Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Year of Less - Behind Closed Doors

 
Behind closed doors can lurk a multitude of sins.
 
This is my main store cupboard, full of Approved Food bargains, bulk purchases from just before Christmas and lots of other bits and pieces.  There were too many 'bits and pieces' in my opinion.  Too many empty jars, plastic tubs and things that have been sat there unused and unneeded for quite a while.
 
 
 
So it was time to fling open the doors,  get down on my hands and knees and have a proper sort out of what I had in there.
 
 

 
This is what I kept, the jars that I use over and over for my homemade tomato sauces, the Kilner jars that I use for pickled onions and chutneys and that's about it.  I do have two dozen smaller jam jars that are new and stored in their original boxes on top of the kitchen cupboards and they will come in handy if I want to make any jam to sell, did you know you can only sell jams and chutneys etc if they are in brand new jars now, what a ridiculous piece of legislation.  Glass is one of the easiest things to sterilise!!


 
And this is what I sorted to go into the recycling box, it's due to go out on Monday morning hence my decision to do this today.
 
 
 
From almost empty (okay there are a couple of empty wine bottles at the bottom I admit it...lol) to almost full in a few minutes.
 
 
 
I also jettisoned some plastic containers into the recycling box, we have had these Chinese takeaway containers since we lived in Cumbria and have hardly used any of them, I used to freeze things in lots of single or double portion sizes and they were ideal, now I tend to open freeze lots of things and then tip them into big boxes.  I do have some ice cream containers that I have kept for freezing soups etc.  The ice cube trays have been added to the car boot box, they might just make us a few pennies each.
 
 
 
(If you want a closer look at what is lurking in my cupboards you can click on the pitcures and they will appear slightly bigger!)
 
 
Then I went into the spare room and gathered together all the jars of food that have been stored in there since before Christmas and filled all the shelves back up.  Now all the food is in the kitchen (except for my coffee stash, that will be the next thing to go in here when we have made some room) where it belongs and I can actually make a start this week on what I was going to do this morning, sort out the spare room.
 
I have been reading the book that is on the top of my sidebar at the moment  'The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organise, and Simplify Your Life'.  It was a present from my lovely Mum last week, she also has a copy and thinks it's brilliant.  It really does inspire you to just get on and declutter.  So now that I'm feeling a lot better (still croaky, but it is possible to sort and not talk so that will help my voice!) I have decided that I am going to tackle the spare room with a vengeance, it is the source of most of what we don't seem to use that much, and if we aren't using it, we don't need it
 
I was going to start on it this morning and the first thing I saw was the jars of food, so being sensible  and realising that it was the week to put out the recycling boxes I switched tracks slightly.  It's still a good feeling though to have just got rid of something after all it is our 'Year of Less'.
 
Do you get that lovely light feeling when you make a bit of space by getting rid of unnecessary items?
 
 
Sue xx

20 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post Sue, you have hit a bit of a nerve. I have far too many plastics in my cupboard, so many that there are some on the worktop waiting for me to shuffle stuff round in the cupboard to fit them in. I think tomorrow will be a day of action and drag everything out and chuck stuff I don't use.

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  2. Your store cupboard looks amazing !

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  3. House renovating is a great motivator for clearing stuff out... when we get the sitting room back to rights (next week? maybe??) a lot less clutter will be going back in!

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  4. I've just chucked loads of plastic containers that I was going to use for runner and French beans and tomatoes. I usually sell the veg to colleagues, but my harvest was so, so poor last year because of the poor light levels and rain, that I only had enough for home consumption, chutneys, and the freezer! So out went the containers.
    It's new to me about the new rules about jam jars. Whose ridiculous idea was that, I wonder? In this day and age we should be encouraged to be recycling glass by using it again. As you say it's so easy to sterilize. Still, how would they know? Unless you used a jar with Tesco's stamped all over it. Lol.
    Would love you to pop over to my blog which I started a couple of months ago. www.countryidyll.co.uk

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  5. Absolutely adore the green wall. Plus full of admiration for your tidiness obvs:)
    Jean x

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  6. I love your cupboard! I can't for the life of me figure out why new houses are built without them.

