Posts Tagged ‘organization’

Day #32: Cleaning out a kitchen cabinet

11/11/2010

Here's what my kitchen cabinet looked like before I tackled it today

Do you ever worry about running out of projects for your “170 Days of Change”? my friend Ann asked last night, as we chatted on the phone.

Not even close, I thought.  I could feel my eyes rolling in their sockets.

How could I tell Ann how many undone projects exist in my neatly organized condo?

That’s when I realized “170 Days of Change” is about finishing things. Addressing the many things I see daily and then say to myself, I should get to that. All the while berating myself for not having done it.

I can’t do everything today, I remind myself. Yet if I do one small thing, I’ll whittle down the many outstanding projects facing me so I consistently feel pleased and proud. Plus I’ll build new muscles: completion muscles. These new muscles will help me get what I want.  I know it.

I’ll feel closer to my essence, too. I’m sure of that too, because I already feel it happening, with many outstanding projects still surrounding me.  It’s as if a heavy, black layer of gunk has been removed from my skin; its removal enables me to feel my heart beating all the way through me.

On Day #33, I cleaned out a kitchen cabinet. It’s the one I open every morning to pull out a bag of Kashi “Go Lean” cereal. I shudder every time I do it. It’s a small, narrow cabinet between the sink and refrigerator. Tough to get into. It hasn’t seen the light of day since I moved in seven years ago.

Today’s the day, I said to myself, as I walked into my den to get the beige plastic step stool I store in a corner of the room, behind a chair. The stool would help me reach all the items on the cabinet’s two shelves.

Stepping onto it, I stretched up to remove everything on both shelves: a bag of Kashi cereal, tightly sealed by a huge black paper clip;  a not-yet-opened box of the same cereal; a couple of closed plastic bags with rice cakes in them; two bags of rolled oats (one bag open, the other sealed shut, just as it was when I brought it home from the store; two boxes of penne pasta, which I keep for when my 22-year-old son visits; two bags of Simply Naked pita chips; and a closed paper cup of peach raspberry oatmeal. Also a couple of bags of whole wheat pasta.

Everything that had already been opened went into the garbage, with the exception of the Kashi cereal I eat every morning and the rice cakes. I used Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena household cleaner to wash the shelves, and then rinsed them off with a wet paper towel. (As I write this, I realize I should have used cloth towels.) Soon.

Afterward, when I placed each item on the dry shelves, I felt like I was patting myself on the back.