wednesday recap: morning TV housework

Wait, it’s Wednesday already? I woke up today and seriously thought it was Tuesday. FOUR DAYS TO PITTSBURGH!

My day today kind of flew by. I’ve almost stopped watching TV in the mornings again. There was a novelty to being able to watch Today and The View the first few weeks of unemployment. Watching those shows made me feel like life was simple, like all I had to worry about was cooking dinner, preparing my lawn for winter, and knowing what purse trends would be hot for fall. Then I realized that I didn’t WANT my life to be that simple. I chose to care about different things than what the morning shows focus on. I choose to get my food from a farm collective, to live in a big city where I couldn’t afford a lawn, to never carry a purse with faux-fur on it, even if it’s supposed to be “hot”. I choose to care about the kind of bands that headline Bonnaroo or Coachella, instead of the artists who win American Idol or are weirdly popular despite being formulaic. And then that was the end of the morning shows…except maybe as background noise while I’m sifting through email or running reports. I admit, I kind of like some parts of “The View”, because I enjoy the discussion and commentary on the tough, thorny issues they choose to take on.

Today, I admit, I did watch some morning TV – but I did it while tackling today’s Major Project, the Pantry Re-Organization And Inventory. Because I’ll be gone for five weeks, and Paul will be here on his own for most of that (sometimes alone, sometimes with Ben), I decided to re-organize and inventory the pantry area so my husband would be able to find things, and would know what he had available. Also, I am tired of spending money on things like peanut butter, just to find that there were two jars already hiding in among the salsa and pickles. So I pulled everything off the shelves – over a hundred items, by my count – and entered each item, by category and sub category (for easy spreadsheet sorting), with the item name and the expiration date. Now everything is in a Google Doc I can access, if need be, while at the store. I’m not usually that OCD, but in this case, it was sorely needed.

Also, our pantry was a disaster area. I felt like the “before” case in a Real Simple article…only with more dirt, dust and spillage than any article would ever show. So I pulled out all the open bags of sugar and flour and put them in airtight storage bins, where they would keep and wouldn’t spill. I dumped out the bins of random snack foods and bulk food items, and sorted them out by category. I put what I could into jars and Oxo storage containers, washed and re-organized the bins, and dusted all the shelves. I threw away the expired foods, the almost-empty bags, the things that had gone stale…and the flour with moths in it (which explains our moth problem). The whole project, including cleaning up the floor afterwards, took over 3 hours…done in three one-hour stints, because at one point, I looked at the piles of miscellaneous stuff, and got totally overwhelmed. I can handle stacking eight jars of pasta sauce or five cans of Pixar-branded chicken noodle soup, but I lost it trying to figure out what to do with all the small stuff. At one point, I looked at the floor, covered in Miscellaneous Items that had been living in random bins for the last six months (kiddie Clif bars, single-serving bags of cookies, packages of instant rice pilaf, small amounts of bulk-bin legumes, a half-empty bag of raisins, individually wrapped loose tea bags, airline snacks I save for Ben, etc., etc), and almost short-circuited trying to organize all the items so they would be easily found and eaten. Finally, I put all the grab and go snacks into a bin, put all the bags of nuts, dried fruit and popcorn in a “Some Assembly Needed” snack section, found enough jars and containers to neatly combine and put away all the bags of kidney beans and split peas, put the rice pilaf in a bin with all the other types of rice and put all the tea and coffee together in a separate section. I’ll go through the whole thing today with my label maker, and hopefully, my husband will be able to feed himself and our son in the limited time he has available to do so before Ben starts whining for attention.

None of this should be that difficult, but I absolutely suck at organizing clutter zones. I have to go through a Clutter Zone as a whole, dumping everything out and re-evaluating each item. Places like the baskets on my desk, the pantry, the bookshelves, my dresser…they all turn into Clutter Zones quickly. I’m proud of myself when I clear through one of the Zones though, because organization is such a learned skill for me. Now, we can see everything in the pantry, and even if we can’t, Paul has a list so he knows what’s in there. Soy sauce? Check. Mustard? Check. Juice boxes, granola bars and jars of applesauce? Yep. Farro, quinoa and lentils? Check. I just need to make a list of what’s in the freezer, and he should be all set to be a single parent for a couple weeks…without having to waste time grocery shopping.

I was going to write more in this entry, like about the hardcore Pilates class I did this morning, or about More Goth Cliche Observations done at MODE:M tonight, but I just realized, I’m tired. It’s time to go to sleep. G’night everyone!

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