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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Decluttering the Kitchen, Etc.

Before
After

There is no doubt that my pantry was a mess.  I think a can of green beans exploded on the bottom. There  was some type of black goo that had dried. (Scrubbing that off was fun.) I knew that some of my food was probably past the BEST BY date. I decided to get rid of those first.  What I didn't realize was that I had food from 2008!  Unlike my papers, it was easy to toss the old food.  


My kitchen is pretty small. I guess if I didn't live alone, I would have that wall on the right turned into some type of breakfast bar.  It would be nice to have more counter space. For now, I used both my kitchen table and my dining room table when baking.
An area that I have to use a chair to access is the above the frig cabinets.  I had old glasses and some Carb Out pills and things like curry up there.  Basically, things I never use. Weirdly, I had four boxes of corn starch there. 
To start the pantry I basically cleared out most of the items thrown in. I toss things right into my garbage bag. As I filled a bag, I ran it outside as the garbage men were on the way.  I had a lot of garbage! I found at least 11-15 types of sugar. I stored all of this up above the frig. I didn't want to throw it away because I used to bake a lot. I tried to put like with like. 
Every few years I go on a "whole healthy food" kick. I buy things like spelt flour. Then, I never use it. This flour was from 2007.  Yep, it went right in the garbage.
So I sorted like with like. I made a Mexican food section. I put cans with cans.  I ended up with two empty shelves. I was able to store some baking pans and pots on the bottom shelves. That is something I've never had the room to do.  It's weird to think that when I moved it, this pantry was completely empty.  I'm sure my mother gave me a bunch of food. Those cans that exploded were probably her old food!
Next I decided to go through the dinning room.  Sadly, I unloaded the cabinets under my dining room dishes, I realized that NO ONE THING was actually mine. I found all kinds of vases and bowls.  I've never used any of them. 
I like glass or cream colored vases. I don't know where this came from. I feel like I've never seen it before.
Here's the truth, I don't like things with birds or poultry on them.  This rooster plate and duck bowl must go. The little liquor set is nice. However, do I have people over for liquor? Not really. Well, no.
 This orange vase might have been my grandmothers or my sister used to keep her incense in it.  There are black marks on the side.  I was tempted to throw it away.  However, I guess there is always the fear that it is some type of valuable, collectible glass. Probably not. 
I boxed up all the stuff for a future garage sale. My fear is that my mom will just take this stuff for herself and add to her clutter. 
Next was the hall closet. The worst thing I do with this closet is put my garbage in it and load it with plastic bags.  I put everything in the living room.  
I also keep my soap blender, soda streams, and a piece of wood that is supposed to make my dining room table bigger, but doesn't fit. I just I should get rid of it, but I keep thinking, "I might need that."
I took out all my coats and scarves.  I organized the scarves on a scarf hanger. I put the coats on matching hangers. I stuffed the bag in a bag holder. I put the rest aside for the garage sale.  I found this framed picture of Notre Dame. I do have some rooms with French paintings and pictures. However, this picture just didn't look right. I did not feel a spark of joy as I held it. I put it in the garage sale box. 
Ugh, this was my nightmare. This is my under the counter tupperware cabinet.  I knew I had all of my pie making stuff under here.  I also knew that I had to throw out everything without a lid.  It took me a while, but I sorted through it all.  I threw out everything that was "upcycled." 
I have this expandable island that my mom gave me (shocker!) However, I have it in the corner as a kind of liquor stand. I basically ended up oiling all wood surfaces with wood block oil because I found two of them.  I polished everything from my wooden cutting boards to my tables and the shelves in the pantry.  Then, I loaded this island block up with the rest of the stuff that wouldn't fit in the dining room cabinet. I feel like I got rid of a ton and still have too much. 

I ended up running out with a full garbage bag and talking to the garbage men again. Luckily, they are really nice and took EVERYTHING.  I need to slip them some $100s at Christmas time.   I was so exhausted and in some much pain by the time 3 pm rolled around. I had to take to my bed. My right foot was throbbing.  I went to the doctor last Friday. He pushed on my bad foot and something shifted. It has hurt ever since. I am supposed to go back, but I'm hoping that motrin and soaking it in epson salt will help.  The weird thing is that it hurts in bed.  At this point, I don't even think I can drive. I was able to resume decluttering at night. When I go to sleep, I like my house to be perfect. Now, again, I have a bunch of boxes in my living room.  

It's like I want all the clutter to magically disappear.  Getting rid of it is harder than I ever imagined.  First of all the people encouraging me to keep things. Then, those people trying to get me to sell things. Then, people secretly putting more clutter in my garage.  I guess the worst is the big items that we physically cannot lift.  Without a lot of manpower, a truck,  and a place to store things, it has been hard.  I guess this is a good reason to stop taking other people's junk.