Mini Mission Monday ~ Post holiday kitchen clear out

Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

The holiday season is done and dusted and most everyones visitors are gone by now. The kitchen has been the centre of activity on most days and as a result is probably due for a good overhaul. I know mine is. The pantry requires excavation whenever I need an can of something or packet of noodles. Some things have come to light that aren’t really necessary and can be decluttered. And I think natural progressing decluttering ought to be in effect on some of my microfibre clothes. So join me this week for a good old fashioned kitchen clear out.

But before we begin I have decided to set you all a Habit Changing Challenge each month. Similar to last November’s Keep it Tidy Challenge. Inspired also by a little nudge from Moni when she mentioned her Mini-lutions in a comment on the weekend. I will, along with the first Monday’s mini mission post each month, include the monthly habit changing mission. If you are lucky you will already have mastered the challenge and won’t need to participate but if you haven’t why not give it a go. This month, since I am late I will set a simple challenge. This month I want you all to make your bed as soon as it is vacated. This may be a time challenge for some but a whole new experience for those who never make their beds. I always feel that a made bed seems fresher to sleep in but you can decide for yourselves.

Update on the bed making:~ Over at 365’s Facebook page Elaine suggested that the bed could do with a little airing before making. I think this is a good point. So let’s change the task to “…mkae your bed within an hour of vacating it.”. Thanks Elaine that was a good idea.

Now for this week’s missions.

Old Spice Declutter

Old Spice Declutter

Monday – Start a use it up challenge on excess pantry items that have accumulated over the holiday season. If there are any spices that you didn’t use during this time they are probably ones that you never will use. Offer them to someone more likely to use them or throw them out because they are probably out of date anyway. This is something I will be checking in my pantry.

Tuesday – Declutter any baking trays or cake pans that weren’t used over the holiday period. Let’s face it if they weren’t use in December when will they be. I came up short for one spring form pan which I borrowed from a neighbour. This is something I would rarely ever use anyway so I don’t feel the need to own one.

Wednesday – Assess your cutlery drawer. Did you have more than enough knifes, folks, spoons etc to cope with a houseful of people. If so let some go. I had set aside a four person set of cutlery prior to Christmas to see if I really needed to keep them. We did run out of forks a couple of times but I could have easily washed some by hand so I think this spare set can go in a box for my daughter to take when she moves into her own place.

Thursday – Do the same for your crockery as you did yesterday for your cutlery. If you have too much let some go. I ran out of cups one evening when friends came back for coffee and cake after being out for dinner together. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t have enough I just should have put the dishwasher on before we left.

Friday – Did you have more than enough wine glass for your liquid Christmas cheer. If so declutter the ones that you avoided using because you don’t like them so much. My daughter bought me the ones I mentioned I wanted in a post prior to Christmas. She was only to happy to claim the ones I have but don’t like.

Saturday – Were there any kitchen gadgets or utensils that didn’t get used over the holiday period or the twelve months prior for that matter. Time to embrace the idea that you have no use for them and release them to someone who does.

Sunday – Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Eco Tip for the Day

When you are out and about and there is no provision to recycle bring your items home if possible and not ridiculously inconvenient

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. These are really good mini-missions Colleen. I want to spend time working on these with Mom. I know that we have many spices that need to be pitched and some other things that could go. I’m also slowly weeding out more scrapbook supplies. I have decided that I am done scrapbooking. From here on out I will make the books you can print from online if I want one. I’m over all these big albums that take up so much space. I’m even considering taking them apart, taking pictures of them, creating & printing the books and ditching the albums. We will see. It may cause too many frazzled nerves on the part of Mom because I am wasting all that stuff. I’m just tired of all the space it takes.

    • “Wasting stuff” is such a mental block when it comes to decluttering, but if you got pleasure from putting the albums together in the first place then the materials were not wasted. They have already been used and you already got value from them. If they have turned into clutter since then well so be it.

