Monday, September 14, 2009

A dinosaur

Having a lot of storage space and living in the same house for 32 years are both a blessing and a curse. You tend to save way too much and forget what you saved.

I tackled a couple of kitchen cabinets today in an effort to get rid of things we don’t need and came up with a few surprises.

Like this fire extinguisher that has to date back to the 70’s. I know this because if you notice it says “Amway” and that’s when my mother had been sucked into that pyramid scheme. She was forever buying things for us so she could inflate her sales. I have wondered whether she actually turned a profit or not since I don’t think she ever recruited people to sell under her.

Anyway I have this old fire extinguisher that thank God has never been used. But I would not want to count on it if my kitchen suddenly went up in flames. So what do I do with it? Recharge it? Pitch it in the trash (or are you not allowed to do that?)

There were many other questionable things. Like the three packages of No. 4 coffee filters, of which we use maybe 12 a year. I’m going to attempt to return an unopened package to Whole Foods since there is no pull date on coffee filters. Of course the barcode may no longer be in their system.

Then there were containers of soap, lots of them, in smelly fragrances that would make my husband sneeze. They all went into a bag to hand off to the starving law student, who probably can’t afford to buy soap. Along with a selection of handmade pot holders he probably contributed to at about age 6.

The kitchen looks a lot better. I even cleaned off a counter top, putting my husband’s beloved vanilla nut Teeccino (gross chickory-flavored fake coffee) in a cabinet where he has to open the door to get to it. He’s already complaining bitterly, but meanwhile the clean countertop is much improved.

If I just kept this up for the next year or so, I would have cleaned out the entire house. But it’s unlikely to happen. Instead I’ll content myself with small steps in the right direction.


Blogger Merle Sneed said...

Decluttering is so rewarding.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One day at a time" works sometimes. Other times you need to create a cyclone to blow stuff out the door (inspired by a deadline to move, a child coming back to live with you, e.g.). Enjoy the renewed spaciousnes, every cubic inch!


9:47 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

You know my enthusiasm for decluttering, so I liked this post!

My uncle sold Amway too, and my mom still buys their laundry detergent. You really can't make any money without recruiting other people.

I have no idea what to do with an old fire extinguisher!! Maybe you could call your local fire department and see what they say? I guess it could be considered hazardous given the pressure in the container.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voting open at the Virtual Book Club to choose next book!

10:00 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I sold Amway for awhile in college (never did turn a profit, but I do like their shoe wipes). I worked on my kitchen before my mil came and threw away ALOT of stuff, gave away ALOT of stuff... About the soaps, my local homeless shelter is always looking for small sized bath stuff, so I always save my hotel stuff (and give it to my niece to take to her work). Here's the thing I have learned: we deserve to be surrounded by the things we LOVE. If I don't LOVE something, I try to give it away. If I can't give away, I throw it out and vow not to get another one.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Moving has pushed me toward decluttering but I still have too much. Way too much. Congratulations on finding the motivation to declutter!

10:21 PM  

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