Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cleaning out the cabinets

During the holidays, I had a friend over who asked for something and I directed them to my pantry cabinets, only to realize that I hadn't had the time to organize them. Yikes! I was very embarrassed.

I had lent my step stool to Shelley when she moved and I finally picked it up along with my tool box so I was able to finally organize my cabinets (they are both eye level and I have a higher up cabinet).

Over the years I had collected a lot of Crystal Light boxes of various flavors, which I used to consume daily (I probably used 4 packets/day). Slowly but surely I realized that all of that artificial sugar was not good for me so I stopped using the flavor packets. Well, that left me with several boxes I had kept at work (that I had stuffed in my cabinet) and then about another 8 boxes originally in the cabinet. As I started to open the boxes and dump out the packets into the trash and then recycle the boxes, I was flabbergasted at the waste I had created. It was probably $50 worth that I threw away (because they were all expired anyway!).

Originally I was thinking that was all I was going to do, but since I was there I decided to look at everything and throw away everything with an expired date. I ended up throwing away several boxes of quinoa and rice flakes, 3 containers of oatmeal (I used to eat oatmeal every morning and I had both regular and irish style oats), Easy Mac (a fully box that wasn't even opened), oat bran flour (just in case...I can't remember how long it's been since I purchased it) and also some balsamic vinegars, apple cider vinegars, etc. I almost completely filled my kitchen trash can.

Now I can fit all that is left onto one cabinet shelf if I wanted to. I feel so much better after clearing out the items that are expired and that I apparently do not eat anymore! Now I'm going to tackle some paperwork I have to look through (it's almost tax time, you know!).

This morning I realized that I am, generally speaking, an organized person. I don't feel right in the morning unless my bed is made. But I also can let a few dishes go here and there, so I guess it's a healthy balance? I do feel it's important to look at what you have on a regular basis and realistically ask yourself if you use those items! If not, get rid of them (either through donation or throwing them away). And now I'm off my step-stool/soap box. :)

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