As organizers, our clients often ask us if our homes are perfectly organized. Overall, our homes are pretty organized but perfection is definitely in the eye of the beholder and, as we all need to remember, being organized is not a destination but more of an ongoing journey.
All of that said, I knew that my own kitchen was in need of a little attention and that perhaps it was time to turn the tables and ask myself the hard questions that I always ask my clients – if you aren’t using it why are you keeping it?
The reasons vary but and three of the most common – at least that we run into - sound something like this…
“It was a gift from a friend/family member [insert someone important here] and I don’t want to hurt their feelings by getting rid of it or not having it around when they come to visit.”
“I bought it, never used it and now feel doubly bad about wasting money on it.”
“I might need it some day for X – even though I haven’t used it in five years.”
My own kitchen editing session took longer than I thought it would initially. Although the contents were organized, I seemed to have accumulated quite a few trinkets and tools over the years. I am fortunate that my kitchen storage is pretty ample but I needed to heed my own advice - even if you have a lot of space, you do not have to fill it!
There were several items that fell into the bucket of “I bought this and thought it was a good idea at the time but have never used it” and “I might need it some day…”
Upon reflection, it may seem that I have a weakness for the cooking tools section at Williams Sonoma. Everything looks so pretty and shiny and absolutely critically to my success in the kitchen while I’m in the store. But, when I get it home, I find these pretty, shiny, critical tools sitting there in my drawer unused and unappreciated and often passed up in favor of my old standbys. It is now time to move along the egg tongs and the avocado shaped scraper.
After tackling tools, I turned to my baking section which had grown unwieldly over the years. My reason for the excess is that baking is a hobby my son and I enjoy together. We have experimented with almost every baking category. We went through a mold phase, a rainbow cake phase (which required multiple individual cake pans), a cupcake phase with fun toppers to boot and the classic (never to be revisited) elaborate fondant phase. However, no matter what fun trendy baking phase we try though, we always end up making our favorites – cookies, breads and basic cakes. So, the question is…why am I still holding onto all the other baking accessories? Perhaps it is holding onto them for sentimental reasons or perhaps it is that I haven’t taken the time to actually do something about them but, regardless now is the time to move all of it along to someone else that can use them rather than have them collect dust in my upper cabinets.
With my drawers and cabinets cleared of the items I no longer use I feel the freedom that comes with clearing clutter. Clearing the physical space frees up mental space. This is our mantra during edit sessions and it definitely rang true during my own tune-up.