April 29, 2012

Heroic Act

Cookbook Shelves before cleaning out, 2012.

I forgot to take my camera down stairs yesterday, so I didn’t make a photographic record of this day’s heroic act at all.  My goal was to get rid of the kitchen implements that we didn’t use.  Do we use three garlic presses?  No.  Four of this, three of this….no.  Endless spatulas, no.  So I took out every drawer and container that had a kitchen utensil, and dumped the stuff on the counter.

It was really scary.

I know…I know.  Perhaps both of us packrats should have gone into therapy about this many years ago. but we didn’t.  We know the root cause.  We have both lost everything so many times, that we now just buy more then hold on to it. 

The plan is, if I don’t use it, out it goes….if I can do it.

Yesterday I did things in stages.  I wiped out the drawers, then I sat down and read in an excellent Dick Francis mystery.  I scrubbed the drawer inserts then put them out in the sunshine to dry.  I read.  I washed the gold glass jar that I have the wooden spoons in.  I washed the metal box that held the most used spoons….because I couldn’t get into the over jammed drawer.  I read while they baked outside in the glorious sun. 

The counter was covered with endless kitchen stuff, and I didn’t take a picture of it.  Shame on me.

I’d sort a few things then read.  Repeat.  If it were not so funny, it would be tragic. 

In the end, on the counter was a mild sized pile of rejects, on the stairs were two bags of things in search of new homes, and in the drawers….it was amazing how clean and neat they were.  I confess.  Between us we did put away five things that had sentimental value.  Grandma’s bread knife.  A boning knife that G said he would use if it were out.  A well made long handled wood and steel fork.  Things like that. 

I did not bring a camera to the great cookbook offing either.  More shame.  I did get them out on the shelves of the Discovery Shop Friday.  Blindly.  I didn’t really look at them.  There they are priced and shelved and not here.

Sometimes heroic acts are blindly taken.


  1. Stuff to surround and protect us and keep the wolves at bay. You are brave. I did something similar after our last move, but I certainly could do it once again. Hubby is the one that wants to hang on to every single thing from his mom.

  2. Good for you! Living in an apartment keeps me in a constant state of getting rid of 'stuff.' Bob accuses me of buying 'stuff' at Goodwill, donating it back, and the repurchasing it. Recently I sent a vase to the Goodwill bag and noticed the Goodwill tag was on the bottom. I told Bob they would even need a new tag on that piece. I feel so good when I clean out. I gave all the sentimental pieces to my children so I have nothing left to feel guilt over.

  3. Good for you. These clear outs are important if you stay in one place for a while. Dianne

  4. I'm doing something similar. I don't necessarily have multiples of things but I have an awful lot of stuff I never use. I don't even understand what they do or how to use many of those things. I wish I was as good as you at throwing out.

  5. That's a big task, I did it last year when I discovered four can openers in the same drawer. I still have stuff in there that belonged to my Mom, a frosting spatula, a very worn bone handled meat fork and so on. This summer I will try to pawn them off on my sisters, with three of them the odds are good.

  6. Do you hire out? I need some of that discipline around here. I'm a packrat because you just never know when you're going to need something. You just never know!

  7. As long as stuff fits in the drawers, why discard them? I usually wait til it gets so full, I can't close the drawer. Lol.

  8. YOu are a woman after my own heart. If only my husbandwere - if you see what I mean:)
    I jettison - he rescues!!!

  9. They say you have to give up the junk that's holding you back with its weight before you can successfully maneuver the new road before you. I'm facing the same sort of tasks--cleaning out gadgets and cookbooks--but I made the mistake of stopping to look at the cookbooks. They've only shifted a bit from their original shelves. Yes, they're still there. Next time, I'll have to take the cue from you.

  10. Wow! I am so proud of you! That is just so excellent. I think I'd better look into my kitchen drawers too. I'm afraid of what I'll find.

  11. Isn't looking in a relatively empty drawer marvelous? I am in the process of doing the very same thing. It's liberating.


Please, take just a moment to leave me a note. I really appreciate notes.


1953 I tried to open the ACS facebook page yesterday morning at 0700, and it wouldn’t open.   It told me that I had “opted ...