Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Prep work begins - the kitchen.

I have to get better at doing before and after pictures.  There are no before pictures in this posting.  Sorry.

In preparation for new floors and painting this month, I began a thorough clean out of all areas.  Decluttering of stuff has been a happy, positive activity for me.  I always feel lighter and more content when I am reducing the "stuff-layer" of my life.  Clear open spaces are less stressful. A related goal is to free up floor space by moving a few pieces of furniture out.  We have too many road blocks for a person with visual limitations.

With home improvement contractors arriving in 2 weeks,  the time is right to declutter.

I started with a small problem area of my kitchen.

Imagine a 3 foot high by 5 foot long shallow 3 shelf book case along this wall.  It was filled with cookbooks and animal foods.  The top held baskets of clutter-catchers.  Try to imagine why someone who does not enjoy cooking would have 5 1/2 feet of cookbooks.

So I emptied the shelves of everything putting it on the table and dragged the bookcase to the basement.  It will go to a new home or the dump - which ever comes first.  Now I have this lovely clear floor space.  And when the walls are painted, who knows what will hang on the walls.  Maybe nothing.

Of course, now I had a table full of stuff.  Hmm.... I gave half of the cookbooks to Good Will.

I then turned to the pantry.  A "pantry purge" was in order.  It is a small space, but once I cleared out the expired items, the duplicates and the stuff that I never use, 2 spaces were clear:  the top shelf and the floor.

The top shelf now holds my essential cookbooks. (Still considering if they are all really "essential."  I think not!)  I hate the stacking of books on top of books.  But the remaining books will need a more careful review before I get rid of any of them. The floor holds the animal foods (dog food and bird seed.)

Some canned and boxed foods are housed in our basement.  I don't understand why 2 retired people like us need that many food items.  But that is another problem for another time - food hoarding!  I am sure that "hoarding" is not quite the right term, but my habit of buying extra of things that I find on sale is counter productive if the items expire and I throw them away.

In theory, I love the idea of a nice large pantry close to the cooking area, but the reality is that I don't preserve home grown foods and I have easy access to a grocery store.  So the fact I even have a pantry is a luxury.  When I was growing up, we didn't have a pantry - just found space in the limited cabinets to hold canned and packaged foods.  I guess the expansion of large pantries and multiple kitchen cabinets is an extension of the growing sizes of houses in the 20th Century - and our habit of acquiring lots and lots of stuff.

I am very pleased with this one kitchen solution right now.  My eat-in kitchen is fairly small and adding a bookcase years ago was a bad idea.  It just ate up floor space and encouraged stuff gathering.

Of course the next step is to box all this up and move it to the basement - because the whole area will be painted - but that is 3 weeks off so I have time.


  1. Congratulations on tackling the decluttering is so hard to do!!

    1. Actually it is not hard to do when I am in the mood. And truthfully, once the stuff is out of my sight, I can't actually tell you what I threw away. THAT is how important all that clutter was. If you don't know what you got rid of ... it wasn't really all that important. BUT the space I created is important. It is something I luxuriate in every time I walk into the kitchen now.

  2. It's always an eye opener when we start going through stuff.....I've stopped going to garage sales and flea markets. You have inspired me. I will be going through my kitchen this week to see what I can get rid of.

    1. I used to enjoy garage sales and few markets too. It has been many years since I visited any. They were fun. And you never knew what you would find.

      But just as eating anything you want is fun, the price to be paid is carrying around more weight. I am better at decluttering than I am at losing weight! hahaha

  3. Stopping by to say hello! I enjoy the process of decluttering and the results, too. My stuff is quite well organized but there's way too much of it!

  4. You are on a roll! I am behind you . . . way behind, I cleaned the under the sink area . . . that is it so far!
    It counts doesn't it?
    Yes, clearing out the bookshelf and freeing up the wall/floor area, good idea!
    What a treat it will be to have wood floors throughout . . .

  5. Congratulations - I love accomplishing a de-cluttering task. I can tell you that I used to have miles of cookbooks (and I love to cook), but now everything is available on the i-Pad, so I boxed them up. Maybe someday when I don't have 1/3 of my house devoted to mom's stuff, I will bring them out. I do love cooking with a book...especially the 2nd and 3rd time I use a recipe and can see all the stains reminding me of the first time I made it or what made me love it and dog-ear the page. I love your outlook on a pantry being a luxury. I lament the size of my pantry every day...I am going to adopt your positive outlook! Can't wait to see the finished pictures!

  6. You did good. : ) I always feel good after a decluttering day too.

  7. I just noticed your comment below "Yes, you do want to comment I can see it in your face ;-)" Love that.

    I was like you, I had all these cookbooks because I grew up with cookbooks around and believed at some point I would use a recipe from each. I now have my cookbook collection down to four that I actually use. I had one I miss terribly that I lost in a fire years ago. I haven't been able to replace it as it's out of print but it was from the La Leche Group. It was so unique because every ingredient had alternatives you could use if you didn't have that one on hand. I'm still searching for a used copy.

  8. It's been quite a while. Hope all is okay with you. Just popping in to say Hi.


Yes, you do want to comment! I can see it in your face:-)