Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day 3: The Fridge is an Elephant



Read the previous entry in this series Day 2: Your Choice or start at the beginning with the introduction: 5 Ways Clutter Costs.


Yes, the fridge is a decluttering project.

Obviously, there are all those unidentifiable science experiments lurking around which need to be tossed. Expired yogurt. Moldy cantaloupe. (I nearly cried.) But it is more than that.

Just what is clutter?

For me, clutter is anything that is not the way it is supposed to be. Or to put it another way. clutter is a state of affairs where something is not in line with my intentions, or the way I want things to be in my life. So, a pile of papers on a kitchen table is clutter--but not the same pile in a box designated for them. Anything without a home is clutter. Anything waiting for me to deal with it is clutter. Anything I am keeping "just in case" can be clutter--it depends on the case! (Though, probably, it is clutter--I'm just not ready to admit it yet.)

What counts as clutter is different for everyone--even, sometimes, when they live in the same house!

So, what is a messy, nasty fridge but a collection of failed intentions?

Ingredients for dinners we meant to make and didn't. Dinners we did eat--but didn't finish. Half-finished jars of spaghetti sauce--you know what I'm talking about.





Yesterday, I handled the overwhelm with a timer. That worked well for a relatively small job. But this one? This was not a small job. Easier, maybe. But not quick. A timer wouldn't work.

I decided to try another way--the strategy of small steps. I remember an article by Martha Beck where she talked about this. You want to clean out the closet but it is too big a job. Do just the first step, she advised. Make it so easy you can't refuse. Like, go open the closet door.

It's brilliant. Especially for a task like this where I don't have a lot of counter space for all the things. So, how was I going to clean the fridge?

One shelf at a time.

I started with the crisper drawers.



I did those and the top shelf before dinner.

After dinner, I tackled the remaining shelves, the door and the freezer. I had permission from myself to take a break--but when I was done the door, I was on a roll and just launched into the freezer.

Ugh.

So many black bananas.

Sorry about that kitchen floor. For some reason washing it is really complicated. But I did drag out the vacuum and gave those coils a quick once over.


So how do you tackle a fridge?

One bite at a time.


What are you working on, today? Are you doing your fridge or another big job? Would breaking it down into bite sized pieces help?


Read the next entry in this series Day 4: The Freezer

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4 comments :

Debbie W said...

I just threw out a whole cantaloupe today too - so sad. The food in fridge/ freezer is harder to organize because of the whole preparation & spoilage factor. I don't count leftovers as clutter because that's usually my lunch for next day :) and I can use up a lot of the veggies in the crisper for soup but cleaning out the fridge is a major pain. All those condiments that have been hanging out - sometimes they just need to go!
I'm getting inspiration from your "real life" organizing schedule and getting my clothes organized for winter.
Keep up the good work

Alana in Canada said...

Thank you so much, Debbie. Left overs for lunch are a great way to eat them up! We do that, too.

Janina Laird said...

I'm afraid to say I let my fridge become cluttered far too often. I don't often have time to use leftovers for lunch unless i eat them cold due to lunch break being 'used' for keeping my day at school flowing smoothly. But there are always half-eaten containers of hummus, expired yogurt tubs, and two-thirds of a basket of short shelflife berries that have to be dealt with. Ugh.

The sad thing is, many of those little containers have made the trip to school and back home again because who has time to eat??!! What makes those big clean-up easier for me (I'm frugal and hate throwing out 'money') is remembering how I ended up in hospital after eating food gone bad after a visit to a restaurant with my sister. She became sick too, but wasn't hospitalized. So, if I'm ever in doubt, I throw it out and tell myself to keep my fridge in better order. Don't want to go through that ever again.

I've got to do "make-up time" on my decluttering today. I'm falling way behind you in this project but I'm going to say it's just been one of those weeks. 2 specialists appointments, 1 with my GP, and of course, I had one with the dentist booked long ago. My cleaning G project has actually been going in REVERSE! ! Argh.

Alana in Canada said...

Oh Janina, I am sorry you don't get a chance to eat during the day. That's stressful. Please don't worry about keeping up--skip some of these if you need to. Remember, whatever you do is good. It all counts.

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