      I used to do a lot of cardmaking and still do some but I have simplified my style considerably and don’t use embellishments much at all. I need to face getting rid of all the cute little bits and pieces that I spent a fortune on but never used. They aren’t doing me or anybody else any good sitting in a box. At least there is still potential for them to be used by somebody but if I don’t get rid of them they WILL be a waste.

      • Jenny, you are right about it not being wasting stuff if you got enjoyment out of it and now it is clutter. Now to just get my mom to see it that way. Grin.

        I still make all of our greeting cards. It’s so much cheaper and yet they are unique too. And I can say what I want in them. Like you though, I am using less embellishments. The ones I do use are ones that I have had and can use in a variety of ways. I have decided to make that a challenge for myself—to use up as many of the embellishments I can to make cards and then get rid of the rest.

    • Hi Deb J, I’m glad you liked the missions. They were inspired by my own kitchen. It is in pretty good shape but the pantry was a little out of control. I need to do one good go though of my kitchen to find the last of the items that can be decluttered.

      Wow, big decision on the scrapbook side of things. I haven’t made any decision either way on that but I can’t imagine myself ever getting rid of the albums I have. There are only nine 12 x 12s and two 6 x 6 albums. They are fun to look back on. I wasn’t one for scrapbooking every little event or years worth of old photos so it didn’t get out of control. Mind you those albums do still take up a fair bit of space. Some of them aren’t complete and I may actually finish them one day but I have burning aspiration to do so.

      • I’m not sure I will convert the albums into the books you can have printed but I am going to do those books going forward. I have 10 albums that ate 12X12, 5 that are 8X8, one 8X10 and several smaller ones. There is a lot of money and space tied up in them. I like going through them but would enjoy the printed books too. I would miss the 3 dimensional aspect of the albums so will have to think on this and figure it all out.

  2. When we retired I had great aspirations in the field of cooking and baking because I would have the time for it. The reality is that there’s only two of us and we are at the age when every calorie ingested finds a place to settle where it is not wanted. Another reality is the availability of so many superb packaged and bottled sauces and curries that there is no need for my cupboard full of spices. They probably aren’t as healthy as those made from scratch but they’re far more realistic. The contents of the baking drawer are now being used up as additions in the breadmaker or fed to the birds and my odd and exotic spices will probably go in the bin. If I haven’t used Kaffir Lime Leaves or Galangal since I bought them (whenever that was!) I’m probably not going to start now. The aspiration cookbooks will not be far behind.

    • I know only too much what you mean Wendy B. That is why I no longer have a spring form pan and also had no qualms about recycling a rusty old muffin pan. We mostly only eat sweats on Saturdays, Steve’s designated “Eat anything day”. The rest of the week we behave ourselves. Since it is a one day thing we usually imbibe at a cafe because since I have also designated Saturday as “Only cook if I want to day’ and because we don’t want leftovers.

      I used to cook curries from scratch but these days I tend to most use spice mixes from the store. On reflection though the blends I use come in plastic bags and that is really not good. Perhaps I should make a bigger effort to make my own again.

      • This is what is happening with Mom. She no longer has people to bake for as we can’t eat the sweet stuff and most people we would give to are watching what they eat so don’t want it either. It’s really been a struggle for her because she misses that. She hates to cook anymore also because “you can’t eat anything good.”

      • I have nothing left but a springform pan. 😉 And very few cookie cutters. No muffin pans or the like over here. I’m rather a cake-type of person when it comes to baking.

        I did however take another set of china from my granny’s house which she had saved for me for years. Since I started decluttering, I’m on a mission to unload the stuff from others who save something for me. I thought it was a set for six, but unfortunately it turned out to be a set for 11 (once for 12, but some parts broke). I’m really unsure about all this inherited china I meanwhile own. I like all of it, but it’s far too much for my needs. Still there’s emotional attachment to it. I guess, it’s not that urgent as I created the space for it by decluttering over the last years, but when I figure that some of this china is in the family for 50 years or so and still only one or two cups are missing, I don’t know whether it will ever shrink to a number more comfortable to me if I rely on natural progression only.

