What is That?

We are involved in, I guess you could call, a full home interior transformation. This is the cabin I’ve been talking about. We paint the rooms, hang the art, move furniture around, beautifully arrange pillows and blankets, and a million other things and among those things are cleaning which includes cleaning of the fridge and freezer.

I will say at this point that I did in no way possess the courage to dive into that freezer to clean it that Melanie had and I strongly advised the use of a hazmat suit before opening the door. What was noticeable to me when we first opened the freezer door was the black whatever it was stuff that was kind of caked onto the bottom shelf.

Mickey Mantle was playing center field for the Yankees the last time this thing had been cleaned. It wasn’t a matter of merely removing stuff, cleaning the freezer and putting stuff back. It was more like “What is that?” as we stared at a freezer bag with an unidentifiable food like substance inside and wondered what it used to be. Walter White’s chemistry class would have a field day with all the science projects going on in there.

But Melanie persisted, as she always does, and got that freezer organized to the highest possible level of cleanliness and functionality. It was truly a work of art. Beyond that, I’d say organizing all the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen may have required a bit of courage too and again, Melanie’s, not mine. Every home has a junk drawer and it’s usually in the kitchen. If your home doesn’t have one or you don’t know what it is, it might be worth looking into a bit of a more chilled environment. Everyone needs a small space they don’t care about and a junk drawer fills that need. Just shove that shit in there and close the drawer.

The contents of junk drawers range from loose change to screwdrivers to matches to a paper pad and pencils, all with their tips broken off and the reason all that stuff is in there is because you either are too lazy to put it where it belongs or too lazy to find it a home. There are really no rules or limits to what a junk drawer should contain, but if you happen to find a chlorine tablet for the pool or a pair of underwear in there, you really need to cut it back a bit.

The problem here was that every drawer was a junk drawer and every cabinet was a junk cabinet and it was the same type of “What is that?” whenever another cabinet door or drawer was opened. But as with the freezer, Melanie nailed it. She is the Creative Director of this operation and sees things through an entirely different lens than most and the outcome is spectacular. And she happens to love to clean but this one was pushing even her limits.

I am, happily, the laborer in this operation, with creative input. Give me a brush and I’ll paint every room in your house. Give me some lumber and I’ll build you a wall unit. Give me a nail and I’ll put it exactly where you want that picture placed. Ask me where it’s best to hang the picture and I’ll give you my opinion but in the end, it’s your call as Creative Director and I’ll move that picture ¼” down if that’s what your eyes see. I love to see the excitement in your eyes when it’s just right.

Of course, there are different levels of excitement. There’s “Holy Shit, Oh My God, I can’t fucking believe how amazing this looks!!!” and then there’s “It’s looks really nice.” So I’m thinking if I worked really hard to make a space look amazingly special, am very excited to show him and he says “It looks really nice.” I would absolutely need to punch him in the face.

When all is said and done, it’s an extremely satisfying mix between “a place for everything and everything in its place” and a space that could be described as very relaxed, curated clutter.  And that is what my Creative Director does best.

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