Saturday, April 01, 2017
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Spring Cleaning
It is always a daunting task to view the cleaning as well as lawn/garden work that must be accomplished. Especially this year after recovering from what I now realize truly was a life threatening illness. I kind of thought the Urgent Care doctor was over reacting when he said I came within one day of it being too late but as I am recovering, it is now apparent how sick I was. Note to self... next time see the doctor right away.
Thank God, though, recovery is happening and I was able to begin spring cleaning last week. This year even more so on the "little at a time" clock. I usually make a list of what needs to be done but since we are dealing with an energy level that comes and goes, this week I took it one day at a time.
I have found it useful to simply go to a room, look around, and start on what is the obvious work needed unless there was something I had already planned. For instance, the one area that still needed sorting through with stuff taken to the Mission's thrift store was the sideboard in the Dining Area. I set a large, sturdy box near me and a pillow to make it easier to sit and kneel on hardwood floors and took everything but a stack of Royal Albert dishes out of the sideboard.
I kept my very favorite silver plated serving platters and accessories and the rest went into the box. All of them were purchased at Goodwill and thrift stores over the years when I actually would use them but now... let them go for someone else to be blessed and the Mission to have a little income from selling them. Cheap. To someone else.
It has taken awhile (a year perhaps?) but now every cabinet and drawer has been sorted through. A lot has been taken to the Mission's thrift store but I make no apologies for what remains. It is neat and tidy and what is left is what I enjoy. Much like my bookshelves, I will in no way read every book that is there but I do like having them on the shelf where there are... possibilities.
That same day I dusted the various surfaces in the living room/dining area so I no longer look at a thick layer of dust (at least there...). I dusted another room on a different day and did a little decluttering. On another day, I went through the refrigerator (it gets bare toward the end of the month so that is a good time) and threw away old condiments. The yellow "pantry" was sorted through and old stuff tossed, mostly things like the opened bag of mini marshmallows that has been there all winter.
Today I plan to sort through the main cabinet I use for canned and packaged goods in the Kitchen. I last organized it not long before Christmas but now I'm looking specifically for items that are far past their expiration date. While most canned goods can go years beyond expiration dates, those in boxes and especially shelf stable boxes of milk, broth, soup, etc. do not. I stopped buying shelf stable milk after having it go bad unless used right away. Only powdered milk is on the shelf now.
I found out years ago that it is not an old wives's tale that one should not keep mixes such as Bisquick very far past their expiration date if you have someone with a mold allergy in the house. (I forget the science behind it.) Apparently, there have been cases of people getting ill so I don't push the limits on Bisquick (which I don't have in the house now, anyway) or pancake mixes. I've gone back to using my favorite "from scratch" pancake recipe so I'd already thrown out the old-ish pancake mix.
Except for sorting through the sideboard, nothing took more than ten or fifteen minutes to accomplish but over a week I can already tell the difference. Once the little things have been accomplished, I'll begin washing the inside of the windows. Even if it is only one or two a day.
Hubby does those things that need more elbow grease such as mopping the floor. He already does most of the bathroom cleaning (I did dust and clean up the vintage vanity in the bathroom that was my mother's).
By the time the weather is consistently warm, the inside of the house should look pretty good. Then I begin on the lawn and garden. Although I probably will get out on days it doesn't rain next week and begin cutting back last year's growth at the fence line before the perennial greenery gets too big. It is easy now and much more difficult if one waits too long. Easy is good.