  3. Perfect. I have spent the weekend decluttering the dining room, which doubles as my daughter’s learning room (we home educate) and have got rid of loads of things, but the kitchen was next on my list to sort out! There’s a new charity shop just opened that is desperate for donations so we should help them!

  4. Great place to start! My kitchen maintained not too badly over the holidays but there is always room for improvement. However my fridge has gotten away on me a little bit over the weekend as we were away on day trips and had to grab lunch-on-the-run fixings from the supermarket each day (it is hot summer here and didn’t want to buy too much when I was depending on a chilly-bin and ice packs for refrigeration).

    I do want to look at my cookie trays however as they have lead a hard life, they serve as my anything that needs to go in the oven trays, and are slightly warped and despite scrubbings, look messy. I have been on the lookout over the summer break but I’m kind of fussy these days about what comes into the house.

    • Hi Moni, I make sure not to overstock my fridge that way the family have to eat the leftover sometime or go without. Every week I make at least one curry and use up all the little bits and pieces in the veggie crisper. Get ahead of tomorrows post, I like your Mini-lution to be better at not wasting perishables. I wish you success with that.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about those cookie trays. Mine are “well seasoned” too.

  5. And “Make Your Bed” January is a great starting point, I unwittingly started that campaign around June/July last year as I’d read an article and it was mentioned as one of the quickest ways to get your day off to a good start. Even the cat knows he has to stay off our bed until it is made. Alas not everyone in my house shares the spirit of this challenge but it is still a good way to start off the year’s housekeeping improvements.

  6. Update on the bed making:~ Over at 365′s Facebook page Elaine suggested that the bed could do with a little airing before making. I think this is a good point. So let’s change the task to “…mkae your bed within an hour of vacating it.”. Thanks Elaine that was a good idea.

    • “Making the bed” also doesn’t have to mean the military-precision hospital corners we were subject to as kids. Simply replacing the pillows and pulling the covers up, an action that takes a couple of seconds, makes a substantial difference over having a big mess. If you don’t think the effort is worth it, just watch a few episodes of Hoarders and look at the beds! If that’s not enough to get you to make your bed, nothing is.

      • Do people even do hospital corners these days? I certainly don’t – fitted sheets with elastic, and duvets instead of blankets, turn bed-making into the work of moments. (Let’s just ignore the problem of folding those fitted sheets with elastic when they have been washed! I know the theory of how to fold them but in practice it never works as neatly as I’d like… )

      • Wendy B – I’d say Hospital Corners are probably a dying art since the advent of fitted sheets. My kids refuse to have top sheets, even as a wee tot my eldest would dump his top sheet over the side of the cot. I persevered with the next two but the middle child would just sleep on top of the top sheet and the youngest – well she turns into some sort of Ninja in her sleep and would wake up because she was so tangled in her top sheet that she too began pulling it off the bed. I’m told it is a European thing, but I can assure you that my Kiwi kids are not trying to be culturally sophisticated. So I have to wash the duvet cover regularly but it means I can give the duvet inner a good airing out that day.

        Does anyone out there iron sheets? I was raised in a everything possible is ironed household and I’m sure I spent hours ironing sheets as a kid. I think my kids are vaguely aware that there is an iron in the house……..

        • I remember my grandma ironing sheets. Ugh! I had a friend whose mother actually ironed her husbands boxer shorts. I try to find clothes that don’t have to be ironed. I also am careful to take things out of the drier immediately so they don’t get wrinkled. I think I have stated before that I hate housework and ironing is at the top of the list. I remember hospital corners when I worked in the hospital. They still do that because they don’t buy fitted sheets. At home, I don’t do them. I do make my bed. It takes all of two minutes maybe.

