Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stuff


I've lived in my house for 7 years. Actually, I grew up in this house. We moved in when I was a freshman in high school. I graduated, moved to Los Angeles where I attended college and worked beyond that for a few years. Then I moved back until I got married two years later. Lots of history here.
It's a small post WW2 house - built in 1948.
I never remember grumbling about cabinet space, not enough closet space - no where to put things. And my mom and dad were collectors and pilers. Dad ran a business from the back room off the kitchen. I had my share of stuff. Lots of stuff.
Fast forward. Now hubby and I own this house. And I grumble about cabinet space and not enough closet space. Maybe it's because we downsized - our houses, not our stuff. We went from 1800 sf to 1400 sf to our present just under 1000 sf. 
We took our stuff and stuffed it into a house with my mom's and some of my dad's leftover stuff.
After we moved in, I realized there would be no way I could comfortably prep and cook in the little galley kitchen with only two electrical wall sockets and precious little counter space. But we didn't have the money to turn our house (and kitchen) into an award winning House Beautiful project. So the kitchen got a small makeover with new counters, cabinets, flooring and lighting and I now have 4, count them, 4 electrical wall sockets! And I also got a pantry and an appliance cupboard in the back room.
Which brings me to the point of my blog. Organization.
7 years ago I took my stuff and arranged it the best I could in my new cabinets. And for 7 years now I've been changing things here and things there to make it work. But as it happens, life gets in the way and things get out of order. The plastic lid fairies have taken more than their share to who knows where (I think they live in the same dimension as the sock zone). And the tower of baking dishes keeps threatening to take me down when I need the bottom casserole in the pile.
Yesterday I determined that I'd had enough. Time to get my kitchen in order. First I tackled my pots and pans and then the plasticware. No lid - no keep. Many went into the "thank you for coming" bag. Next came the serving bowls, mixing bowls, measuring cups, glass leftover containers. I was on a roll. Tomorrow it's the casserole dishes. It's kind of addicting. One cupboard or drawer calls to another.
In the Jewish calendar we are three weeks away from the month of Elul. During the month of Elul we begin the process of reflection and repentance culminating with Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. Time to go through all the closets and cupboards of our life. Time to rearrange and chuck out things we don't use, or need. Time to repair what can be fixed.
It's amazing how fresh and empowered I feel when I open up my cupboards and everything is in order.
That's how I'll feel at the beginning of Sukkot when I begin the time of celebration. Everything will be cleaned out and reordered. I'll be fresh and empowered to continue on the journey of life.
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