I recently organized my kitchen cabinets. Gosh I have accumulated a lot of stuff! I love to cook and bake, and consider a well-stocked kitchen a great asset, but it was getting to the point where I would cause an avalanche of baking pans if I wanted to get to one of my cake pans. Where to put my travel thermos now that I’m not using it each week for school? No room at the inn! My vanilla extract was in with the china because my spice cabinet was so chaotic. I didn’t have a junk drawer, I had 3 junk drawers! Help!
I think this happened not only because I’m a magpie pack rat, taking in The Shiny from thrift shops and friends and yard sales galore, but I’m also a saver of things — no, that’s not an empty spice jar or empty jar of jam or honey! That’s a bud vase or a future homemade deodorant container or a great place for homemade mustard once you soak the label off!
When my grandparents died, I also inherited their lifetime (and my lifetime — it was the Thanksgivings and Birthdays of my entire childhood) of glasses, plates, pots, pans, silver, and such.
You know how it is when you get more stuff — you just shove it in with the stuff you have and hope for the best until things become totally unmanageable. Well, that day came last weekend. I had to take everything out and put it all back again in an organized fashion if I wanted to make these objects useful, and pleasurable to use. I was going to do a cabinet a day so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed, but once I started, I couldn’t stop.
I was pleased that out of all the items, I only recycled two plastic freebie cups (which, now that I know better, I would have refused when they were offered to me)! Everything else stayed, is used, and loved! It’s now all organized to within an inch of its life.
There is no more room for anything unless something else goes, and I don’t want anything to go.
The reason I wanted to tell you about the mundane task of straightening my kitchen cabinets is because this experience happened one week before my town’s Town Wide Yard Sale. I used to think of it as the most magical day of the year: I could leave the house in the morning with $50 and come home with books, art, dishes, pitchers, clothing, cups, pans, jewelry — you name it! This year, I felt so differently about it . . . I had no desire to go. In fact, I didn’t go. The idea of adding one more thing to my possessions filled me with terror and doom! This may sound surprising coming from someone tracking coupons — an opportunity to acquire things coupon-free seems like an offer you can’t refuse!
But I did. I have enough, and I realized it through experiencing it as Too much. Blake was right.