        • Don’t forget to iron the towels too. Can’t get that nice sandpapery texture if you don’t iron the towels… Sometimes I think my mother only had a daughter so there was someone to iron, and polish the silver. Needless to say, now I’m mature I do neither!! (did I say ‘mature’? hahaha)

      • That is true Wendy B and I can relate to Moni’s situation too. There are degrees to making a bed. To make it even easier one could go European and not bother with a top sheet. Just have a really serviceable duvet cover that can be washed regularly like white damask. My kids are like Moni’s, not that mine are kids any more but they both end up not using their top sheets. When you think about it, its just one more thing we can live without.

        • lol. I thought there is not a lot of difference bed wise (except for those american throw pillows), but I was obviously wrong. so here is the european asking: what is a top sheet and what is its purpose? isnt the normal sheet (with elastic corners OF COURSE!!), the duvet and then a pillow enough? so when making my bed, I shake the duvet, put it straight and flat on my bed, shake the pillows and thats it. 10 seconds. I do this every day, as I find it nice in the evening to go to a proper bed.

          • Sabrina from Italy :

            Hi 🙂 I don’t comment so much but I read every day. I like this idea of making your bed, but usually when I go out for work my husband is still in bed so I really cannot do it 🙁
            As for European bedding, I think it is more properly a “northern European” thing because here in Italy we usually have top sheet + blanket (or duvet with non-detachable cover). This is why I really hate that my husband usually ends up sleeping without top sheet, I cannot wash the duvet!! I always try to put the top sheet back in place before going to bed but the next morning it’s all on my side again. I might be forced to change to “northern European” style!! LOL 🙂

          • Hi Lena, OK here is the drill on how I make a bed in Australia. First there is the quilted mattress protector. Then comes a fitted bottom sheet. This has shaped corners and elastic to keep it in place. Then comes a larger flat top sheet. The purpose of this sheet is to be a barrier to protect any blanket, quilt or duvet that goes on top. These larger warmer and thicker items are harder to launder so best that they are kept further from people’s skin. After the top sheet comes maybe a blanket in the colder months and then the duvet. The duvet also has a removable cover which is also easier to launder than the duvet itself. This protects the duvet from external soiling from things thrown on the bed or if you lay on top of the bed for an siesta or Nanny Nap as we sometimes call it once one is over forty years of age. These duvet covers can be quite decorative and best not laundered too often for fear of fading or damaging.

            After writing all that I think that the next time I am due for new duvet covers I will go for the European approach. A basic white that can be easily laundered and wont fade and ditch that top sheet. It sounds like so much less bother. Any wonder many people can’t be bothered to make their beds. Add to that the thirteen pillows and cushions some people pile on top and it all become quite an event.

          • Here in the US it is pretty much like Colleen says. I have taken it a different way. In the hot months (of which we have many) I use only a sheet on top and that is pulled up to look nice during the day. In the cold months (we have a couple) I use a quilted cover from Ikea on top of the sheet. this can be washed but not often. What I like about the Ikea cover is that you can get them in 3 “strengths.” this means you figure out what your coldest temps usually are and you buy the one that is made for that temp. Since we don’t get really cold temps I got the least of the 3. It works great, isn’t very thick and looks like a duvet without the cover.

          • I think I prefer the “northern Europen” bed. Because I like to sleep in a bed with fabric I can wash on a regular basis… I do get Deb J, I would do that similar, but I would still have the duvet covered all the time (because I am like Moni’s daughter a ninja and I sweat quickly too). so guys, I challenge you: simplify your bed. 😉

        • Wow, I am starting to get how complicated this whole bedding/bed making can be – and I am amazed that you put up with that! I hope, that doesn’t sound snobbish. It’s not supposed to. I guess I am just so used to the combination of fitted sheet (matress protector under that sheet: yes, but that stays on all the time anyway, so no fussing around with it), duvets with washable covers (if they are colourful they might fade over time but they usually take years to wear out) and to make it good looking during the day a bedspread.
          Well, I guess this is more a confession of my laziness that though it is so easy for me I STILL need to get into the habit of making the bed daily (which actually only involves: airing it out for a while, putting the duvets and two pillows on it flat and nicely, then covering the whole bed with the bedspread and then propping the two remaining pillows -taht we actually use for sleeping as well, apparently we are pretty needy (or simply hoarders ;-)) when it comes to pillows – decoratively on top. 1 minute?)

