True confession: I'm fully aware that my compulsive need to clean closets stems from a deep-seeded desire to gain control over my life. When everything seems to be pitching wildly out of order, I pull apart a cupboard and carefully re-organize the contents. Once I've restored order to the chaos and found a few items to discard or relocate, I feel an enormous and disproportionate sense of accomplishment. And I can carry on the with rest of the mess that may be awaiting me elsewhere.
Well, someday when all the closets are completely organized (which may happen soon, judging from the events of the past few days), I've found a new control-freak activity to occupy me: cleaning silver.
It's the coolest science experiment ever. You line a pan with aluminum foil, pour boiling water into it, add a teaspoon or so of baking soda and salt. Then drop your silver into the mixture and watch the magic: a chemical reaction occurs that removes the tarnish from the silver and transfers it to the foil without removing any of the silver itself in the way traditional polishing does. So it's totally safe for delicate silver plating and doesn't harm the environment, either.
Last night I wanted to polish my favorite sterling earrings and ended up polishing the entire silverware drawer. Which wasn't very tarnished to begin with, since we use it every day. But I just couldn't stop; each piece instantly turned brilliant when I dropped it into the pot. An obsessive-compulsive dream come true.
Now I'm just wishing we had more silver in the house. Because I'm still waiting for Verizon to grant us internet access at the studio after more than six weeks. And UPS misplaced a very important package.
So I hope I don't run out of closets now that our silver is very shiny.