Sunday, November 16, 2008

I. just. can't. stop.

Cleaning. Usually my cleaning routine involves the basics....clean the toilet bowls, sweep and mop the floors, vacuum the carpets, clean the counters, dust the knick-knacks. Oh and let's not forget laundry....oh God, the laundry. It never ends...I have this bad habit of letting it pile up because I dread doing it and then on Friday night, I end up doing like 5-6 loads of laundry and then I spend hours on the weekend sorting, folding, and putting away clothes and towels. I keep reading wonderful and organized cleaning schedules posted by other bloggers or from friends and I feel such deep envy...why can't I be that organized? Why can't I stick to a cleaning schedule? It certainly would make my life so much easier.

This morning, I started off by finally sorting, folding and putting away the 5-6 loads of laundry I finished washing/drying last night. It took 2 hours. I wish I was kidding but I'm not. Then this afternoon, Tim took the kids to his parents' house. Most sane moms would take full advantage of getting a break from the husband and the kids....they'd lay on the sofa with a good book, a cup of tea, a warm cozy blanket covering their bare feet....but not me. Nope, I use these rare moments to clean the hidden, forgotten places that have gone months (or years....keep reading) without being cleaned or organized.

I would love to say I took before pictures but honestly I didn't expect for this to become an all-day project. I figured I'd organize all my spices and baking supplies and leave it at that. I just got so sick and tired of trying to find spices amongst the huge mess in my pantry that I vowed to organize it. But then, wouldn't you know it? I just couldn't stop. Instead of leaving the spices where they had been (in a lower part of the pantry which killed my back every time I had to bend down to find something....not to mention all the little hands that would go diving into the cabinet the minute it was open), I cleaned out another cabinet and moved my spices over there.

Just look at how organized it is....I love it!! I really wish I had taken "before" pictures because it was such a mess!

Then of course the cabinet shelf where I had my spices was now empty so I decided to organize all my cookbooks and recipes I've collected over the years....then that lead to another empty cabinet shelf. So I moved some of the paper products we use every once in while to that shelf (because it was overflowing in the cabinet where they had been, leaving me to have to dig out my crockpot everytime I want to use it). And this continued for at least 2 hours....the more I'd clean and organize, the more I wanted to keep going. I ended up going through our entire pantry, cleaning it out and organizing.

I gasped when I started pulling out things that had been buried in the very back of the cabinets....things from 2003 that had been opened and then forgotten about. Who on earth still has food from 2003 in their pantry???!!! Oh, it gets better....I discovered that we have a rotisserie cooker!! When did I get that thing? I have no was buried behind a bunch of junk in the bottom of the pantry. I may have used it once I think....can't remember. My memories have been clouded having 4 kids. I also found a juicer, which was a wedding present from one of Tim's high school buddies. I know it was a wedding present (from 2002) because it still had some wrapping paper on it, with the friend's name written on it by me in preparation for sending out thank-you notes....and it had never been used....or opened, for that matter.

So now my kitchen pantry looks like this:

And the beauty of it is now I know exactly what we have so I don't need to keep buying cans of pinto beans, thinking we don't have any....or oatmeal. Who needs 5 boxes of oatmeal, for crying out loud?
I ended up with 4 garbage bags full of expired foods (including foods/candy from the kids' Easter baskets from 2005 and 2006, some Halloween candy I must have hidden so well from 2007 that even I had forgotten about it, supplements galore from each time Tim and I got on a health kick and items from gift baskets I had received over the years, like nuts, coffee, etc) gross is that? That just goes to show how long my pantry has been neglected.

It's almost 5:00 pm and I'm exhausted. NOW I'm gonna go grab a book and cuddle up on the sofa and try to enjoy the silence of the house before Tim and the kids come home! Nothing like a huge project to make you feel accomplished!


Lana said...

I did some massive de-cluttering/cleaning not too long ago. But I didn't hit the cupboards...and quite frnakly, I don't want to!! Too scary!! I KNOW I have expired food too. I just don't want to know how much! Yay for you! Enjoy your book! (and you don't even have to hide in the shower! Bonus!)

Paula Constable said...

Way to go! You did a lot of work in one day-make sure you give yourself a reward!

I get in those moods where I JUST can't stop.

You said, " keep reading wonderful and organized cleaning schedules posted by other bloggers or from friends and I feel such deep envy...why can't I be that organized? Why can't I stick to a cleaning schedule? It certainly would make my life so much easier."

Think about what you have done, not about what can't be done. Take the time to look at what you have accomplished and take baby steps to work on the areas that bother you the most.

I think did a great job!

Heather (How to be a Woman..?) said...

Helene, you are so funny and sweet! I can totally relate to all the items you had squirreled away in your cabinets. How wonderful it must feel to know what you've got there so you don't have to buy 20 cans of pinto beans!

What is a rotisserie cooker? Sounds fun! Your place looks fabulous.

Hey - any chance you're nesting? Are you pregnant again?? Congrats!!!

twinmama said...

Good for you! (I think - I am sure you probably wouldn't have rather cuddled up with that book, but I am sure you feel better getting that project done.

That is the beauty of moving every 2 years, I get to throw out the junk that I don't need before we pack up our stuff! (Now that we are entrenched at our place, I am sure I will have this problem in 2010.)

Creative Junkie said...

So, if I email you my home address and mapquest directions, can I expect you here tomorrow? Because my pantry is downright scary.

Cathy said...

Well done!!! I still have to do mine. My pantry is scary too.

But I'm so proud of myself by just finishing 7 loads of laundry this last weekend and not only that they were all put away instead of being in the basket for days. Haay...

Tess said...

I love having that totally clean house feeling. I know what you mean about finding stuff from three years ago!

MAMA CEO said...

BRAVO!!!! I love it when a plan comes out better than what was planned! Mommys have little time to celebrate their one load of laundry washed, or the dishwasher started! But you!...My OH My! How awesome is that! You should definitely pat yourself on your back and then come to my place to show me how it is done...I'll sit back and take notes! ;)

Michele S said...

God, you are like the bravest person I've ever seen to take a picture of your pantry. I thought the first picture was your "before" picture.

Great going. I can't believe you got four bags! (I wonder what I'd get?) I could probably get one whole bag of forgotten cleanses and supplements!

joy said...

I'm working on mine slowly but surely. Great work!

Kate said...

I can't believe all that stuff you got rid of!! Oh my word. You are a better woman than I am, I probably would have done some work on the computer or read the paper.

Elizabeth Channel said...

Please come over to my house and help me organize...please?

Connie said...

We just tackled on of the closets and then just today I had my dd help me with my office. I think I get more worked up about what it's going to be like than what it is in reality.

But for you doing all this with 4 children, I give you props because it really must be hard to focus on one thing for very long!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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