Our house is spacious and has many closets, cabinets, bookshelves and other storage areas. However, the area my husband and I use most for storage is our kitchen island. In theory, items placed on the island are intended to have only temporary stays there. In reality, many items make the island their permanent home.
At any given time, items like these can be seen scattered across our kitchen island: my purse, two cell phones, a large paper calendar, the day’s mail, a broken refrigerator magnet waiting to be glued back together, two AA batteries, two pairs of sunglasses, an unpaid doctor bill, three library books, two bags of Kraft caramels, and a crazy balloon that I made for the grandkids by blowing up a latex kitchen glove.
These items are on the island because they fall into one of the following categories.
(1) Items that have no assigned home: the broken magnet and the glove-balloon.
(2) Items that need to be quickly accessible and not actually “stored” because they are used often: the phones, the calendar, the sunglasses and the purse.
(3) Items that have assigned homes, but my husband and I are too busy/distracted/lazy to put them there at the moment: the mail, the batteries, the doctor bill, the books, and the caramels.
This island living is driving me crazy. Routinely, questions are shouted from one of us to the other. “Have you seen the car keys, the stapler, my black-beaded necklace, the remote control for the TV in the bedroom, the new ink cartridge for my printer, the electric bill, my sweatshirt, the weed killer?” The answer to all of those queries is always, “Have you looked on the island?”
I see kitchen islands on TV and in magazines that have nothing on them except a bowl of artificial fruit. Why can’t our island look like that?
I have tried unsuccessfully to maintain an uncluttered island. First, I bought two wire baskets and set one on each end of the island, one for Dan’s stuff and the other for my stuff. Within two days, though, those baskets were running over and their contents comingling like the paper clips, rubber bands, and thumbtacks in my office drawer.
Another day I slid all of the items off of the island and into a big cardboard box. I set the box on the washer in the laundry room. Ah, finally a more discreet storage space and a clean island, I thought. My joy was short-lived though when two days later a paperback library book made its way out of the box and into the washer along with a load of dark-colored clothes.
I moved the box to the bed in the guest bedroom (too unhandy), to the top of the refrigerator (too tacky-looking), and to the work table in the garage (completely ridiculous). By this time the question most often heard in our house was, “Where’s the box?”
Yesterday I once again cleared the stuff off the island. I then bought a huge ivy plant and set it in the center of the space, carefully stretching out its tendrils to cover as much of the island top as possible. Will Dan and I continue to stash things there, despite the leafy obstacle? My guess is that we will.
I wonder where I can buy poison ivy.