Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day 6: Accomplished and Exhausted

I am exhausted, but the good kind of exhausted. I finally finished the top to bottom kitchen cleaning. Today I took everything out of the pantry, cleaned the pantry shelves and doors and reloaded in any unexpired food. I also took the opportunity to organize it all and found I have more space than I thought I did. I even managed to have a spot for keeping the toaster so it is not sitting out on my small counter.

A drastic change from the overflowing booby trap that this once was.

I also finished up the few cabinets I did not get to yesterday. Same process. Everything out, cabinets cleaned inside and out. Then I sort through their contents deciding what we need and what we have just been hoarding away. The "needs" go back in the cabinet and the hoarded items into the donate box. My initial clean up of each room is taking a little longer than I expect normal clean ups to go (or so I hope) due to my recent reading of both of Marie Kondo's "Tidying" books. I found them to be extremely motivating and I am loving the results as I work my way through the house.

I moved on to the appliances, starting with the fridge. I pulled everything out shelf by shelf checking expiration dates. Then I pulled out the shelves themselves, disassembled them and gave them a good wash down in the sink. Our house is equipped with what I so lovingly refer to as a "mini" fridge. Our fridge seems to be apartment sized and is a funny fit for a house. In fact, it doesn't even fit in the cabinets that surround it. There are all these weird gaps around it. Clearly the kitchen was built around a larger fridge that the previous owners moved out with themselves. I actually would always complain to my hubby about this fridge but after cleaning it up and reorganizing the interior . . . it suddenly seems to be just perfect. Just right for trying to make sure that we are only buying what we need and using what we have.

Believe me . . . that bottom shelf was bathing in a beautiful puddle of my oldest's red cherry juice and a colorful mix of onion skin bits mixed with year old crumbs from random spills before I scrubbed it to perfection.

Next was a thorough cleaning of the microwave and dishwasher. I know these are not appliances that most 50's households had but I am trying to care for them as a '50s housewife would have cared for them. I actually have been hand washing my dishes, despite thinking that I would continue using the convenience of the dishwasher. I have been enjoying putting smaller loads away at a time and have also been trying to conserve our quickly dying dishwasher. But I am finding I enjoy my quiet moments in the kitchen while I hand wash. I turn on some Frank Sinatra and have a few moments to collect my thoughts after a long day. The kids seem to avoid a mom standing at the sink with dirty dishes.

The sink got scrubbed down and the cabinets were cleared off, cleaned and then reorganized to have as little as possible on them. So happy to have a designated work space now. Hopefully I will be able to keep it all this way. That will be the true test of the experiment.

See . . . not a lot of counter space but when left as bare as possible at least I am afforded some prep space.

Finally I vacuumed up all the debris from the cleaning frenzy these last 3 days and then steam mopped the whole kitchen. Yes, my steam mop will be up there with the Keurig and Crock Pot in the list of appliances I will not be sacrificing for the experiment. And with that it was dinner time and this tired housewife decided to make good use of the leftovers from the pulled pork from day 2. At least now there won't be any waste. And it was pretty good after a reheat in the oven with a little 7-up on it as a make shift marinade. Dessert will be boring as well as we are just finishing off that cake I made on day 2.

It felt good to have a significant accomplishment today. I even think I heard the appliances let out a sigh of relief today. Their crappy modern day caretaker was replaced with an experimental '50s housewife who finally removed years of grime with a strong dose of elbow grease. Who knows, maybe my dishwasher will thank me by letting me squeeze one more year of use out of it!

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