I confess. I was going to skip this week's hot spot in Project:Simplify. Not because it didn't need to be done, but because it needed to be done so badly, and I wasn't sure when I was going to fit it in. This week we were supposed to tackle the fridge and pantry. And both really needed it.
But when I got home after this morning's early weekly shopping trip, I just couldn't see adding to the mess. I knew that if I just dug in and dealt with it, the benefit would outweigh the time that it would take. So, the groceries stayed in bags, and the counters began to fill. The best part was that Dan and the big kid jumped right in to help. We started with the fridge. Everything came out. Everything. All the shelves and drawers were emptied, washed, dried, and replaced. We even went so far as to pull the vent cover off the front and pull the whole thing out from the wall to wash underneath. And then things were returned to the shelves - minus expired and old foods which were disposed of and containers recycled. It's amazing how much better it is in there!
Then the pantry. Once again, I pulled everything off the shelves and sorted piles around the kitchen. All the boxes of half-finished cookies were put into a bag to go to work with Dan, and the bags of microwave popcorn will go to my classroom. But then we hit the stalemate. You see, our pantry has these triangle shelves that use the space very inefficiently. Since we moved in, I have wanted to re-do these shelves. As I looked at the empty shelves, now seemed like the perfect time to tackle the project. But it wasn't. We didn't have a plan and didn't have the time. But just putting things back on the shelf seemed so pointless.
That's when I came back to what Tsh said in her instructions at the beginning of the week. We aren't working to make this our perfect kitchen. We are working to make the best use of the kitchen we have. Dithering about the shelves wasn't going to get the job done - and using today to build new shelves wasn't practical. It was a distraction. Instead, I needed to just gut it out and get it done. (I know, I know - much ado about nothing and all that...)
So, I went through every box, container, and bag. The old things were tossed and much of the bagged grains and beans that I have gathered during this 30 Day Vegan cleanse we placed in recycled jars (they stand and sack so much better that way. We ended up with a mountain of recycling, and a list of meals we need to make to use up our surplus. I found that I bought some of a few things too often (angel hair pasta and nut butter) because I couldn't see where they were, so I moved the baking goods lower and the canned goods and pasta into the easier-to-see shelves.And overall, things are much better.
Heck, now I just might bake a batch of vegan chocolate chip cookies!