Clearing the kitchen side board

After yesterday’s post, you might think I would want to clear my desk before I go anywhere else in the house. In fact, I spend as much or more time in the kitchen, and being able to work efficiently there matters more to me than a pile of flotsam on the desk.

The mess on my kitchen side board this morning

The mess on my kitchen side board this morning

Sometime during the holidays, this half of the kitchen side board became a junk magnet. I blame it on the basket you can just see behind the mess.

Once a handy tote for our supply of non-stick labels, indelible pens and oft-used, small kitchen reference materials, the basket acquired ever more bits of flotsam, almost by magic. Not.

That’s the way of a hoarder’s corner, isn’t it? We know we have a pile to clean up. We intend to clean it up. We intend.

“Soon! Soon! I promise!” This we tell ourselves, even as, in our haste to finish this-more-important-thing-we-are-doing-right-now, we drop one more item on the pile.

Some of that mess originated around Thanksgiving. Other pieces came later. That white bag? It’s full of organic oatmeal, from the bulk bin at my local green grocer. I plopped it there the other day when it turned out I didn’t have a clean Fido jar large enough to hold the meal.

This is one of those little clutter stumbling blocks I run into from time to time. I cannot put something away because a) there is no room for it, or b) there is no proper container to house it.

Fortunately, today I have lots of clean Fido jars, including one large enough to hold a few pounds of oatmeal.

In the fifteen minutes I gave myself to clear this corner, I took each item, one by one and put them away, where they belong. Here’s the side board now.

The mess fifteen minutes later, substantially reduced

The mess fifteen minutes later, substantially reduced

That pesky basket and all those messy books, CD sleeves and whatnot will get their fifteen minutes of clutter-clearing mania too, one at a time, until this shelf looks as nice as a 100-year-old-plus shelf can look that’s been painted dozens of times and needs another go with the brush.

Clearing clutter energizes us!

Do you find that true? What amazes me about this tiny clearing today: I felt incredibly energized afterward and immediately cleaned and chopped vegetables for a tomato-based soup stock we love.

The aromas waft from the kitchen as I type. I could just open the lid, put my whole face in the pot and inhale the mingled scents of fresh, ripe tomatoes, slightly sweated onions, garlic, bell pepper and celery. Heck, the steam would do my skin some good!

I won’t, of course, put my head in the pot, but I am looking forward to homemade cream of tomato soup at lunch time.

Did you stop and clear a little clutter today?

Remember: Set the timer for 15 minutes and force yourself to stop when it rings. The rest can wait. If you have a minute, share your success here.



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