This is that time of year that always gets me thinking about how much we really have. We are by no means "well-off" by American standards, but we have food on the table, a roof over our heads, cars to drive us around, we can pay the bills and there is enough left over to play a little and save a little (although, I suppose we should be saving more). But, we also have excess. We have lived in our 2 bedroom condo for almost 6 years. We were fortunate to rent a place with tons of storage space and when we first moved in, we had enough drawers to have one dedicated to our pot holders.
Now, however, we are entrenched. Stuffed to the gills. The closets are full. The cabinets are full. The drawers are full. Yet do we really use any more stuff than when we moved in? Absolutely not. I also feel that the clutter in my house does nothing to help me appreciate what I have and I end up with the feeling that I am swimming in junk. Given that we are in all senses of the word 'rich' beyond what so many can ever hope to have, I want to re-boot.
So I've renamed the next week: the Grand Purge of 2006. With my schedule I was able to take off work from today until after Thanksgiving but only have to 'pay' for 3 days off and since I will also have some time off around Christmas, I decided this would be a working break. Each day off from work will be a work day at the house. Each day a different 'region' will be purged of all excess and donated to those in need. Today was the Kitchen Purge and I already have a large box full of kitchen items ready to take to Goodwill...and about 6 shelves and 4 drawers that are no longer dangerously over-stuffed.
The Grand Purge of 2006 also has another purpose. It is a reward for re-setting some of our bad habits. For about a year now we have been making a concentrated effort to reduce waste in our consumption. We buy only what we intend to eat and we eat our leftovers. Now, we aren't perfect and sometimes things slip though (I did forget about the bean sprouts in the fridge last week - yuck!), but I am really pleased with the progress we have made. So, now it is time to erase the evidence of our old ways. It is time to clean out the pantry and the freezer of the things that have accumulated and been wasted. It hurts to think of how much waste this represents, but I also knew this food was ruined. And the worst part is that the 4 year old half bag of tater tots often prevented us from seeing something in the freezer that was good. So, today as part of the Kitchen Purge, the freezer got a face lift. And you know what? I have edamame to use for a stir fry!