I have a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens, which could be considered odd since neither my home nor my garden would be likely to be considered “better.” They sent me some offer years ago and for a brief and shining moment, it seemed like a great idea. Then they kept sending me renewal notices and I renewed. Eventually I caught on to the fact that they were sending these things every three months but by then I had managed to sign up for something like the next 7 years. They continue to come and I continue to read them. Sort of. They tend to pile up and when I have four or five I’ll pour a glass of wine and start flipping through, admiring all the lovely food I’ll never make and wondering why my home doesn’t look like it was decorated by a professional.

It’s been about five months so I sat down for my regular once over. Now, I’ll admit that with the holiday season in full swing, I am feeling a bit put upon these days. Too damn much buying, baking, wrapping, decorating and merry making.  And that may be what led me to notice the simple one page Home Organization tip. It said “Whip your fridge into shape with smart ideas for space planning and versatile containers that store with style.” All I could think was “When did life get so freaking hard?”

I was raised by a woman who made all our meals at home, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I assure you that she never, not one time, sat down to determine how to best design the layout of food in our fridge. Not only that, she was also completely unconcerned about the stylishness of our containers. Whatever the hell Tupperware was selling when we needed it was what we were buying. When she got home from the grocery store she would honk the horn and out we would all go to Sherpa in the groceries and then put them away. Where ever there was room.

As an adult, I have continued with these apparently lazy and pathetic ways of managing my fridge and food, so as I looked at this article I had many thoughts.

Am I supposed to be doing this?”

“Does this mean I am an inadequate refrigerator owner?”

“Do other people actually do this shit?”


 That was my undoing right there. Anthropologie? Because there is something wrong with the crates the eggs already come in?

But the best line of all was across the bottom. “When food is stashed any old way who can find anything?” Really? It is not like they are searching in a 2000 square foot attic in the dark for this crap, you know. It is a FRIDGE. The space is limited and it has a light. If you can’t find something just do what everyone else does and stand there with the door open staring into it like it’s a magic portal until your mother yells at you!

I have six people in my house and I swear on everything holy if I so much as move the ketchup even 6 inches to the left of the space it currently occupies, the uproar will be long, loud and instantaneous. “Where’s the ketchup?” “We are out of ketchup!” As I then point to the new, space saving, ultra-organized spot where the ketchup now resides, I will no doubt be reprimanded with a glare and the ever-famous teenage drawl asking “Why would you move it??!?!?”

So, thank you Better Homes and Garden for allowing me a peek inside the insanity that has taken over homes these days. But I think I’m going to stick with my Mom’s tried and true 1970’s methods and save myself from making my life any harder than it needs to be.


Melissa Coble is a mom living in Phoenix, Arizona just trying to survive the teenage years with a lot of laughs, an occasional rant, and copious amounts of wine. You can find her counting the days until her nest is empty on her blog An Unfit Parent and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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