I recognize this post may only be interesting to me, since it’s my blog, but I am just so pleased with myself that I am going to share it. Along with my big, year-long plans, I made a mini-resolution for January, and it was very simple: get rid of as much stuff as possible.
I’m not a packrat, but life happens and stuff piles up. That’s just the way it is. Maintaining a home requires consistent effort to keep things from descending into chaos. Every day, there are dirty dishes to wash and more clothes added to the laundry pile. Sometimes I find the rhythms of home to be soothing; other times I think I should hire a cleaning service to make the dust disappear.
This month I’ve been focusing on clearing clutter, and it feels great. Last weekend I cleaned out my vegetable/cheese drawer and was just tickled by the amount of space and lack of old, slimy produce. See?
Ah. I feel better just looking at the photo.
Other projects include donating my old clothes to a lucky stranger from Craigslist, recycling old issues of The Chronicle of Higher Education, and bagging up other recyclables with plans to cart them away to the recycling center. And last night I started cleaning out my freezer, tossing bags of leftover cookie crumbs and heels of bread. How many cups of cornbread crumbs does one person need to save, anyway?!? Right now, zero. I’m starting fresh. The freezer clean-out makes me especially happy, as I need room in there for all my baking supplies, like whole-grain flours, almond flour, and ground flax seeds. My stash of leftover bits and bobs had robbed me of room to easily store the supplies that I do use on a regular basis.
(Besides, now I have a good excuse to bake a fresh pan of cornbread!)
I continue to work on my resolution. For now, I’ve condensed my newspapers and mail into two piles. Maybe today I’ll start sifting through them to save the good stuff and recycle the rest.
And while we’re on the topic of organization, I’m trying something new this year. I’m keeping a cooking journal in a small notebook so I can jot down what I’m eating and planning to eat. I’m hoping it will make me feel less overwhelmed by weekday demands. For example, right now I’ve got the ingredients for a cauliflower “fried rice,” a Mexican-style fried rice (with brown rice, black beans, frozen corn, and toppings), pizza, and oven-baked tomatoes. That’s four new dinners, and if I make at least 2-3 servings, I can make lunches from the leftovers. I’ll probably go to the grocery store on Tuesday or Wednesday as usual, but when I go, I’ll know that I’ve already got a good stash of food and dinner ideas for the week. I can buy fresh produce to round out those meals with salads or roasted vegetables.
That’s what things look like for me at home these days. How about you, dear readers?