I’m halfway through the 30-day decluttering challenge and I feel about the same as I usually do when I’m in the middle of any DIY project. I feel a little frustration because there is still so much to do and it feels overwhelming, but I also see the improvements taking place and I’m getting closer to my goals.
I spent most of the week in the kitchen and what a job that was! Our family really enjoys cooking and we don’t go out to eat very often, and as I was cleaning out the drawers and cabinets this week I realized we have been holding on to way too many cooking utensils and non-perishable foods. I was irritated at myself for hanging on to wooden spoons that had cracks in them, boxed foods that had expired and I had to throw away, and the fact we had FOUR corkscrews and WE DON’T EVEN DRINK ALCOHOL! What in the world?
The utensil drawer look so much better and who would have known there was a divider in there?
Much better now! I threw some things away because they were old and worn out, and the rest I donated to Valley Mission Thrift Store. They have a great selection of housewares for sale in their store and I didn’t need all those nylon utensils (I had WAY too many), or the corkscrews!
It’s nice to see the drawer with our cooking utensils so nice and neat and I can find things much easier now.
I was most upset with the amount of food we had to throw out and was surprised there were items just sitting in the back of our food cupboard that were forgotten about. I spoke a little about it on Instagram this week and mentioned the idea of shopping on an as-needed basis as suggested in the book, Organizing For Your Lifestyle. Author Jane Stoller suggests doing that as a way to eat fresh and avoid so much waste. I am considering this because of all the food I threw away this week. I wonder how much money we spent on it just to toss it in the trash?
I’m not sure what all those nails are about in the cabinet. They were there when we moved in and I guess they’ve never bothered us enough to remove them. haha. Maybe I should add them to my list of things to get rid of.
I learned that decluttering has another benefit as well- revealing hidden dangers. I cleaned out all the clutter and cleaning products from underneath our kitchen sink this week and discovered the wire from our garbage disposal looks like it had been chewed through. I didn’t see any other evidence of mice, though we did have some when we first moved in since the house sat vacant for a year. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as it looked when I first saw it and my Dad, who is an electrician, came right over to look at it and is taking care of it!
While everything was cleared out underneath the kitchen sink, I decided to cover the bottom of the cabinet with some leftover peel-and-stick wallpaper to refresh the surface. This will probably be a temporary solution, but I’m hoping it will last a while. The kitchen cabinets are very old and with all the cleaning products and most likely some water damage to the surface, it just gives it a nice fresh look.
It’s been a long week sorting through all the clutter but our kitchen cabinets look so much better and have a lot more room in them, which I plan on keeping that way and not filling up those missing spaces. I am happy that I only need one shelf for coffee cups now instead of two separate ones because I had other things behind them taking up space. I also cleaned out my vitamins and medicines (that was a job!), which I keep above my coffee maker because it helps me remember to take them each day…I’ll never forget to drink coffee. 🙂
I am going through our small appliances now and still have the spice cabinet to go through, but I don’t think those will be as time-consuming as the other areas. Some of the small appliances are one the way out because I don’t even use some of them anymore and like the corkscrews, there are multiple. I couldn’t believe we had the base of our old blender that broke a while back, still sitting at the back of one cabinet taking up space. That was worse than discovering that we had four corkscrews.
I definitely made some progress this week and threw so much away, donating lots of good items that I no longer needed, and took a big load to the recycling center. That load of recyclables also included magazines that we went through one night after the kids went to bed and I was watching TV. It was something easy to do while I was sitting and it wasn’t as difficult to let them go as I thought it would be. I do hold on to magazines but I made the decision to throw out any that were older than three months. It was a great decision and felt very freeing. I just told myself that I could find most of these ideas on Pinterest or on the magazine websites and that it was better that I didn’t take up space in my home for piles of magazines.
Now I’m over the hump and on to the second half of this declutter challenge. I hope to finish up those few things in the kitchen and start on our work space, clearing out papers that need to be shred. Luckily, our local credit union is having their Shred Days next weekend when they shred your personal documents in exchange for some canned or boxed foods for the Food Bank. Another way to declutter AND give back in the community!