Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cabinet, cabinet on the wall. Why do you exist?

I was walking around my apartment, thinking about things I don't use. I could very easily get along without cabinet doors. Are those for looks? I've walked through cabins in Rocky Mountain National Park that show visitors "how we used to live" and those cabins don't have cabinet doors. They have shelves.

So, hey, I'm 22. I've always had cabinet doors and never thought much more than, "Nice handles," or "Mm, I would've picked pewter." But I can do without cabinet doors, especially after I got home after class and my kitchen looked like a ghost was messing with me. All my cabinet doors were open due to my rushed morning, and I thought, "Why do I even have these things?" And why do I have a door on my pantry? It's perpetually open anyway, so I'm not sure why it's there.

But with my wonderful human ability to reason, I see how they'd be helpful if you have pets or small kids that like to "get into everything," but I still think it's something we can skip.

My towel closet is essentially a shelf covered by a door. A full wood door, painted white, three hinges, and a handle. That's a lot to cover a shelf.

This pretty reckless assertion (get rid of all the cabinets and doors!) stems from a more modest (and probably more practical) idea from Ted Helm, entrepreneur on the e-commerce frontier, that packaging is so silly! We shrink wrap everything, and it's basically just waste in transit.

If you sell me floss, I'll buy the floss without the paperboard backing and plastic cover. Just pour all the floss dispensers in a bucket, and I'll grab one. No big.

I can also do without these individually wrapped pieces of gum. Remember Chiclets? Just throw em in a box, a cup with a hatch, everwhat and it's okay. Won't we all still like gum?

With this idea that packaging is waste, there's no sense in ripping off my cabinets (they'd exist here or in a landfill at this point), but I will peacefully protest aisle 11 in all its individually-wrapped glory.

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