          • I worked in an hotel for 5 years as room and cleaning service. I hated those beds that required a bedspread as I found it too big to handle it easily. I always preferred the look of a fresh covered duvet, folded and placed right, with the pillow next to it. I am not allergic, I have no pets, I change my covers around twice a month and I have beautiful ones with lovely patterns (bedcovers = a weak spot). so there is no need for me to use a bedspread. keep it simple.

          • Lean, I am with you. Keep it simple. I don’t want to have to do anything much in the way of housework and to me having to take care of a bed is housework. So it is really great to be able to just have a sheet most of the time. With our heat here anything more would be too much.

    • Like Elaine, I always air the bed before making it. I read that dust mites thrive in the dampness and warmth of a just-vacated bed, so if you leave the covers back the bed has a chance to dry thoroughly. Having sinus issues makes this a good step for me. Once I’ve eaten and gotten ready for work it only takes a minute to pull up the covers and get things looking neat. Great idea to have a monthly challenge, Colleen. I’m going to have to find a different one for January, but that shouldn’t be hard 🙂

  7. I really like the idea of concentrating our efforts in one central area this week. The mini missions are great and will help to start this new year off the right way by getting in order a room that is constantly in use. The idea of making the bed everyday is a good one too. Thanks for the challenge.

    • Hi Jen, I am glad you like the kitchen missions. Most of mine are now done, the pantry is tidy again and the old spices have been eliminated. Most of the others missions were out of the way months ago so I just need to go through each cupboard to see if there is anything left I can declutter.

  8. I have long been a fan of making the bed every day – it makes such a difference to how tidy the whole room looks. My biggest challenge is picking clothes up off the “floordrobe” and putting them where they belong before I go to sleep. That is what I’ll focus on. Shoes too. It is nice to be able to walk around the room without getting my feet tangled up in things that do not belong at foot level 😉

    • Jenny – I love it “floordrobe”, I have one daughter that would run with that description.

    • Hi Jenny, I like your substitute mission and I had to laugh at your “floordrobe”. My daughter was sitting beside me when I read that so I had to share it with her. She is the biggest floordrobe user I know and she doesn’t make the bed either. It drives me nuts.

      A quick story about leaving things lying on the floor. My hubby, kids and I spend a long weekend in Western Washington about seven years ago. We stayed in a hotel and the kids being kids left their shoes scattered around the floor. On a trip to the bathroom before bed I accidentally kicked one of the shoes and dislocated my little toe. My toe has had a weak spot ever since. I have now dislocated it three times and the last time was a nightmare. After waiting so long in emergency to get it attended too it didn’t want to go back into place it took one really nasty attempt without anaesthetic by one doctor, two other doctors with increased pain blocking medication and being sent back and forth to x-ray until finally a medical intern managed to get the thing back in place. By this time they had even managed to tear the skin under my toe in the attempt. You can bet I leave nothing on the floor and am very careful whenever I walk around in the dark. Quite frankly child birth wasn’t much more painful.

      • Glad you like the term floordrobe! I can’t take credit for coming up with it but it certainly rings true with a lot of people 🙂

        Colleen, your toe story is enough to convince me to keep my shoes where they belong. That sounds agonising and I hope you don’t have to go through it again.

