Monday, February 8, 2010

getting real, part one

I'm the sort of person whose cupboards and closets and garage and under-bed are a jumbled up mess of stuff, stashed away, out of site. Today as I literally threw a spice into the leaning tower of spices otherwise known as my spice cupboard, I started considering this tendency.


I had the thought that this kind of behavior is not very mature...and wondered how it might mirror in how I handle other less tangible messes in my life. What do I do with conflict? What happens when something not so pleasant pops up?

I'm a big-time sweeper of things under the rug.

If things appear okay on the outside, then things are okay. Even if everything inside is about to topple over.

I'm not saying that my life is in turmoil...not at all. But my spice cupboard is. And several other places.

So I had this thought...if I cleared out these places...took responsibility and ordered the messes...it would make me feel better in some hidden place inside my mind that lives in fear that someone will someday open up all my cupboards and hidden places to find all my secret messes. Would it help me recognize this tendency with how I handle my emotions and give me a blueprint for how to conquer that too?

We'll see.

But today, I start with this cupboard. Stay tuned for the more organized after.

Want to play along? What messes are you hiding? Are you ready to make order?

UPDATE
That didn't take long...

I sorted the spices and found that I had a whole bunch of the same spices. What happens is if I'm not sure I have a spice at home, I buy another. Even if I'm at home putting together the grocery list, if it's too much trouble to sort through the rubble of the spice cupboard, I'd just buy another. I had 5 jars of Emeril's Original Essence. That's not right.

I threw out anything that seemed old or that I couldn't remember ever buying. I put duplicate jars in the middle and top shelves. I put the things I use the most at the bottom shelf and on the door.

I feel fresh and happy and free. Yes, just a little bit free. This is a good feeling.

Today, Spice Cabinet. Tomorrow, Junk Drawer.

25 comments:

Lisa said...

Great post Amy! I'm like that too and I *AM* ready to change. You have inspired me once again.

LindaSonia said...

I laughed out loud at you saying you literally 'threw' a spice jar back into the cupboard. Been there, done that!! LOL Never thought of it as hiding messes, I just thought I don't have enough space to put things... hmmm, I'll have to think about that.

Jan said...

Amy, when I buy spices, I take a marker, and write the date on the label before I ever put them in the cabinet.

It's a great tip, that way you always know how old they are.

Another trick, if your spices are older, is to lightly toast them in a skillet before you add them to your recipe. The heat releases flavor...

Leanne said...

i'm having this kind of a day today! maybe once i get back on track i'll feel like blogging again... xo

Suz said...

oooooh...I think we are kinda related....

LuLu Kellogg said...

I always feel so much better once I have cleaned and organized a mess....but getting around to doing it may take a bit. Once it's tackled, waaaaaa laaaaaaa!

Have a wonderful week!

LuLu♥

Calamity Anne said...

My spices are stored alphabetically on the spice rack...how anal is that!!!

Nikki said...

Isn't it amazing how something messy can bother you every single day for months and months and when you finally organize it, it only takes about 5 minutes! That kills me!

patientmom said...

Beautiful! and yes, organizing the clutter, tossing out the old, and relishing the moment of order...should put a little well earned spring in your step. Consider this a pat on the back for a job well done! "On to the junk drawer!"

karen said...

Your post could not have come at a better time. I organized ed my fat quarter and fabric scraps and I felt so much better - lots more to do but one step forward. Thanks for your hoensty - you are a sweetie!!

kat said...

I love this post, Amy! It is so true for me, too.

xox
kathleen

Back At Ya Babe said...

I'm so proud of you for taking a look at the messes...it's a hard thing to do sometimes, especially when you don't know what to do with them!

Back At Ya Babe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jill said...

Okay, you've inspired me to attempt some pre-spring cleaning! Your spice cabinet is a beautiful sight!
Hugs,
Jill

Debi Ward Kennedy said...

Amy Powers, Philosopher.

I love it!

Kathy said...

I'm a piler. I have multitudes of piles. I organize them. I sort through them. I move them from point a to point b. I don't actually GET RID of them!! I pretty sure it's all kinds of bad feng shui. I'm pretty sure it's a shout for help. I'll get right on - wait - THERE'S that copper brad I've been looking for! Now where's that craft project??? ....sigh.... I'm doomed.
Cheers! Kathy

Jean A. said...

Hi Amy.. I've LOVED being stuck at home because of the snow! I've cleaned out bathroom drawers and closets and my next project is to actually tackle my spices! AS ALWAYS, YOU'VE INSPIRED ME!

Sonya --Dime Store Thrift said...

Good for you Amy...and it looks beautiful! Decluttering is an amazing feeling.

karlascottage.typepad.com said...

Your spice cabinet photos could have been taken at my house! (the befores, not the afters)

April said...

Hmmm...my whole house is a junk drawer!

Kathryn said...

Hi Amy, I participated in Teresa McFayden's Paper Romance E-zine and loved the heart sampler and the cupcake house projects you created as guest artist.
We moved into a new house and I went from having the prefect little shallow cupboard (it used to house a built-in ironing board) for spices to having regular cupboards. I found that the two-tiered lazy-Susans worked really well for the spices, oils and vinegars. I think they’ll also play a big part in my studio organization as I begin to sort everything out. Only three boxes to go!

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I have never acutally thrown my spices or anything else in the cupboard, but many is the time that when I would open a cupboard door, I would have to duck for cover in anticipationn of what was going to come tumbling out. I recently put all my cupboards to order, so I know how good it feels to get that done. Makes me somehow feel in control. Ha!
Lovie

sue p said...

hi!! i leave all my spices on a double layered lazy susan. baking on top, cooking on bottom. works great. no digging!!

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

Ohhhh Amy, if you saw my closets! I've been purging little by little and it is better but there is so mcuh room for improvement! Love this post.

Ramona said...

Great post! I'm inspired.

Smiles ~ Ramona