Doing laundry in the kitchen

Our refrigerator is in the dining room. No really, it is.

When I moved into our house 18 years or so ago, I brought along a refrigerator that turned out to be 3 inches too tall for the space carved out in the kitchen. So we put in the dining room. Temporarily. Until we could find a fridge that fit.

So for 18 years, the fridge has hummed away in the dining room.

It’s pretty convenient. If I want milk or butter when I eat dinner, all I need to do is reach behind me.

If we actually dined in the dining room. Usually, I eat in the living room. In my easy chair.

Yeah, I know, it’s not conventional, but after I got married, my wife wouldn’t let me eat suppers of cereal in the bedroom anymore. So I moved my table service to the living room.

People tend to scratch their heads when they come over to visit. Which hardly ever is more than once.

”Would you like me to help you move your refrigerator to the other end of the kitchen?” one friend asked on his only visit. He eyed me like I was the weird one.

I returned the stare. ”Are you crazy? That’s where the washer and dryer sit.”

He mumbled something and left.

Yep, at the Cole Manse, laundry’s washed in the kitchen, and the eggs are chilled in the dining room.

And we pack the frozen food in the garage. That’s where the freezer stands. And the sewing machine. My book rack. A restaurant table. Some chairs. A night stand. You know, just a few assorted odds and ends like that.

I heard a wild rumor once about someone parking cars in his garages. Yeah, right. If you clutter up a garage with cars, where would you stow your stuff?

The other day, I came home to find a bed in the living room. In pieces. Leaning against the portable closet. (That’s temporary, too.).

My wife is painting the bedroom. The bed had to go somewhere. And the dressers and clothes hamper already took up all the space left in my home office.

There’s nothing in the bedroom but a ladder, paint cans and newspapers.

So let’s see, a typical morning starts like this:

I roll out of bed, which isn’t much of a problem, since the bed is on its side. I crawl from the living room to the bedroom to check the weather report in the newspapers scattered on the floors. I stretch, pull myself up by the ladder without touching any wet-painted walls, and shuffle to my office for clean socks and a shirt.

I tote the basket of dirty clothes to the kitchen. I yawn, and wander to the dining room for the orange juice, and head back to the living room to eat breakfast.

By now, I’m tempted to go back to bed, but I think I left the seat belts in the basement.

I’m sure glad we don’t keep any goats or chickens. They’d have to bunk in the bathroom.

After a while, I head to the garage to pull something out of the freezer for lunch, then search for the car.

Laugh if you will, but it’s a system that works. I’m expecting Beautiful Homes magazine to return my call anytime for my offer to allow them to shoot a photo spread.

Maybe they already called. I don’t remember where we keep the phones.

—- Report your own unique stylings to Cole at, or find decorating tips from the master at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook. His latest novel, ”Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper” (B&H Kids) is available in bookstores.