I gave myself 10 challenges to decrease my stress level. The ones in green are complete.
Charlie and I resigned from a bi-weekly leadership position. Our final responsibility was Easter Sunday on April 1. Since then Charlie has been substituting for other musicians at Sunday morning services at various churches in our area.
I started to clear unnecessary documents and clutter from my office. I use the empty credenza space for Dash’s belongings while he is at work with me.
I have shredded at least 10 bags of paper. It’s a process.
Get rid of more books. Sharing or donating 100 books will only be a drop in the bucket. Fifty children’s books are on their way to the pediatric unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Buy healthier food and prepare food in advance so good choices are available after work. The summer garden has made this much more effective, especially my favorite haricots verts.
Sell at least 5 large items of clutter that we no longer use. I have a chandelier, a saddle, and tons of oak logs listed on Craigslist. I’m thinking of going through some more precious things and opening my Etsy store.
I have unsubscribed from dozens of e-mail subscriptions that I inadvertently signed up for when ordering over the internet.
Pack light when traveling.
I’m limiting myself to one suitcase.
Clean out my handbag. I’ve taken everything out of my overly large but useful handbag and only replace the most necessary. Since we’ve been traveling often this year I have reassessed my need to carry everything all the time. I’m minimizing.
The laundry is still out-of-control but I have recently washed our bulky down comforter in a friend’s extra-large washer and dryer. It took 3 hour-long dryer cycles to dry completely.
Truth is I have no system so there are clothes in “waiting” or “holding” situations that appear to be clutter. And clutter is bad. I cleaned out all the hangers and clothes that have been stored there for many years. Charlie vacuumed the room including all the recently cleared out corners.
It’s time to make a new ten-item list. Spring always gives me a fresh outlook.
The title describes my pantry. The word pantry comes from the French word pain which means bread. Modern pantries are seldom used to store bread instead it is a small room or closet in which food, dishes, and utensils are kept.
Ever since the renovation of The Glade we have had a dedicated pantry for such items as oversized bowls and roasting pans, canned goods, dog food, seldom used appliances (waffle iron, extra espresso machine, mixer), cook books, etc.
Charlie also keeps his myriad snacks in the pantry in old dog treat jars.
The whole place is a shambles.
Today I took a stab at straightening it up just a bit. Don’t tell Charlie but any outdated food has been trashed. I’ll never eat it; he’ll never eat it; and it can’t be donated. Cans have been lined up according to type.
Plastic containers have been matched up with their corresponding lids. Anything with advertising or missing its mate is history.
With overnight guests in mind we have been endeavoring to get our back bedroom, The Treetops Room, cleaned up and ready.
The trouble is that after Charlie and I used it as our bedroom during the renovation (finished 5 years ago) we have been filling it with papers and furniture and CLUTTER.
Sug has helped a lot by cleaning everything in there more than once. This week, while she’s away, I am determined to diminish the volume of things in there. A small piece of furniture is headed to a new home.
I started by clearing the bookshelves and moving them across the room as a night table.
Then I refilled them with items I have projects planned for.
Taking advice in this post I am shredding my old calendars which I had been saving for reference. I have never consulted them so out they go.
Charlie returned some bins to the attic. Other items are still in the room but will be donated in the next week to a local rummage sale — two lamps, a lacrosse stick, baby toys.
We’ve been places and we want to go places. Along with all of those trips and future trips are loads of paper with information and memorabilia and advice and photos and . . .
I just want to get it in a usable but not scattered, in my face, move it every time I want something place. And I have a great spot – file cabinet in the small pink bedroom.
I’m making separate envelopes according to the country or area of the country when it comes to the US. We’ve been to Europe a few times and we’ve learned a some things. All those tips and suggestions need to be in the file and easily accessible.
The January task in terms of cleaning and straightening the house starts in the kitchen. The kitchen is used to some extent everyday and from time we put a heavy load on its resources.
We don’t have many drawers in the kitchen but the ones we have are packed to the gills with table linens and utensils.
Some of the utensils are seldom used but when I need a cherry pitter I happy to have one. I’m going to try to be ruthless with useless items. Then I’ll organize so the most used items are easily accessible.
It can be easy to carelessly throw pots and pans and bowls into cabinets, so I plan to remove all the cookware and wipe off the revolving shelves. This year I did get rid of a bundt cake pan that horribly ruined a cake.
There is lots of space in the cupboard but frequently used pieces should be near the front.
Our pantry holds everything that needs to be easily accessed or, conversely, is seldom used. It needs an organizational once-over. I can organize canned goods by type, check expiration dates and get rid of foods you’ll never eat. Unexpired and shelf stable foods can be donated to your local food pantry.
One of the worst areas are storage containers without lids and lids without matching containers. We organize this a lot but it is difficult to maintain.
While I don’t actually have a spice rack I keep a number of spices and herbs in a narrow cabinet near the stove. I’m almost afraid to look at the expirations dates.
Refrigerator and Freezer
During the holidays the refrigerator and freezer were used and abused more than usual. We must eat or store the large volume of food that we prepared. Everything will come out and we’ll wipe down the insides and clean all the shelves and bins.
We have 2 sinks in the kitchen under which we store all manner of cleaning products. Some products like Goof-Off we seldom use but are absolutely necessary when a sticky situation arises.
Perhaps I can whittle down the products and reorganize the spaces.