A place for every pot and every pot in its place

jenathegreatSeptember 18, 2006

Hello - I wanted to share my idea and ask if anyone has suggestions for improvement.

I do 95% of the cooking, but DH does 95% of putting away the clean dishes. I really like to have the pans be where I expect them to be when I'm in the middle of cooking, but DH can *never* remember where they go (and he even admits it). Now he knows that the pots and pans are in the cabinets under the stove, but not what goes in which cabinet. Also, it's a pretty small space, so there's a limited number of ways that things can fit in there without much nesting.

So this weekend I arranged the pots and pans again, then took a permanent market and wrote on the shelf liner under each item. So now if I took out the pots, you'd see "skillet", "stockpot", "large saucepan", etc. (I also asked him what each pot was called so we know we're talking about the same thing!)

We haven't tested the system yet, but I'm very hopeful!

If you aren't always the one putting things away - How do you make sure things get where they belong?

- Jena

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DH empties the dishwasher and leaves (very few) things on the counter if he doesn't know where they go. Saves a lot of frustration on my part if I can't find something when I need it since I do 99% of the cooking.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 1:59PM
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DH can't remember where anything goes either, even w/ general directions ("utensils that you would never put on the table--measuring spoons, spatulas--go in this drawers; utensils you WOULD put on table--good flatware--go here")

I like your idea of labeling the spot--it will keep people from putting the wrong thing there--hopefully.

I've heard that the P-touch TZ labels will withstand baking heat in the oven--prob. not stovetop, though. Maybe you could label handles if he can't keep it straight.

You might also take a picture of the shelf when it's fully & properly loaded, and tape it somewhere easily visible-inside of door, back of cabinet.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 5:18PM
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Oh, this one gets my knickers in a twist real quick. I don't buy that they can't remember. They just don't want to bother to remember. Someone that can point out the make and model of every vehicle on the street, remember every button on the remote and where every book is in his library can certainly remember where the d*** pots and pans go. As well as the knives, measuring spoons, etc.

So we just had a few come to Jesus meetings. I told him that cooking is a job for me. If I went in and rearranged his paperclips he'd get totally bent out of shape. If I put his clothing wherever it happened to suit me, he'd get bent out of shape. If I put the checkbook in any cubbie I wanted, he'd get bent out of shape. I certainly remember where the tools go, even though he picked what went where.

It's like I'm suppose to be grateful he even put anything away and I'm not going with that. I gave him a few choices. He could either learn to cook something edible (which he can't, he's a totally gross cook) and do the 99% of the cooking like I do, or he can learn to put the stuff away correctly or he can just stay the heck out of the kitchen since all he is doing is making my life harder!

Are these the same brain cells which think the uterus is a homing device for everything they can't find?

Gloria (so far he's been staying out of the kitchen. suits me.)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 6:17PM
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Gloria - ROTFLMAO!!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 8:58AM
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LOL! Oh Gloria, I wish I could say he's doing it on purpose, but bless his soul, I think it's honest. He couldn't ID a car make and model to save his life. He has no idea where his books are. He is a model of dis-organization.

A couple months ago we spent one afternoon organizing his tools, putting things away where he thought they should go and labelling everything. Last weekend a friend asked to borrow our drill. DH went out to the garage to get it. After several minutes looking, he told me he couldn't find it and was wondering if we'd used it around the house and left it somewhere. I knew we hadn't used it lately, so as he went back to the garage to look again, I asked him if he'd looked in the big container marked "Drill and Drill Bits". Oops. Yeah, the drill was there.

Of course as I write this little story, I'm realizing that it really doesn't bode well for the kitchen stuff. :(

Talley, I love the idea of a picture, maybe that's step 2. I have given up on the utensils, but fortunately there aren't many places they can go in our small kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 11:02AM
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my kitchen is small, too--part of the problem w/ the utensils is me--I don't think to look in the other drawer, bcs I just *know* it doesn't belong there.

Try that picture! It may work better than words will; some folks are just really visual. I do OK w/ words, but I also know that when I go look for the box labeled "feet, gliders & wobble wedges," I look first not for the label, but for a brown box just this size, etc. Shapes are faster for me.

but it may just be that passive-aggressive male thing of not being willing to "own" that responsibility; my DH can look right at something and insist he can't see it.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 12:46PM
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jena, you two could also just pick different jobs if the labeling or pictures doesn't seem to help.

My DH grew up terribly spoiled by a mother with a HUGE martyr complex. He has this idea that he shouldn't have to do anything unless it's enjoyable. Well, guess what....

