At the end of each day, I post a recap of what happened and what progress I made. I try to be as detailed as possible when tracking the project. Here’s what happened today…
Number of hours spent: 7
Supplies purchased: None
Amount spent: $0
Number of (13-gallon kitchen) bags trashed: 2
Number of giveaway boxes: 0
Number of (33-gallon) giveaway bags: 0
Butt-Kick Tier 1: Clear out a kitchen drawer
Butt-Kick Tier 2: Clear out a 1/4 of the Kitchen
Alas, I’m finally tackling the kitchen. I expected the kitchen to be easy to clean because I figured that most of the stuff was old food to be thrown away or kitchen utensils/appliances that we don’t use.
Once I got started, I found that although there was old food and old kitchen supplies, most of the stuff in the kitchen doesn’t belong in the kitchen to begin with. For example in a single small area I sorted through I found:
- A few picture frames
- Stockings, pantyhose and socks
- An unopened bag of lentils
- Bills and bank statements
- JUNK MAIL (ughhhhh)
- Business cards
- Onion, Apples, Garlic, Ginger
- Mailing labels
- Toys (Rubber balls, Tyco train)
- A Raiders highlights DVD (We’re not even football fans, let alone Raiders fans)
- A 12-CD Case holder, with a picture of Celine Dion on the front
- And of course… coins and dead batteries
I sit in a spot ready to clear through, then realize that I have no idea what to do with all this stuff. Unlike the garage or guest room, I don’t know how recent the miscellaneous items in the kitchen have been used. I don’t know whether the items are important to my family or not.
If the house were completely clean and you gave me the list of items above, I could easily tell you where each item should belong. But right now with the house as it is, when I’m in the moment of sorting I can’t figure out where anything should go. Most of it doesn’t belong in the kitchen, but there’s no place anywhere else to put it.
The overwhelming amount of miscellaneous stuff in the kitchen is just part of the problem. On top of that, the organizational system in place is inadequate. I close my eyes and envision the entire kitchen completely empty. Then I start slowly filling the kitchen in my mind with the things I think are essentials: the fridge, the microwave, toaster oven, crock pot, rice cooker and so on. Then I think of the utensils, pots and pans, dishes, cups, serving bowls and so on. Then the food. Even when I envision the basic things that we would need to have in the kitchen, or the things that would be normal or functional for us, there is still not enough storage.
Not enough cabinets or drawers. We don’t have a pantry to store food. The kitchen is the appropriate size for maybe a 2-bedroom apartment for urbanites who don’t cook often, not for a family of four who cook and bake a lot.
Now what? Even if I get rid of all the things we don’t need in the kitchen, there won’t be room to fit the things we do need. Given how the kitchen is the area used most often and given how my family has been with stuff, keeping stuff in a spot temporarily while we get stuff fixed (like maybe installing a pantry) simply can’t happen. There isn’t such a thing as putting something somewhere temporarily. Not with them, not yet.
I feel stuck. Even after I’ve broken down the project into smaller more manageable pieces, it still feels unmanageable.
Unnecessary stuff still manages to creep into areas they don’t belong. The clutter in the house is still too overwhelming and horribly disorganized. I think once we scale the stuff down into something manageable and once we have organizational systems in place, things will get easier to clean, organize, and maintain. Right now we’re just dealing with the massive purge.
One thing at a time I guess.
Tier 1 (drawer) accomplished. Tier 2, not. And still no pictures.