The Pot Roast Story

Have you heard the famous story about the woman who cuts the ends off her pot roast before putting it in the over?  If you haven’t already, here it is:

A newly-wed man would watch his wife would cut an inch off from both ends of meat for pot roast before putting it into the oven.  When he asked why, she answered, “That’s how you are supposed to cook it.”  Not satisfied with this answer he pressed further until she said she learned to do it this way from her mother.

The husband calls up his mother-in-law and asks her why she cuts off an inch from each end of the pot roast.  She answers, “That’s how you cook pot roast.”  He presses further until his mother-in-law says she learned to do it that way from her mother.

So the man calls up his wife’s grandmother and asks her the same question about why you cut an inch off each end of the pot roast before putting it into the oven.  He still can’t figure out why cutting off good meat is a requirement for cooking a pot roast.  She says, “My mother  did it this way.  Let me call her.”

She calls her elderly mother and asks her why she used to cut the ends off the pot roast before cooking it. The great-grandmother laughs and says, “We used to be very poor and didn’t own a lot of cookware.  I cut the ends off so the meat would fit into my only pan!”

Pot roast with the ends cut off.

So ends the story.  Why share this?  Organizing is the same way.  Sometimes an item is placed somewhere with little thought.  Perhaps after a move it seemed logical or convenient at the time.  Or there was an unused space.  In any event, if something is bothering you and you don’t know why, you might want to give it some thought and troubleshoot the reason.  This may take some time because generally we are too busy in our daily lives to pay attention to the uncomfortable vibes we receive.  I’ll share an example.

In my buffet I have a long thin drawer for cloth napkins.  I’ve been putting them in there for years.  We use our cloth napkins weekly .  I have other deeper drawers for tablecloths.   Lately I have been very frustrated when I have to put away the napkins.  Until I gave it some thought, it didn’t dawn on me that the drawer was too small. If I re-purposed one of the tablecloth drawers for the napkins I wouldn’t have to cram them into the smaller one.  So simple.  Hadn’t thought about doing it differently.  Like the pot roast; that is the way I always did it.    Perhaps at one time I had less napkins, but things changed and I never modified where I was storing them.

Challah covers and other Shabbos items in the drawer  previously used for cloth napkins.
Cloth napkins in their new home  was previously used for tablecloths.  No more cramming!

Part of what I do as Klutter Koach is to see solutions to household storage problems.  Just like in the pot roast analogy, I see people putting things in places they don’t know why they do.  I ask the question  “Why is it done this way?” and then help the client find a solution to their problem.

Your homework:  Think about storage problems you have in you home. Try and solutionize what would make the problem better.  Pinterest is a great resource for ideas if your creative juices aren’t flowing.  Have a peruse of The Klutter Koach’s Pinterest boards. Make a change.  If all else fails, call The Klutter Koach 🙂

Happy organizing and thanks for reading.

-Karen, The Klutter Koach

December 28, 2015


Published by Karen Furman

Hi. I’m Karen Furman, a home organizer and decluttering professional. Organizing is something I’ve been doing since 1st grade when used to straighten everyone’s desks. Fast forward a few decades later, I turned my passion for organizing into a business. Philosophy = Your home should be organized so you know where things are, to the degree that you feel relaxed and not stressed in your space. Method = A combination of Marie Kondo + FlyLady + my own style. YOU make the decisions. YOU decide what to keep and not to keep. I help provide clarity. Attitude = Positive, enthusiastic, non-judgmental

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