Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Knife Tray - Ergonomic Placement

Ever since I was a young girl, I have always been fascinated with storage/organization ideas.  The enthrallment deepened when I had my own home.  I remember at one point, buying containers was my stress therapy. I love seeing things neatly stacked or nestled together.  Then came the magazine lure.  I remember daydreaming all the time how I would like to have my home look just like the way that favorite page of mine looked - with all the bells and whistles.  I remember always coming home depressed (it is called coveting, now I know) after visiting friends' pretty houses and wondered why we could not move out of this tiny place.  Those were hard years. Then I grew up.  Lessons learned.  I now embrace the ideas of "Less is More" and "Green Living" (aka to be a good steward with what we have been given).  Not only I am contented to be still in this tiny place, I actually am thankful to be here.  Knowing that what makes a house home is the people that dwell in it and not just the stuff has helped me organize my home with a new eye.

What does this has to do with my title of this post?  Well, even though I am not buying containers any more, I do still have stuff that need to be organized.  This is where the fun starts.  I have to be creative and use what I have already owned or get them from the to create the storage I need.  I have always kept this in mind that our circumstances change as we move through life and the way we set up house will reflect the current status of our life.  Case in hand: I was giving away all Joshua's toy/baby things a year before we had peter.  I thought Joshua was my last child.  Surprise!  The Lord's way is not our way and His thought not our thought. So true.

Anyway, here is where the knife tray idea came in. The other day when I was waiting for Christine to finish her Chemistry study with her friends in the library, I was looking through some organizing books (not magazines) and this picture made its way into my memory of my first love of storage/organized. 

There's no way I will ever have that kind of shallow/spacious drawer in my kitchen or the handsome knife set, besides the fact that I can't have anything sharp located where Peter can easily reach. So, instead of a drawer, which I love how easy it is to retrieve a knife and look so organized, I used a jelly tray and lined it with an old place mat.  I like how it looks already!

 Did I say the knife set is old?  Yeah, I have this set since 1984 (hence the peeling of the handle and some missing knives).  They still work fine and easy to sharpen.  I have replaced a couple of them (with very affordable price). The most tickling thing is that I decided to put the pair of scissor there just so maybe I would use it now that it is in plain view.  Guess what?  I have used it about five times on the first day I set this up!

Here is where the ergonomic placement part came in. I placed the tray on top of the microwave, underneath the cabinet, next to my food prep counter area. Boy, let me tell you, it was the most effortless way ever for me to retrieve the tools and returning them (after cleaning) to the same spots was a cinch!  I am loving this placement so much that I was actually  genuinely happy all day yesterday. A common sense idea that really works.

Neither the knife set nor the tray were anything fancy, but the placement idea was like a light bulb went on in my head.  Now I am looking for more ways to tweak my other storage areas to make them more ergonomic friendly. So, after all, living in a small space can actually be a huge blessing!

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