Confession time: I’m a little bit of a shopaholic.
But I’m getting better about it these days. I turned down a beautiful picnic basket I’ve been wanting forever that finally went on clearance for $9 yesterday. I’ve wanted a proper picnic basket- you know, woven, with a lid and handles, and perhaps even straps in the lid or on the inside walls to hold in your plates and silverware and whatnot. It’s likely one of those romantic notions I picked up from my childhood reading, but I want a picnic basket terribly.
My recent bout of cleaning has our lack of storage right at the front of my mind right now, however, and I left that basket on the shelf. I didn’t even do my “Well…I’ll just walk around with it for a bit, and if I still want it before I leave, I’ll get it. If not, it’ll go back where it came from,” because I knew if I picked it up, it WOULD come home. And I’d be left going “Now, where the heck am I going to put this thing?!” and very shortly half out of love with it for its space-hogging. I couldn’t even think of what I could stuff in it to allow it to take up space. Books, really, but then, still, where would I put it? Our under-bed space is even filled.
It reminds me all too well that I have a strange addiction for acquiring pieces for domestic use. Kitchen equipment is one of my major downfalls. Part of it, I’m sure, is excitement from my status as a fledgling cook. I’m certain I can also (much to my dismay!) blame part on my guilty pleasure- homekeeping magazines -and their insidious way of reminding you how much better your kitchen would be if you had this utensil or that cookware, and how much better melon is when cut with its very own watermelon-esque knife.
I want carafes, even though our OJ jug probably fits in the fridge better.
I want a stand mixer (and plan on getting one when we get a house!) even though I don’t have the counter space.
I collect cookbooks like I’ll never find a recipe without them. Including TWO for Chinese food.
I want a tablecloth for a table we’ve only eaten on once. And placements. And napkin rings- and cloth napkins.
I want a nice, metal colander I definitely haven’t the space for.
I want serving platters and bowls, even though we typically dish dinner right out of whatever it’s been cooked in before it’s left the stove, or out of the bag we got from the nice lady at the drive-thru window.
I want a salad serving set, when the only thing close to salad we’ve ever made was the stuff for pitas last week.
I want a whole slew of things that I know I’ll make good use of one day, when we have space for entertaining and people to entertain, and things which I’m fairly certain I’ll use because I have them once I have them.
And most of the time, I do well by reminding myself I’ve got nowhere to put them. But sometimes I bring them home anyway, even sometimes with a good idea of exactly what I’m going to do with them which justifies wiggling things around in order to make it part of the family. The last of these was a heart-shaped cake/brownie pan destined for a heart-shaped cheesecake for the husband. It has been washed, but never used.
Sometimes it’s a case of my wanting to replace the “junk” we purchased to hold us through when we were first settling, like the crappy plastic-ish (rubber? silicone? I have no idea, really) turners and spoons we got at Wal-Mart for like $4 as a set, with more substantial and higher-quality versions. The issue then, besides the money, is that my upbringing and practical bent says ‘Why toss the other one? It may be crappy, but it still works pretty well,” and I end up with more stuff rather than better stuff.
One of my favorite things to do, actually, is just to go wander home goods stores. The discount ones in particular, like HomeGoods, which is owned by the same company that runs Marshall’s and TJ Maxx, which I also wander when I get the chance. I’m not sure what it is that makes a new bread pan so exciting to me. It just is. Hell- tea kettles grab my attention every time, and I own both a traditional and an electric one already!
In fact, yesterday’s various wanderings left me the proud owner of a new instant-read food thermometer, a pizza crisper, a pizza cutter, and a shower curtain. The only thing I actually meant to buy was the thermometer- the shower curtain I’d had my eye on and it happened to go on clearance, and the pizza stuff was Ryan’s idea. But still- snapped it up and didn’t really consider how the hell I was going to stuff it into the cupboards.
Which brings me to something else…why the heck do they have products to organize and help de-clutter your kitchen cupboards that take up more space than they save you? I’ve been looking at lid/cookie sheet organizers, and I just think “Well, sure- it’s going to make it easier for me to pull out the ones I can still fit in there, but I’m going to need to move three pans and my cooling racks to get it in in the first place!”
Someone find me something that can save my cupboards from my addiction and you’ll be my hero forever.