        A few years ago I left my little 1.5kg dumbbells lying on the floor just out of sight under the sofa throw. My husband wandered past in his bare feet and broke a toe when he connected with one of them. You can bet I’m not allowed to keep my dumbbells at floor level any more! It was a painful experience for both of us as I was the one who had to drive him to hospital and sit waiting for hours while he was seen to, so we both suffered to some degree, and of course he never let me forget it (deservedly so).

        • Hi Jenny, your husband was quite lucky in the big scheme of things. When I went through the ordeal I explained in my comment my husband was working out of town and I had to get myself to my doctors surgery and then to the hospital when she wimped out and would attempt to relocate the toe. This all started at about 4pm in the afternoon and at 10pm I had to gdrive myself home from the hospital. Too bad my son whose skateboard my toe had connected with didn’t have a drivers licence.

          Oh well it makes for a good story and it taught me to be very careful where I put my feet.

          • I have learned to take a small flashlight with me whenever I stay somewhere other than home. I too had a bad encounter with a floordrobe one time and I don’t want another.

          • Perhaps this is food for another mission/challenge – get things up off the floor (unless they BELONG on the floor…)

  9. I am taking aim at my kitchen too, have been doing little tasks to make it more functional. The major task of under bench cupboards will be attacked when I return next week from my mini holiday with my sister. I totally agree a made bed looks so much better, and is easier to use as a sorting table for the occasional wardrobe clean out.
    Cheers

    • Hi Wendy F, good move making your kitchen more functional. If there is one room in the house that needs to be that way it is most certainly the kitchen. I have added a new gadget to mine it is called a Bridget. About five nights of the week it does the cooking for me. Can’t buy them in stores though sorry. One draw back is that it is quite messy during the process so it is debatable whether it actually saves me any time. But since it is the deciding what to cook that drives me crazy I will keep the Bridget for now.

      By the way, when do you get back so we can go to the club for dinner with the gang.

      • I get back on the 22nd, now I am dreaming of creamy avocado chicken! Sometimes I think, there must be an easier way to satisfy our hunger without all the fuss associated with thinking about and creating meals in the kitchen. There must be someone out there going against the flow of Nigellas and Jamies and creating minimalist meals with minimal mess.
        If there is, I am going to subscribe to it!
        If you decide to Declutter the Bridget, I will be happy to give her a new home 🙂
        Cheers

        • I have been trying to declutter the Bridget for a long time without success. She comes with a whole lot of accessories what have been cluttering up my garage and guest room for years.

          • Oh, decluttering the Bridget should be easy. One day – though maybe not in the near future – the (sort of) grown-up Bridget (aka the Bridget with her own place) will take the basic model as well as the stored accessories with her. And the best news: I’m sure even in the distant future you’ll be able to borrow the Bridget from time to time to mess up your kitchen.

          • You made me laugh with Bridget. If you declutter her I will acept, however i think we will have a big problem with dishes… 😀 😀 😀

          • We would love to have a Bridget here but one who goes home after cooking. Grin. I am not sure if you all would agree but it seems to me that as you get older you get more and more fed up with having to come up with meal ideas and then cooking them. Now is when I wish that prepared foods weren’t so bad for us. Hum! I wonder if i could find someone to do it for us so we could freeze it and then just pop into the microwave when we want to eat? that would work too.

          • Deb J, I would immediatly do that. not that I am a professional, but I do like to cook and try out different things, would be cool, to make it semi-professional for others… especially as you would be challenged taste-wise and regarding also ingredients.
            I dont think this idea is out of reach. I mean, if I would come three times a week to cook for people, others might too…

          • Lena, I wish you were here in Arizona so I could have you do the cooking for me.

  10. I already got a jump start on the kitchen. One day after Christmas, I was putting away some dishes and noticed that several cups and plates had chips in them. I decided that if they weren’t good enough for company, they weren’t good enough for us either, so I threw them out. If we run out of everyday dishes, we can always eat off of the good china.