    I'm going to see if I can find a copy of this book. I'd love to read it.

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  7. There's nothing better than having a good old clear out... refreshed the housekeeping soul!

    Vicky

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  8. Oh, that larder of yours... I am green with envy ! My storecupboard stocks live in plastic lidded boxes under our bed, on top of the kitchen cupboards, in the shed.... Agree about clearing out - makes you feel so unencumbered and virtuous ;)

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  9. Wish I lived near you - I would take your plastic containers off your hands! In my family of 6 it sems we never have enough.

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  10. Amazing store cupboard! One of my husband's friends saw ours the other day and asked if we were starting our own supermarket!
    Judy xx

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  11. I love nosing at other people's storecupboards! We had a sort-out of ours the other week and finally managed to empty the box-of-stuff in the spare room into it. As for plastic containers, I use those takeaway style ones a lot as they're the perfect size for bolognese sauce or stock to be frozen in, and they stack perfectly in our freezer drawers. Hope you remembered to record the jars and plastics in your "365 list" too?!

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    1. Oooops....no I haven't, I've only been listing those things that I've popped into the car boot boxes.

      I shall have to remedy this - thank you for the reminder.

      Sue xx

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  12. Can i say i adore the cream cupboard and the green on the chairs and wall. Have you done a post on your decor - i get just glimpses and would like to see the whole picture. Im truly not nosey - its insprirational.

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  13. Oh I've been there with the glass jars. I once used to buy a lot of Uncle Bens and Dolmio sauces and then keep the jars. I used them for freezing portions of soup (so long as you're careful to leave plenty of space for the liquid to expand, exploding glass shouldn't be a problem, at least it never happened to me) as well as having a vague idea that they'd be useful some day. Of course I wasn't very good at using up what was in the freezer then and when we had to move house I ended up throwing a lot of stuff out.
    And decided to get rid of all the jars, what a waste of space, etc., etc., etc. Fast forward a few years and I'm finally starting to do all of the things I'd planned like making jam, tomato ketchup and chutneys and do I have any jars? Nope. Because in the meantime, I'd also started cooking properly so I never bought any of those prepared sauces anymore either. And I was still living in Ireland where it was not only difficult to even find new jars to buy, it was expensive. I have to admit that getting rid of all those jars is something I've kind of always regretted, even if it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

    Of course, now I live in Germany it's not as difficult to find new jars to buy and it was only in the first couple of years that it was expensive, due to the sheer volume I was getting. I eventually managed to get a couple of loads of good bargains on ebay (grannies' cellars being cleared out type sales) and I also mentioned to some friends who have kids that I was looking for some small jars and they generously offered to save some from the recycling for me. I still have a ways to go before I have so many jars I never run out but at least I'm getting there again. Is there no demand for jars at your car boot sales, though? I would have thought they'd be fairly popular.

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  14. P.S. I'm also very jealous of your lovely cupboard. And would be interested to hear what shade of green that is on the stonework, too. :)

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  15. What a fab cupboard, I need to declutter mine lots of glass jars and I bought new Kilner jars at Christmas as on sale!
    Nice colour green:-)

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  16. I would love a store cupboard like that. Why don't they make houses with a larder in any more?

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  17. I didn't know that you have to use new jars to sell jam - thought the legislation said that it was only new lids that must be used. It is cheaper to buy new lids than jar plus lid. Ah well, another possible penny-making idea bites the dust. Buying new jars and lids really puts the price of the jam up too high.

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    1. See here for a bit of background on this daft legislation.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2213975/Tradition-selling-jam-used-jars-breaches-EU-health-safety-rules.html?openGraphAuthor=%2Fhome%2Fsearch.html%3Fs%3D%26authornamef%3DNick%2BMcdermott#axzz2Ka34DU1p

      Sue xx

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