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24 March, 2012

{Project Simplify} The Pantry

This year for Lent I decided to put my New Year's Resolution of "One Step at a Time" into action: clean and de-clutter one section of our apartment at a time.  My goal is to get rid of a minimum of one brown paper bag worth of trash or things to donate from each space.

Week Three: The Pantry


We'd been in this apartment for two years at Christmas.  I recently found a jar of peanut butter and thought, "Man, we've had this for ever. I wonder when it expires"  Oddly enough, it was that day.  And then I wondered, how long had we had that peanut butter.  The answer will make you never by commercial peanut butter again (read: since before Eric and I were even engaged).

If the peanut butter was that old...what else was hiding in our pantry?

I would feel really guilty about the state of our pantry, but we hardly use packaged or canned foods so it's easy to forget what little we have in the there.

My goal was to get rid of everything expired (trash), everything unopened I don't for see us using before it expires (donate), and reorganize what was left

How I did it:

First I took everything out of the pantry and put in on the counter.

Then I grouped things by like items.

I pulled out the stuff we don't use or has expired.  Said good-bye to some really nice stocking stuffers (WHY!?! didn't I make snickerdoodles and use that spread?!?!)

And placed everything back in their new home in the pantry.

It was super easy, especially with this little nugget as my helper.

Confession: I actually did this back in early February (that's why Evie is so little!).  I have since taken more things out!  A few went to the laundry room (all my sprinkles) and a few went to the cabinets (all the coffee) in this week's clean out.

What I learned in the Process:

  • This jump started the de-cluttering process for me.  I had done a few other small areas of the house,  but this gave me the "high" I needed to tackle the rest of the house.
  • It doesn't take but another second to put things into the right place instead of any place. The key is having the right place for everything, and following through with it.
  • De-cluttering is contagious (I am not sure that's the most accurate word). Once I do one area, I can't wait to do the next one.  This has been an overdue spirit for me to have.
  • It's probably hard for outsiders to see my de-cluttering as a religious experience worthy of Lent.  I've been learning how weighed down by "things" I have become.  Detaching from them has been so freeing.  I've also spent less time tracking down lost items (which becomes a near occasion of sin by the time I actually find what I am looking for...ha!) and spent more time doing good things, like efficiently preparing a healthy dinner for my family!

Extra! Extra!

  • I don't know if I necessarily met my goal of removing a brown bag of stuff from this space with the first pass.  However, I did a bunch of baking and used up some odds and ends out of the pantry.  And later relocated some things to newly cleaned out spaces.
  • Don't think I cheated by using an old project for this week.  We did more than our fair share of cleaning last week and this week (I am a week behind on posting, too!).  This next week's post has so many clean outs! And we'll have a bonus feature at the end of Lent!

How is YOUR Lent going?? What have YOU learned about yourself?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! Please come to my house and make my pantry look so nice! And look at how cute your helper is! :)


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