28 Dec

On my day off today, my mom and I vowed to clean the pantry. This was quite and undertaking, considering there was so much built-up crap in there that we never ate we could hardly see the back of the pantry, let alone distinguish the items it contained. It had gotten pretty ridiculous, and it was just time to get rid of everything. We decided to purge the pantry with the intention of getting rid of all the junk food we don’t want to have around tempting us, but ended up throwing away a lot of food that was outdated, as well. Things that just got shoved off to the dark recesses of the pantry because we had to make room for the things we actually did want to eat.

This chore took about four hours to complete, as we had four shelves worth of food, one shelf of miscellaneous holiday decorations (spanning the entire year, mind you), and a bottom shelf full of random stuff: old thermoses and coolers, old fishtanks and lights and filters from who knows when, and other excessive clutter like that. By the end, we had five full bags of trash and quite a bit added to our growing pile of yard sale items.

It felt so good to get rid of all this stuff. My mom has been inspired recently, saying she’s going to get rid of everything in the house, top to botton, that we’re not using anymore. There sure is plenty of that to go around, let me tell you! We’re not hoarders by any means, but there certainly is a lot of random stuff around the house that we just don’t have a use for anymore. And with the addition of my grandmother and all her stuff, it’s getting out of control (because, let’s face it, anyone who lives through a Depression has a tendency to save everything). Old sheets that we never use, old board games we never play, clothes we can’t wear (or refuse to because they’re so ridiculously old), unread books, etc. Every closet is getting cleaned out, every corner swept up, in preparation for a huge springtime yard sale. If you as my mother, having a yard sale lies somewhere on the continuum of her favorite things between eating live cockroaches and listening to nails being scratched down a chalkboard. But it’s a necessary evil. The junk has got to go, and in the meantime we might make a little cash. It has been suggested that once the entire thing is over, we use the money to take a vacation. I’m voting for Paris, but that’s just my two cents.

So tonight, after our diligent sorting, throwing away, and cleaning, we rewarded ourselves with a movie. We went to see It’s Complicated, which was absolutely hilarious. My mom and I are big fans of anything Nancy Meyers does, and this movie sure didn’t disappoint. Alec Baldwin completely stole the show, and of course Meryl Streep was wonderful, as usual. The thing that’s so great about all these movies is that, while funny and entertaining, there’s heart, and they’re believable. They are stories that really could happen, and don’t have a lot of that Hollywood far-fetched feel. It was a nice, welcome reward for working so hard throughout the day.

So, get inspired. Clean out your refrigerator (ours has a date with the trash bags next week), go through your closets, let go of the clutter! You don’t really need that much stuff, anyway. And when you’re done cleaning each day, reward yourself with something you like. And when you’re done forever, sell all your old junk, donate the unsellable to Goodwill, and take a vacation. If you happen to choose Paris, you just might see me sitting in a small bakery, drinking coffee and having a tart.


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