Opinion: A chilling tale of basement storage


When we got married and were planning our future, we decided one would be enough, although many of our friends had two. Two was never in our plans, but things happen. We ended up keeping the older one in the basement.

Yes, we have two refrigerators.

This would seem like more than enough space for cold foods, right? But we never seem to have room in the kitchen fridge, and we’re always arguing over which edible items should be kept where.

“Dick, I am rearranging thing,” Mary Ellen said. “I’m putting your sauerkraut and mustard in the downstairs fridge so I have room for my fresh spinach and my giant Naked Juice bottles.”

“Wait! I don’t want to go downstairs every time I need mustard and sauerkraut for my hot dogs.”

“Why not? You’re going to have to go downstairs, anyway, to get those hot dogs. I moved them yesterday.”

“What? You moved my hot dogs? How would you like it if I moved your almond milk to the other fridge?”

“You try that, and you can say adios to your huge jar of salsa.”

Mary Ellen and I then had a cordial discussion about rearranging some of our other personal favorites. She agreed to move her broccoli downstairs and keep my rotisserie chicken upstairs, and I agreed to transfer my White Castle burgers to the downstairs freezer so there was room for Mary Ellen’s frozen yogurt bars in the kitchen.

But then, Mary Ellen wanted to move all my chilled beer downstairs.

“Six beers take up an entire shelf,” she said.

“Yes, and they take up most of my Sunday when I watch football on TV. Upstairs.”

We often have leftovers that waste space as they get pushed to the back and forgotten about. I got very excited the day after Christmas when I was rummaging through the shelves. I found a yummy piece of leftover corned beef. I hoped it would taste as good as it did on St Patrick’s Day.

Mary Ellen was in a rearranging mood. While I was in my downstairs office, I saw her struggling with her arms full of coats as she descended the staircase.

“Now what are you doing?”

“I’m rearranging all our spring jackets, moving them from the hall closet to the basement clothing rack. After I bring the winter coats upstairs, I want you to help me move the leather reading chair to the guest room, and let’s put your grandfather’s desk back in the corner of the master bedroom.”

“I hate moving things around. Unlike you, I am a creature of habit. How did we ever end up together? Do you think it was by chance?”

“Heavens, no. It was arranged.”