Cleaning: Day Three - Pantry (and more on the cleaning/superficial debate)

Cleaning Week Continues!

Day 1: Clean microwave and oven
Day 2: Clean small appliances. 
Day 3: Wipe down pantry. 
Day 4: Scrub down fridge & Organize and toss expired foods. 
Day 6: Clean kitchen sink and under the sink
Day 7: Wipe down walls, and wash garbage can. 
Day 8: Clean stove top, kitchen surface areas, and floor.

Day Three

I found this BuzzFeed article, "15 Minimalist Hacks To Maximize Your Life," that states that Americans spend 8 hours a week cleaning and dealing with stuff. So, if you have a lot of stuff to clean and organize, like I do, you probably spent time and money acquiring it, time working for the money to acquire it, and time cleaning and organizing it. 

Time well spent? Hmm...

Reading this article before today's task of wiping down the pantry made me think about what I really want to do with the pantry. I'm going to try to get some stuff out of there and out of the house, if possible. 

Pantry before cleaning

Pantry before cleaning

It seems impossible. After my last household challenge of decluttering, in which I got rid of 7 things a day for 7 days, I was convinced that there is nothing else in the kitchen that can go. I bet I was wrong. 

Pantry after cleaning

Pantry after cleaning

I got rid of some stale food and a bunch of plastic glasses: orange and blue large drinking glasses (four orange, four blue) and four blue-green plastic wine glasses. I bought them to use at the pool, but they didn't work out. If you need plastic drink glasses, let me know. The stuff that remains is use-able. Except for maybe some stuff on the top shelves, but it's a work in progress, right?

I only cleaned the food part of that cabinet (and if you think it looks like the cabinet tilts toward the middle, you're right, but it's not the cabinet's fault). The bottom contains baking stuff and still more small kitchen appliances, and the two drawers are full of Eric's stuff. 

I wasn't all that successful getting rid of more stuff, but it makes sense that the less stuff you have, the less time you have to spend cleaning. What doesn't make sense is not cleaning at all, or acquiring so much stuff you can't clean it, or just refusing to clean the stuff you have. 

Anyone out there have a super-minimalist arrangement? Is it easier to clean? It has to be. I don't know why I'm asking. 

Space and Stuff

Here's the nifty infographic (I just love infographics) that I found through the other article about Americans and simplicity. Click on the image to see the original. One of things the infographic addresses is the size of our houses, which have gotten considerably bigger. "The average U.S. resident has as much individual space in their house as an entire 1950's family would have shared." 

The house we live in has 1200 square feet, if you count two small sunrooms, which I think you should. It was built in 1923. The family who lived here before us had been here since the 1930's and they raised two children in this two-bedroom house, and they didn't finish the basement. We've partially finished the basement, increasing our living space, and we have no children. People move out of our neighborhood of small houses all the time so they can have more space. 

That's not the entire issue, though. I think the less space you have, the harder it is to keep your stuff clean and organized. In the 1950's, women worked outside the home less, so theoretically they had more time to keep house. I can't help but think those two things must be connected. If you don't have time to clean because you work, it's kind of nice to have a bigger house so the mess can stay out of the way. 

Then again, we tend to fill up the space we have. Which brings me back to the idea of simplifying and having less stuff to begin with. For inspiration, check out this article about a woman who got rid of more than 20,000 items. And she has two kids. 

Right now I believe the answer to my cleaning problem is to have less stuff. Unfortunately, I don't have time work on that because I have to go to work. Thanks for listening. :)

Week Eight: Household - Cleaning the Kitchen

  1. Day One - Stove and Microwave
  2. Day Two - Toaster and Blender
  3. Day Three - Pantry (and more on the 'is cleaning superficial' debate)
  4. Day Four - Fridge and Food
  5. Day Five - Sink and Underneath
  6. Day Six - 
  7. Day Seven -