Friday, May 27, 2011

My Dirty Little Secret

Although I'm basically a person who thrives in a neat, organized environment, that's not always how my world looks. In the past year, I've made a concerted effort to tame my propensity for letting a little clutter gather. My desk at work has been organized (and completely free of paper each night before I leave) since July. The kitchen counters have been clear and the sink has been free of dishes for a couple of months. Even after Thanksgiving's pie production, I cleaned the kitchen completely before I fell into bed.

This kind of self discipline isn't easy for me but it reduces my stress level and makes it easier to keep the rest of my world in check. And so it is that this area of my home is still a train wreck. Behold, my pantry (think dramatic horror movie music):





Well, this is what it looked like a few months ago. I've been slowly whittling away at it, taking boxes to charity and trying to use up what I have before buying more. I now run out of the things that I used to buy multiples of, but it is helping me reclaim my pantry and my sanity. In time, it won't be a dirty little secret anymore, and I can once again enjoy opening the pantry door to grab ingredients for baking.

I never appreciated how much my surroundings impact my mood before I started cleaning off my desk before leaving work each night. I find I am more productive because the open space on my desk encourages me to work rather than seeing the mounting pile of unfinished work and feeling hopeless. It's that epiphany I hope to carry to other areas of my life (home office desk - check; kitchen counters - check).

What area of your home is getting you down? Could you spend an hour or two this weekend to recapture that closet or desk and reclaim your inner peace? I encourage you to do it. It has helped me to be focused and calm at work, no matter what is swirling around me, and I am already reaping the rewards at home as well. Give it a try!

8 comments:

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Well done for cleaning up your cupboard. Mine often gets out of control and needs a tidy too! Although I think my bedroom is the worst. Thanks for the reminder.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I can't wait to see an "after" picture of your pantry, but to tell the truth, the "before" doesn't look that bad to me! I attack my baking storage areas semi-regularly but it's easy for them to get out of hand; I think that I still have too much stuff and your example of using things up is a good one!

HeartSaidSo said...

Oh my! Thank you I do have my desk a mess everyday after I leave work and when I come back the next morning the mess is still there, like if I think little elves are to show up a night and clean it for me. umph.... I guess I have to do it. :D

Tracey said...

I'm so with you Leslie - I've found that keeping my kitchen counters clean and taking care of the dishes before I go to bed at night makes me feel so much better every day. My pantry is a different story completely (and I agree with Nancy, yours doesn't look bad) but one thing at a time...

Carolina deWitte said...

Will you show us the 'after' pics? And, describe HOW and WHAT you did? My kitchen is so itsy-bitsy it's hard to get organized, and yet it would be the most important thing I could do. Suggestions for a 5' X 3' kitchen? It's a rental so I can't add anything permanent. I DID repaint without permission, but will paint it back before I move. Oh, and most of the stuff (stove, etc.) are cheapies. (At least it's a gas stove) No dishwasher either and little counter space, no pantry. (I use the linen closet in the hallway, it's pretty close as this is a 'studio' apartment. Please, inspire me!

Cakelaw said...

Leslie, my pantry and my spare room look way worse than this. Life is not giving me a chance to do anything with it, so I am ignoring them for the time being.

Di said...

Cleaning in general is the thing we've been struggling with. I'm starting to make some progress, though. Kind of like your clean desk goal, I've taken to making sure that all dishes are washed (or in the dishwasher) before I go to bed at night. We've been spending Sunday mornings on cleaning different parts of the house. I found a cool iPad app to help; the girls think it's a game. =) But we still have a ways to go...

Jaanuliina said...

Oh, great, someone else has got a similar kitchen to mine... :). I'm making the effort, also.