils and vinegars to that cabinet. We will put them on a turntable. There is plenty of room for them and that box of Cheerios.”
The oil and vinegar had been in a container on the lower shelf of the base cabinet to the right of the stove. I opened that door. I could see that moving them would allow space for the mixing bowls, loaf pans, and round cake and pie pans.
The upper shelf in that cabinet held a basket of plastic lids; lids to plastic containers that I hardly ever used. I had this sneaking suspicion that many of those lids were obsolete. I was confident that I could reduce those lids to just a handful, relocate them and free up some more space.
The Professional Organizer’s voice piped in again, “Let’s put a skillet holder on that upper shelf. All four skillets will fit there.”
I opened the base cabinet to the left side of the stove. There was a stack of flat baking pans on the top shelf.
The professional organizer was on a role. The voice said, “Let’s move the baking pans to the stove drawer. They are flat and will fit well in there. We can install a lid organizer on that upper shelf to hold all the pot lids.”
That made perfect sense because my saucepans and stock pots are on the lower shelf in that same cabinet.
I had a plan but I was still feeling angry because I had to do this. One stove drawer that was too small was creating change in four cabinets.
With a plan and a list, it was time to shop
I took my list of needed items and went shopping. I bought the skillet organizer at Lowe’s. While I was there, I meandered through the kitchen appliance department. I spotted a stove that had the perfect stove drawer. It was a brand that I did not care for.
I sighed, knowing “what’s done is done” and that I was not going to exchange my stove.
I stopped at two more stores to complete my list. At home, I set about the work of getting the kitchen organized.
The skillet organizer was about a quarter of an inch too tall to fit on the upper shelf in the right lower cabinet. The center rail from the drawer was causing the problem. I decided to remove the top rack from the skillet organizer. I made a few cuts with my hacksaw; mission accomplished. The skillet organizer held my four skillets.
The pot lid organizer fits snugly on the upper shelf of the left base cabinet. The tight fit was a plus; it prevented slipping when moving the pot lids in and out of the cabinet.
Next, I placed the turntable in the former cereal cabinet and loaded it with the bottles of oil and vinegar. I did have to relocate a large jug of vinegar to the pantry. There was plenty of room for a couple of boxes of cereal too.
I placed a hook inside the door of another cabinet where I store plastic storage containers. I hung a plastic caddy on the door and filled it with the remainder of my lid collection.
I love the increased efficiency in my kitchen. Granted, I still open the stove drawer for a mixing bowl or open the lower cabinet to reach for oil, but that is pure muscle memory. I’m sure that within a few weeks I will stop doing even that.Even good changes can be painful Click To Tweet
I recently read Conquer Change and Win, by Ralph Masengill. Masengill defines change as “Doing something different. All men and women regard all change -both good and bad- with a feeling of loss. That feeling of loss always creates some form of anxiety, anger, or fear.”
Masengill says that even good changes are painful. I’ll have to agree. I did a lot of fretting and fuming because I had to make changes in my kitchen. That was a waste of energy. The changes that I made to the kitchen were for the better.