I don’t particularly like cleaning. I love to cook, do laundry, work in the garden… but cleaning is pretty far down on my list. But I love living in a clean house, and having lots of wide open, clean space around me. And therein lies the conundrum. Lately I’ve been on a mission to purge stuff from our house, so that it’s easier to clean and less likely to get messed up ( if you don’t have it, you can’t mess it up, right?) I’ve pretty much stopped going to thrift stores, as there really isn’t anything we need, and thrift stores tend to entice me to buy stuff just because it’s there and it’s a screamin’ deal. So at least no new stuff is coming into the house.
In addition, I’ve been going through the house and really looking at our stuff. Asking myself if we’ve used it lately, or if we could do without it. The back of my car is full again with stuff to drop off at the thrift store next time I go to town, and it feels great.
Yesterday, I tackled a set of kitchen cabinets. The cabinets where we store tea, coffee, some spices, baking stuff, random kitchen gadgets that rarely get used… sort of the catch-all cabinets. I took everything out, and tossed the stuff that I never use. There were spices that were more preservatives than spice – and that I knew I would never use again – but were somehow still lurking in the back of my cabinet. There was a beautiful glass pitcher that we got as a wedding gift from friends of my in-laws and have used one time. One time, and we’ve been married since 2003. Regardless of how pretty the pitcher was, in our kitchen, it was taking up space. Now it’s in my car to donate, and will hopefully end up in a home where it gets used often. By the time I had finished, I had a large stack for the thrift store, and an equally large stack for the trash. And my cabinet looks and feels SO much better. I can find everything. I know that everything in there is stuff that we regularly use.
A while ago, I started saving plain glass jars when they were empty, instead of putting them in the recycle bin. Yesterday I cleaned off all of the labels, and transferred all of the stuff that was in plastic bags in my cabinet to the jars. Cocoa, dried coconut, spices… all of the stuff that our health food store sells in bulk bags. Now it’s all in pretty jars instead. I made labels out of scrap paper and black ink and glued them to the jars. I love how it looks with all the different jars, and it’s easy to tell if I’m running low on something. And with the cabinet all cleaned out, I can see all of the jars at a glance.
Ah, kitchen decluttering. Perfect activity for a cold, snowy weekend. And it’s free, which is always a bonus in my book.