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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Year...New Pantry!

Well, technically we have the same old pantry—but we have a new determination to organize it! Throw out expired stuff!!!

Actually, 2015 is going to be a year of “purging” for me and My Sweet Hubby (MSH). In 2014, we spent several weekends over at our Barn—the apartment and the loft—going through boxes and boxes of memories. Stuff. Junk. We've made a small dent in that nightmare. At our age, we are truly understanding and FEELING the cliché:

Less is MORE.

We’re faced with the (probable) inevitability of one day having to move from our Country Casa Heaven (we have almost 34 acres) to a smaller home. We ain’t getting’ any younger. Although our place is not huge—by anyone’s imagination—it’s plenty big and full of work. Work that MSH and I do by ourselves. Work that gets harder and harder with each passing year.

So we’ve made a goal of tackling one room and/or closet and/or drawer every week until we have our home and barn (and life) under better control.

Saturday we started with our pantry! We’ve cleaned it out over the almost fifteen years we’ve been in our home. Many times, in fact. Smallish jobs, though. Nothing major. We began by attempting to agree on a "Plan" and looking at the floor to ceiling shelves—said ceiling being 10-feet tall. We decided it was time to let loose of some serving pieces, dishes, appliances, etc. It was also time to go through all of MSH’s spices! Lordy, he has enough to open either a small store or a restaurant.

Because of the height of the pantry, I couldn’t get a full picture of our challenge. But these are two “Befores.”

BTW: We acknowledged there was going to be no way we could do the entire pantry in one day. Even two! Especially since The Dallas Cowboys were playing Sunday at noon. (We'd rather not discuss that, if you don't mind.) We worked for almost five hours Saturday. Beginning at the top and working our way down. Sunday we worked almost three.

Our criteria categories: Things we still use. Things we never use. Things we probably never needed. And, finally, the things TLC might want—at some point—down the line. (We even assured her we'd pack them up and store them in our Barn Loft until she could retrieve them. Sheesh.)

The next two pictures are a few of the items we removed from the top three shelves. (Not all, don'tchaknow. I wouldn't put y'all through that torture. You're welcome!) The top picture depicts items that were returned to the pantry. Approximately one-sixth of what we pulled out! The next picture contains items that will be donated. I'm proud to say there were only a couple of items that warranted the trash can. The rest will be taken to two organizations we love to help out in our tiny way. One organization is in our small town and the other is in Tracey's (bigger!) city.

(Update: As it turned out, TLC completely insulted her parents by saying—after seeing many pictures of things, via our cellphones, her Mom thought she’d just love to have—“No, thanks. I’m good.”)

Bright and early Sunday morning became “Spice Day!” (See the above picture of our Utility Room and the beginnings of our work in there Sunday.) We took out bottles and bottles—containers and containers—boxes and boxes—of spices and other baking items. We checked each for its expiration date. Our criteria was this: Anything with a date before January 1, 2014, was going to be trashed. Now, before you think we didn’t need to go that crazy, let me promise you most of what we pitched into the trash was more than half used. Or not worth attempting to keep. There were only a few bottles that had never been opened.

We worked on Little Leighton’s Gluten-Free Shelves with love, devotion and a sense of fun! We’re honored to help our precious granddaughter stay healthy. We then worked on a section for rice, flour and pasta.

We actually still lack two—almost three—shelves. Canned goods. Baking items. Sauces/Vinegars/Salad Dressings/Pickles/Olives/Jalapenos/Mayo/Mustards. Cooking oils. We expect that to be done next Sunday and to take another three to four hours.

Then, all that will remain, are the crates and items we keep on the floor of the pantry. (We want this area to be tres attractive/prettier!) This area includes Buddy Boo Bear's dog food bin and other dog treat containers. We confess: BBB looks forward every single afternoon to two ginger snaps. That's all. Two. And they are, cross my heart, the only "people" food he gets. Unless Little Leighton accidentally throws him something every now and then. That's rare. She's learning it's not good for him or her dog, Henry.

Here are a couple of “Afters.” Although they’re not what we hope will be the final outcome, maybe they show you we’re getting close?

Yes, we question how long we can sustain our current determination. And energy. And kindness to each other about our 2015 Purging Project. I’ll keep you posted...

Have a Wonderful Week, Silly Friends Everywhere!

Hey,Clean/OrganizeSomethingAnything, okay?


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