Today’s post is geared toward the advanced decluttered. If you’re a beginner, don’t try this at home…or anywhere else…it can lead to discouragement, a big mess in the hallway, and a complete lack of improvement in your situation. But if you’ve passed the beginning stages of decluttering, if your friends call you The Decluttering Queen (that’s what mine call me, at least), or if you’ve been at it for more than a year, then today’s post might be for you.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to start all the way over.
Yes, all the way over.
That’s what I did last week. My pantry is decluttered. There is no food that no one eats nor out-of-date cans, and like food was stored with like food, but it wasn’t working for me. I have a pretty great pantry that is wide but fairly shallow. I don’t want to have to reach around and knock things over, and I want to be able to see everything at once. The very top shelf had food stacked on top of food, and the snacks, cereal, and other dry goods seemed to be sorted wrongly.
I was sure that I was going to need to take the whole shelf of baking goods (flour, sugar, baking soda, etc.) and find another place for it; there was no way everything was going to fit the way I wanted. But I was wrong.
First, I took everything off the first two shelves, which are pantry staples – canned goods, pasta, dried beans, etc. Having everything out allowed me to sort it a little bit smarter, and I got it back into the same space it had been in before but without being double stacked.
I just straightened up the next shelf. It’s the one I use the most, and the stock there is always rotating.
The next two shelves are snacks, nuts, and cereal. Again, I removed everything. Because my eldest daughter is diabetic, she eats a lot of nuts, which do not raise her blood sugar. I literally have an entire shelf devoted to nuts. Snacks of various kinds were organized on the next shelf. Since it’s summer and since my eldest and all her friends are teens, the amount of snacks that can be consumed is fairly amazing. I try to keep a large variety of healthy choices. Dry cereal, granola bars, oatmeal and grits were clustered on the shelf below that.
The next shelf is the baking shelf. Amazingly enough, with the re-organization and sorting that went on above the baking supplies, I didn’t have to move them any where.
Last, I got out my label maker and labeled the shelves that I thought would most easily fall into disarray – the ones that are used by the most people. One shelf is labeled NUTS, another CHOCOLATE, CHIPS/PRETZELS, DRIED FRUIT, CRACKERS, and the last one is DRY CEREAL, OATMEAL, GRITS, BARS (that is, granola bars).
I was surprised that after years of use, there was a way to fine-tune the pantry, to make it that much more functional. And, as is so often the case, I had all the room I needed; I just needed to use it more efficiently.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter a dust collector that someone gave you. I have a little elephant pie funnel that was given to me by a very dear friend who has now passed away. I remember her often enough without needing to keep this item as a reminder. Also I have seen this exact item sell for in excess of $100 on eBay and wouldn’t mind a piece of that action.
Eco Tip For The Day
Stop using fabric softener, some experts say that it is a waste of money and not that good for your clothes. Try using white vinegar instead. Not only will it remove chemical residue in your fabrics but will also help control mould and mildew in your washing machine. If you like to add a nice scent to your wash load add a few drops of essential oil.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow