Desperate situation calls for desperate action

organizing pantry 001 While rifling through my small, overstuffed pantry yesterday looking for a can of mushroom soup, I accidentally dislodged two cans of black beans. They came tumbling down on my head with such velocity that I actually saw stars.

Thank goodness no one was around because I let loose a string of words I once heard uttered by a drunken sailor. It was like all my frustrations were concentrated in that one moment. Angrily, I pulled everything out of the pantry and threw away all the pastas and packaged goods dated before the new millennium. I washed down all the shelves with vinegar and baking soda – the miracle cleaners.

(Above – before reorganization)


Carefully and methodically I replaced all the goods according to their functions – soups and tomato based products on one shelf; vegetables on another; canned meats on yet another. Amazingly I ended up with two completely empty shelves which will allow me to put away my huge supply of Mayberry’s Finest canned goods (I wrote about them yesterday.)

I felt so good I began cleaning out my spice cabinet and found three tins of paprika and four tins of sage dating back to each of the last four Thanksgivings. I merged them all together. I know, I know – they say you shouldn’t keep them for more than a year, but what the heck.

(Above- AFTER reorganization)

I read a magazine story on how you can reorganize your whole house if you have only ten minutes to spare. The idea is to perform the massive reorganization in tiny increments of 10 minutes. I set the alarm on my stove for 10 minutes and began weeding out some file folders in my office that have been on the floor since I last vacuumed (I think that was right before Easter). When the buzzer alerted me that my 10 minutes had expired, I ignored it and continued with my crusade. I was on a roll.

It’s true that positive action gives birth to more positive action. Tomorrow I will pick through my junk drawer and toss anything I can’t identify or can’t use.

Here are some more tips for organizing your space from <>

* Corral toys and other clutter. Walk around your home for 10 minutes with a hamper and put in any stray toys and wayward items like nail polish, magazines, etc.. Tomorrow take 10 minutes and put them in their proper homes.

* Clear off a surface. Whether the surface is a table, a dresser, a desk or an ottoman, remove any clutter so you can actually see the surface again. File any papers needing filing and return stay itmes to their proper homes (this step may be combined with the one above).

* Make a donation bag. Go through your clothes closet and select five articles of clothing you never wear. Put them in the bag and when it’s full, take it to your favorite charity. Many of them will give you a receipt for deducting from your taxes.

*Clean out your medicine cabinet. Boy do I need to do this. No point in saving medications, they are probably no good any more and could ever be dangerous in the wrong hands.

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