We have picked jobs for him that don't make my life difficult. It would be wonderful if he could see something which needs to be done and just do it. Or do it so that it meets someone else's needs. His jobs are to take out the trash on Wednesday nights. Get the cars into the shop. (This was a hard one for him.) Do all of the school field trips. Go to weekly Scout meetings and go to summer camp with the Scouts. (we have 2 boys in Scouts now) Make 85% of our income. Invest that income so that I'm not some bag lady when I'm old. Pay all of the bills. Make sure our credit rating is squeeky clean. Make sure there is ALWAYS plenty of money. Make sure everything is set up to get us the best tax advantages. Re-evalutate that our investments are doing well. Make sure my credit cards are paid WITHOUT questioning what I bought. Paying for all of those fix-it jobs around the house which he doesn't want to do.....

Whew! I can get my part knocked off in 40 minutes a day and he's stuck with a lifetime of work. I really think I've got the better end of the deal. Just don't tell HIM!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 3:47PM
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Gloria - Brilliant replies! My DH is pretty poor when it comes to finding (or putting away) stuff...he's got those "man blinders" on and can't see the label that says "Stuff you're lookin for is in here, dummy." BUT he's also the sole bread winner, does all the financial stuff, and all the good things that Gloria's DH does. So.... if he leaves a few things out in the kitchen 'cause he can't remember where they go, I still think I'm in heaven to have such a good man in so many other ways.

Pick your battles carefully, I say. Dear Abby put it best when a gal wrote in to complain how her DH made her crazy by leaving the toilet seat up. Dear Abby wrote something to the effect that some sad day that woman might be willing to give up everything material in her life to find the seat up and her DH still with her.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 10:07PM
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Gloria -- I'm with you. We didn't marry idiots, so there must be a bit of carelessness involved if they can't/won't accomplish a fairly straightforward task.

I also agree with susi -- you have to pick your battles. You only have one life, so why spend it griping about things that aren't a big deal. Everyone has things that make them nuts, and things they can let slide.

It's a delicate balance, isn't it :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 3:02PM
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Besides, if your DH is constantly getting fussed at and criticized for the way he helps in the kitchen it won't take him long to learn to hate it.

When my DH first started cooking and "helping" around the kitchen, I taught him the basics and got out of his way while he tried it all out. I realized that I had to leave the room or I'd be constantly telling him what he was doing wrong. I decided if it didn't endanger him or me or the house I'd keep my mouth shut and be pleased with whatever he fixed. He learned a lot by trial and error, and now he'll fix a full meal for friends or family while I clean house and set the table. . . . and I wash the dishes afterward. Or he'll clean and wash up if I cook. If he puts a pot where I don't expect it to be, there are only so many places to look and I can spend a moment checking them.

The biggest surprise: some of the ways he did things or the places he put things turned out to be as good as -- or better than -- what I would have told him! We've become a good team in the kitchen and we enjoy the time together. Sure beats hours spent in the kitchen by myself!

Now DH is teaching a friend whose wife was killed in a wreck recently. The poor fellow didn't know how to thaw a frozen dinner or what a spatula was because his wife had never let him do anything around the house.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 3:56PM
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My kids empty the dishwasher - for some reason it usually is DS #2 - and I must say they (or he!) is pretty good about putting stuff away. He does put some stuff on the counter, but it's not much. Is it perfect? Heck no. I've learned to just deal with it. I handwash all our pots and pans, so it's always me that puts them away. However, even I must say that I am not the best at this. Please don't look in the cabinet under our stovetop!!!!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 1:07AM
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Gloria, you are so witty--I can sympathize with the guys tho because today I was putting some tools back; and could not remember where they go. My husband pointed out that they actually have outlines on the wall and match the outline to the tool should not be so tricky.
Intherain--my husband puts pots and pans in the dishwasher, along with keyrings, and all sorts of stuff. It comes out sparkling. (not the nonstick) Thats why chefs use allclad stainless pans--the dishwasher makes em spotless, and sparkling.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 5:00AM
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When I taught kindegarden, we took pictures of the storage cabinet shelves so the kisd could match things.

Would that help?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 5:19PM
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LOL, lazygardens. I teach preschool and we label all our shelves. Why didn't I think of that for home???

Marge - To be honest, the only reason I don't put pots and pans into the dishwasher is because they take up so much space. Okay, sometimes I do. I admit it. But usually I do a quick handwash.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 2:10AM
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Label the cabinets... too funny! My DH insists on keeping bottled water in the drawer factory-labeled "Vegetables" in the new refrigerator, insists on beer in the drawer labeled "Meat", and refuses to comprehend the concept of "nesting bowls" so everything fits in the cabinet without falling over.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 8:11PM
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