[52 weeks of organizing] “week” 2: the pantry

1. What did you organize this past week? Last night, we tackled the pantry. I couldn’t believe we were actually able to get it done, or that Mum was willing to help! But she was, and so…

This is probably about 2/3 of what we had in there. This is what was expired. Dates ranged between barely-three-weeks-gone and, holy crap, the mid-nineties. I kid you not. There were things that came north with us from Texas in ’93.

We went into the exercise intending to fill a bag with food for the local Boy Scouts. We found five items we could spare that were not going to kill anyone. Five. And that was what was left over, all that stuff we never even noticed.

These are the food shelves. I was able to consolidate the food we had left onto four shelves (we used to have five stuffed to the brim). I’m stacking from the front, as opposed to cramming it all in the back; those shelves are deep! We used to keep everything stashed out of sight and out of mind, and only wastage resulted. Speaking of “out of sight”, I also made sure things were visible. Now that we can see for ourselves how much we have of things, we won’t buy extra.

And these are beverages, back in their proper place in the kitchen (as opposed to the hallway and the laundry nook). In a sense, I’ve begun my decluttering of those two other spaces: what belongs there? What doesn’t? I found better homes for our drinks.

2. Did you have any difficulties with it? Stumbling blocks? Major breakthroughs?

The sheer volume of stuff presented a disposal dilemma. How on earth were we going to get rid of our spoiled food? Finally, Mum decided boxes were the way to go, so we ended up getting rid of some of Dad’s leftover computer-stuff boxes in the process. I rolled the trash can up to the garage door steps and held the door and the lid open for Mum, who did the heavy lifting.

Major breakthrough: I said “Hey, let’s do this” and Mum said “Okay.” Not “ohhh, why now?” or “I’m too tired” but “okay, let’s get it done.”

3. If you are reading my book, Clutter Rehab, were you able to put any of the organizing tips into practice this past week?

I’m not reading it! Naughty! I would like to at some point, but I’m overloaded as it is. Sorry.

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