    • Hi Anita, I decided quite the opposite a while back. I got rid of the good china because I preferred my everyday dishes. I figured if they were good enough for me they were good enough for company.

      • Colleen, I like this thought. We did the same. It’s so nice to be rid of the 3 sets of china and 1 set of stoneware. We now have some really nice Corelle dishes and that’s it.

  11. Hmm, I think I lucked out on the mini missions as the kitchen is fairly decluttered at this point (okay, there is always some use it up to do, the food cabinet – I wish it would deserve the name pantry but unfortunately it is just a deep dark hole under the counter with insufficient shelving – needs attending but firstly needs structural changes which are NOT going to happen this week although I hope they’ll happen sometime soon and last but not least there are items on my secret declutter wish list but they are not mine to decide about …)
    BUT I definitely shall join the making-your-bed-every-day-challenge! That would be a good habit for me to acquire, indeed. (and off she goes … it’s monday morning over here.)

    • That “pantry” space you have sounds a little challenging and not to inspiring. It sounds like a difficult place to get at. I have to admit I am pretty lucky with the one I have as it is a big corner cabinet.

      Good luck with the bed making mission. I am sure you are up for it.

      • Yep, I hate that space, way too deep, like four or five rows of stuff deep. It was sort of manageable when it only held food for me (which I kept in two repurposed big wire baskets that I could pull or lift out if I needed to access the back rows) but with a two-person household it has gotten too full for that arrangement and overall just out of control. Also I switched from tupperware to (mainly repurposed) glass containers which I like better overall (completely, not just sort of see-through and no smell/potential leach of chemicals into the food). Contra though: they don’t stack well and since they are round and slightly different shapes they take up more space. I’m definitely in for the big make over here. I’m thinking of installing pullouts from Ikea – but as they will need to be totally customized to fit the antique/non-Ikea cabinet this will involve money, a trip to said store, time, big carpentry action AND help.
        The good thing about something as dreaded as this: It makes other tasks seem sooo doable.
        Thus I slowly but steadily am action-procrastinating (as in: doing other stuff) towards it 😉

        • now you made me laugh. I totally understand your problem, its always the “rat tail” that bothers. But if you are able to point the needed action towards other things, it will have a purpose in the end. and you will see: one day, you are so bothered by it, you will install this new pantry in no time… I wish you all the best for that. I also have a kitchen that could use a proper make-over, including new storage solutions. isnt it weird how you always weigh the options against each other? annoyance by no storage vs. annoyance of getting new storage. I wonder if I will have no annoyance one day 😉 but as long as I dont have a gold digger yet, I need to prioritise. I will treat myself with a new mattress – way before I will do anything in the kitchen.

          • Mom and I came to the realization that most kitchens were not designed by women but by men. Saying that explains a lot of the bed things we find in them when it comes to design. Now we see that being changed but in so many cases it is too late because we don’t have these nice new homes with nicely designed kitchens. Thankfully, we do have Ikea and the like. Unfortunately, that means money and expertise. I used to be good at modifying things with pull-outs and such. Now I can’t do it physically. I have decided that we need to have a barter system in every neighborhood where we can get someone to do our kitchen and other room changes in trade for something we can do. We do have one man in our church who will do some things for us in exchange for a big batch of chocolate chip cookies. Hum! Didn’t I just say my Mom loves to bake?! I need to think this out.

        • I’m really happy about my pull-out-pantry. It really only is one big drawer, but it works just fine for me. (Spices, oil and vinegar are stored in an overhead-cabinet).
          That said, I am in the progress of “standardizing” my twist-off glass jar collection. I have settled for only one cap size – it’s a rather large one (about 8cms) that comes on a variety of glasses over here – from small jam jars to big jars of pickles and the like. That way, the jars are stackable (though reused) and it also makes canning easier, as every cap fits every jar. Plus, it’s easy to get a replacement cap. It took me a while to exchange my jars to the new “standard cap”, but meanwhile there are only one or two other sized jars left – the rest, from jam to raisins, nuts and cocoa is stackable. 🙂

