Tackling the Kitchen - Part One - using the Marie Kondo Method...


About two-thirds finished.

The Kitchen, After!

I am calling this Part One, because I did not tidy the entire kitchen.

Oh, I wanted to!   But I only had two hours to spare, and past experience has shown me, again and again, that I always underestimate that amount of time an area will take.

So today, I tackled the kitchen closet, and the under-sink areas.

Here is what I keep in these two areas:

  • Cleaning Products.
  • More Cleaning Products.
  • Bug Spray.
  • More Bug Spray.
  • Expired Canned Food.
  • Canned Food That Hasn't Yet Expired But Is Teetering On The Brink.
  • Powdered Sugar.   Not white.   Not turbinado.  Not brown.   Just powdered.   WHY???
  • Flavored Extracts.
  • Freezer Paper.   ???    I have NO idea when I bought this, or why.   It just showed up one day.
  • Multiple Boxes of Wax Paper.   In case I ever run out.   Even though I never use wax paper.
  • More Flavored Extracts.
  • Laundry Apparatus.
  • Four kinds of leather polish.  (I actually use all of these).
  • Three kinds of furniture polish. 
  • Two kinds of Swiffer-type cloths.
  • And Six, count 'em, SIX** different spray bottles of product, to make my condo smell nicer.  

**Actually... there were seven, but one was nearly empty.

I was dreading doing the under-sink area.   I rent this condo, and the under-sink area is in terrible shape.   Basically, it's a bunch of slowly crumbling particle board, packed full of chemicals.   I was, in fact, going to postpone this, and just do the kitchen closet, aka, The Pantry.

Then I opened The Pantry, and realized that it contained a lot of overflow from the undersink area.

So I emptied it out, put everything together by type, and started culling the collective herd.

Here is what I discovered.

I had a lot of nearly-empty duplicates that I did not realize - and here I thought I was always on top of the duplicates situation!   I poured the nearly empties into the fuller bottles.

I had a LOT of canned and baking goods that were seriously expired - which I did not realize.   HOLY CRAP, 2012 WAS THREE YEARS AGO!    I have no idea when I bought some of this stuff.

Also, I didn't know baking powder had a 'use by' date.   I am kind of suspicious about that.   It sounds like a scam to sell more of something most of us only use at Christmas, to bake stuff we wouldn't fool with any other time of year.   But since that 'use by' date was 2011, I went ahead and tossed it.   People who eat my cookies and occasional pancakes, you're welcome.

For some reason, I love collecting different types of cleaning sponges and rags that I only use once.  Then I realize they're awkward or inefficient, or whatever... so I let them dry and tuck them into the back of a cabinet or shelf.   You know, in case there is ever a shortage of man-made sponges in the stores.

Altogether, it took me about 90 minutes to empty, wipe down, spray for bugs, let dry, sort, toss, and put the keepers back on the shelves and under the sink.  I am getting faster at this process, when it isn't something with a hugely personal attachment, such as books.   I expect when I tackle papers, and nostalgia items, it's going to be painfully painstaking work.

When I finished my kitchen (part one), I had a glorious dinner break where I enjoyed a leftover half of a huge Japanese sweet potato swimming in butter, while I basked in a feeling of accomplishment.   Just like every step of the process, there is a feeling of greater spaciousness and peace in my condo - even though the cabinet doors are shut.

After all the basking and gloating, I packed up and came downtown to JC's.   Things are still drying out after the Big Gurgle on Tuesday night (see my previous post), but I am hoping to tackle a small storage closet that has managed to pack itself full of miscellany.   Aaaaand.... as I typed that last sentence, I realized the closet comes with two drawers that it has overflowed into.   Craaaaaaap.   Oh well.   Going to do it this weekend - do or die.

Have you tried Marie Kondo's method yet, or read her book?   What are your thoughts on the process?

The highly-dreaded Under-Sink, before.
Under-sink, after.

The Pantry, before.

The Pantry, after.


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