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.