I usually post pictures that I hope will inspire others to spend more time in nature and see the world around us in a different way. It is quite possible, I have done too much walking outdoors and neglected what I should be doing in the home.
What I am about to share is not a pretty sight. Inspired by Tracy (Reflections of an Untidy Mind), I’ve decided to share my truth, frame by frame, too. My life is not perfect, like many other people, who juggle too much each day. I’ve decided should I ever marry again, it will be a group wedding, to four husbands.
I love to travel as much as I love to cook. I’m always buying condiments from the South West, Broome or the Midwest. I bring them home and store them in the pantry. I buy a lot. (A distinct disadvantage of a walk in pantry). When home I could never find what I needed, so I went and bought more stuff. I’d open it and it would get lost in the mess. When I had time to cook again, it was a repeat performance. Buy more, find the old stuff, see the use by date, throw it out. Oh! the waste!
Introduced to Marie Kondo philosophy about two years ago, I would get despondent at the sheer magnitude of tidying up the pantry. This messy habit is not new to me. I can recall my son in primary school tidying up the smaller pantry we had, writing out a missive that his sister and I had to sign, saying, we would put things back where we took them from! Sadly it didn’t take long for me to become haphazard and sloppy again. Once I understood the Kondo magic it all fell into place for me. And also my father’s wisdom “If you had a place for everything, then everything would be in its place and you would not lose anything”, he would say unsympathetically while I ran around trying to find my school book or school project. I set about making life easier. Incidentally, it also reduced my spending and wastage of food.
I started taking photographs of the pantry. I started from the left of the room. It didn’t look that bad, really!
Neither did the right side of the pantry (but we’re getting to the ugliest part).Well, here was the mess I stumbled upon every time I opened the door. I had a disastrous move into my new home. Four years on, I still haven’t unpacked most belongings. Things from the former kitchen were stuffed onto the floor of the pantry where it found a place for at least two years.
Using the Kondo method, I started clearing a small section. I stood back and thought, yes, that looked like something I could tidy up and feel I had accomplished a little. I took out everything from that small section, wiped the shelves down, turned around and then faced reality.
Ever seen one of those magic tricks where the scarf being pulled out of a hat has no end? Yes, this came out of that small cleared space.The temptation was to go out and buy more plastic containers to help with tidying up. But I have plans for my pantry, they are with the carpenter at the moment, so for now every usable plastic container is being used in new useful ways. I bought a few old plastic ice cream containers (the white one on the left) from an ice cream shop over 15 years ago for a dollar or so when they were closing down. One of the most useful things I have on the shelf!
Now I know where to find the good stuff and sadly, so does my son, who raids my pantry when I’m not home. I’m also spending less money on food. I can see at a glance what’s there. It’s interesting to see what I had two years ago. My eating habits have changed so much since then. I still buy the olive oils and flavoured vinegars but eat very little processed food. I haven’t baked in a long time. There is no more flour or sugar in my pantry. I do love natural honey and can’t give that up, especially wildflower honey.
I’m no neat freak. Far from it. But I can see the value of having a tidier place more than I did years ago. It has made my life less stressful and has improved my mental well being, too. That’s what Marie Kondo magic has done for me. Try it, it may for you, too.
Until next time
a dawn bird