In this post I’m going to do a little personal venting, and then I’m going to show you the solution to our kitchen trash problem!
Ask anyone who lives with me. I’m a sheer-compulsive-pet-peeved- maniac about certain aspects of our home. The sudden sight of clutter is one. It sends me over the edge. Like a sunny 30 mph Sunday drive, to a buck-60 in a clap of thunder.
I’ve analyzed my seemingly over-reactions enough, to figure some of myself out. The sight of clutter, instantly clutters my mind. An organized mind of thoughts and agendas is something I work very hard at. So I don’t need some tall and disheveled pile of paper to come along, and mess with me. See what I’m sayin’?
Another personal demon I’ve been determined to beat, is the trash. I know where this issue started for me too. I was living at someone else’s house at the time. I was in the kitchen one day, went to throw something away, and the sight of that cover of that plastic rectangle trash can stopped me in my tracks, and grossed me right out. Nasty as all get out. Thank goodness it had one of those levers you could step on to open it, but I found myself holding my breathe even as I did that. Yuckity-doo-da.
I never forgot that. The haunting of it has followed me right into my own home. You may understand the thought process for example, that your own bathroom, for instance, as in need of a cleaning as it may be, never seems quite as dirty as say, a public bathroom. Right? One might apply the same perspective to their trash can covers. In your own home, it may be like, “Oh, that should be wiped down.” In someone else’s home, or worse on the sidewalk in front of the storefronts, it’s more like, “OH. GROSS. I am NOT touching that if I can help it!” Am I right? (O.K….if it’s just me, don’t tell me. Sometimes I like to make believe I am one with the world.)
At any rate (….my mother used to say that phrase ALL Of the time. I don’t get it. But I still say it now.) At any rate, I see the clutter in my home, and the yuckity-doo-da on the trash covers, through the eyes of make-believe unexpected visitors. I really do not want someone to come into my home, and be repulsed. Know what I’m saying? Yes…I COULD go the therapy route. But why not just fix the problem instead, so we ALL can be comfortable?
So…that brings us to our own kitchen trash container. I’m going about my happy day. I go to throw something away, and I see that cover. So here we have already gone from sunny, leisure Sunday drive, to a buck-60 in a clap of thunder. Then I try to put something IN, and the trash-a-plenty keeps it from opening properly. Ggrrrr. Once I do finally get said-trash in, then the cover is stuck open, on some trash. Now I have to touch it a SECOND time.
I’m ready to throw the whole thing off a cliff at this point.
As IF I’m not self-conscious enough, this inevitably also becomes part of that ‘fun and relaxing experience’ I try to give my clients, that I photograph in my studio. We come up from a good time, after an exciting and fun photo shoot in my studio, and we begin to climb the stairs when we are done, with me leading…..and the sun sneaks behind a cloud….
……there it ISSSSSS. The trash. Practically in our faces as we come up the stairs. I notice the sticky spot. I think I might smell something. I keep the conversation going with a little more enthusiasm, as my distraction tactic.
But really. WHO is going to miss that thing?
Oh. And then there is my ‘participating ingredients’ shots I do when I am planning a recipe post for the blog . . . .
I get it all set up. I set my camera. I look through the lens. And it’s not the ingredients I see first. All I see is the FREAKIN’ TRASH IN THE BACKGROUND! Oh my gosh! Somebody move that thing!! The light seems to have disappeared, and I up my ISO.
So I was heck-bent on a solution, for this trash-matter. (Yes, there is such word as heck-bent.) I have spent many a moment, just standing in this room or the other, brainstorming on a solution. And I’ve had a successful brainstorm or two, as a result of my desperation.
As you enter our kitchen from the front of the house, we have these corner shelves. When we first saw this house and bought it, I thought these shelves were as cute as the dickens. Another little unique feature to our first home, to display cute little things. Most recently, I have had these storage baskets on the shelves, because I really needed somewhere to put ‘stuff’. Like extra phone books we might need sometime. I did get past that one, and just throw them out. But then….the cover would get stuck open. : ( Or, the umpteen photo lab invoices I get. Those piles of paper I mentioned before, or questionalbe mail. Etc. It was a great idea for awhile for another place to stick things, until I saw the clutter in the baskets! So I got creative and bought matching table place mats to throw on top. ; ) I was feeling super-clever until one day, my Dad was here, and as he walked by for the 100th time that day he said, “What are these things anyway”. I told him-storage baskets. He said, “OK, but why are those things on top?” So I told him; to cover the clutter of course. But by his, “Oh. O.k.”, and the moment he took to take that in, I got the feeling he thought that was tacky.
Now, I am quite sure my father doesn’t really know ‘tacky‘ when he sees it. So I was concerned. About my basket covers. Not him. Hmmm. We have a problem, Houston.
Once upon a time, I kept a few cook books on these triangle shelves. They were awkward items to keep there. I had a few decorative kitchen items too. All of it could have been cute. If no one (like me) looked closely enough at the dust that collected on the shelves and the things I kept there.
I had better use for that space. I told Michael I had a good idea for the kitchen. He’s all ears now-a-days. He’s come to realize the genius that I am with my ideas. I knew he’d see the light, in time. ; )
1. So Michael ripped out those shelves and supporters, and took some measurements.
2. Then he built a custom-fitting container. That was, of course, after he accepted the fact that he would have to buy larger trash bags from now on, and that would mean fewer in a box also. That took a bit for him to live with in his mind, but he came around again.
3. To finish it, he built a nice door for the cubby. (And now, what I see is that counter-cabinet above it, that I despise. It’s next on my hit-list. But we won’t go there today.)
It’s really nice though. I could look at it all day.You know how you do that, with new things in your home? I might tomorrow, too.
It opens perfectly quietly. And when you throw trash in, you can’t miss, or not be able to close the door again.
The container itself, pulls right out, for easy trash bag changing. There is felt buttons on the bottom, so it just slides in and out softly. The door closes completely silently. There is a spring hinge on it.
The door is built with a wainscot paneling face, framed out, and a brushed nickle knob. The wainscot bead-boarding flows the lower walls of our home in the sun room, flowing right into the main living space under the breakfast bar, and wraps around right into the wall of the kitchen.
YOU can do this too, in any floor level kitchen cabinet, to hide your own trash container! You can build a custom fit trash bin, to maximize your trash cabinet size! Just be sure a trash bag will fit your new container. Or, just stick your current trash container in a cleared out cabinet.
The trash door now also now matches out school room cabinets Michael did. They still need kick-board faces on the bottom.
In time, we’ll be replacing these kitchen cabinet faces with the same doors. They aren’t TOO bad looking. And thank goodness, because who knows if it could be years before they get done. But, they don’t really say ‘farm house’ to me. And remember…I’m pretending I am living on a farm. Minus anything gross.
The best part? No UNSIGHTLY trash can to look at anymore! I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. I ride these joys for weeks on end. And some days, when I need a little pick-me-up to think about how far we have come, I say out loud to no one in particular……”Remember when we had that ugly, nasty-covered trash can in the kitchen, right by the stairs? Man, WHAT were we thinking all of those years. HOW did we even let people come over?“
There is no longer panic coming up those stairs with my clients. My kitchen floor plan is wide-open, and the eye does not stop in some black sticky-topped container. It’s a sunny, leisure Sunday drive. Not a cloud in the sky looking east-ish.
See? I am my own therapist. And all it costs me is a little fluttering of the eye-lashes, and asking Honey, nicely, if he”ll make my new little dream come-true.
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Who wants to come over and throw somethin’ out with me?!