Clutter Catcher?

Clutter Catcher?

Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

Have you ever wondered - what is the real purpose of the kitchen’s center island? Ponder this question no more, Dear Readers, as I think I have found the answer. It is a place to collect, stack, put and place things. It is a trap for all items unrelated to cooking. Handy to have, stylish to look at, expensive to build and a must-have for all gourmet chefs. Could these center islands be the root of all evil?

Perhaps I am overreacting a bit, because I know if my husband, Doug, has his way (which he usually does), the center island in our kitchen becomes his own private workstation. Objects that suspiciously look like tools and medical devices have made their way into my cooking space. This very vital cook-center has become a “man-center!”

I have seen those magazines showing gourmet kitchens that have exquisite natural stone or quartz surfaces adorned with a few strategically placed pieces of museum quality pottery. Fresh cut flowers stand in an elegant vase, with an open French cookbook, while something exotic is being prepared. A bottle of fine wine opened and half-empty standing next to the cook’s wineglass are about the only objects that can be seen on these elegant countertops. Am I to believe that this could be my kitchen? Or is this an impossible standard, out of reach for most, but highly desirable to all.

A man emailed me to say that his wife was so stressed before Christmas that she grabbed a stack of bills that were on the center island, putting them into box. But then couldn’t remember where she placed the box. Evidently, she wrapped it up like a gift and inadvertently sent it to her mother-in-law. This might be a brilliant way to rid ourselves of some clutter. Wrap it and pack it up, then send it off to someone very special.

Oh, getting back to my world, or clutter, I have looked beyond my kitchen counter and have discovered my “problem” goes a little deeper than on the surface. My husband’s tools have invaded my space! Hey, what am I to do with a pair of hemostats in my silverware drawer? And how is it that my good knives end up on his workbench in the garage? A woman emailed me to say that she found her husband’s electric drill “menacing” her pantry, with “drill bits lined up in a neat little row as if they had found a new resting place.”

Hmm . . . sounds like a space war to me. Perhaps we can face our demons together. Clean out those junk drawers. Find the surface of your center island and on it place a vase of fresh flowers. Keep the garage and kitchen stuff separate. Box, wrap and send junk mail, bills and clutter to your mother-in-law (or a special friend).

Throw out things you don’t need and if none of this works, give me a call. I have a great recipe for margaritas. What does this have to do with getting organized? I’m not sure, but it could only help.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Contact Judy at [email protected]or visit

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