  12. Making the bed everyday was my “tidy” mission for November along with not going to bed with dishes in the sink. I have these under control now and love to go into my bedroom after work and see the bed made. And nothing beats walking into a clean kitchen every morning. So, my personal mission for January is to put the laundry away after each load is done instead of leaving it in the basket – folded and ready to put away- but just not done.
    Also, this weekend, I had to move our cracker container from the 2nd shelf in the cupboard to the first shelf because my husband and I both have shoulder issues (mine right and his left) and we couldn’t reach the crackers any longer. But, in order to do that, I had to rearrange the spices on the first shelf to make room. Well, boy did I find some old things. About 20 years ago, my friend and I went to an outlet store and I bought some sesame seeds. I have used them recently but never checked to see how long I had them. When I saw the label yesterday, I realized that these were purchased at that outlet shop. So, out they went along with some lasagna noodles that were “use by June 2005”. Don’t know how these got missed in the last clean-up but there they were. Also, tossed some basil that I dried myself about 5 years ago. Anyway, the spice shelf is pretty up-to-date now with lots of room for the crackers.
    And, to go even further, while I was there, I decided to clean my stove, which is right next to this cabinet. The sun was shining in the window and highlighted all the greasy spots that I don’t always see at nighttime. I spent 3 hours cleaning it from top to bottom, except for the oven. That will be another weekend adventure. The button to turn on the self cleaning part of the oven broke off so I will just use “Easy Off” and just get it done. I hated to cook anything for dinner because the stove looked so great.
    I am on a good start for 2013 by working a little at a time in getting things refreshed. And it really feels good. The key for me is “just do it”. Don’t keep saying – “I need to do this” – just get the supplies together and “just do it” which is how I got my stove cleaned. Oh yes, I also cleaned out the fridge this weekend, too. Tossed the old leftovers that couldn’t make it in anything else and washed the shelves. I’m ready to start some cooking for the freezer for some long winter days.

    • Maggie, you have done a good job of coming up with your own challenge. And the work on your cracker and spice shelf is great. Isn’t it funny how we always seem to find something we miss the last cull? I think they just pop up out of nowhere just to give us something to do. Grin. My mother is a big believer in not having to throw spices out based on the date. Drives me nuts. So not to long ago I had her try an old bottle vs some new. She finally understood the difference not on in taste but in freshness. Now to go through the THREE shelves of spices.

  13. I tried 5 new recipes this week trying to use up some stuff in our cupboards. It is an ongoing task, but it is good not to waste the food you buy or let it expire. I go through my shelves regularly to make sure I can use up things before they expire. I may do a pantry challenge next month! I need to use up several things.

  14. Hi Colleen,
    Thanks for all your inspiration BUT: I like to air out my bed with some open windows for at least an hour before making–thinking of all those mites that love your skin! Got this from my mother/grandmother and the bed seems much fresher that way! Since I hate getting into an unmade bed, it always gets made. Must tell you that I decluttered 3 boxes of unused kitchen stuff that was cluttering the garage..now to get my hubby on board!

    Thanks again and good luck to all you 365’ers in 2013!

    • Hi Mec and welcome to 365 Less Things. I understand your BUT or at least I do now that one of the other readers mentioned about airing out the bed. I used to only do this when I washed the sheets but as of this week it will become my new habit. I am now rolling down the covers when I get up, go down stairs for a coffee and to Facebook and Tweet my blog elements, have breakfast and then I make the bed.

  15. I’ve always been lazy with making my bed – until I went to Japan. Funnily enough to completely put away the whole bed (i.e. futon) is easier to me than to just make a western style bed. I think it’s this “okay, sleeping time is over, I free this space for living”-feeling that does it for me. I’ve always been fascinated by how a room transforms when you take the bed away and store it in a closet. 😀