By Amy K. Andrews
Lately I have been in an organizing frenzy. It seems the clear days full of summer sun have brought about a need in me to have clear cabinets full of space. And clean closets. And perfectly situated toiletries in every bathroom cabinet. Ah, yes, dear reader, I am getting organized, again.
There are a number of advantages to organized space, not the least of which is that it is a major time-saver. If I know where everything is, I never lose precious minutes on busy mornings searching for the nail file, or the shirt that accompanies the chosen pair of pants. I can easily locate items instead of digging through messy drawers.
To make the project efficient, I take 10 minutes per drawer, cleaning out old items, and creating a donation box as I go. If I haven’t worn something in the last year, I wish it well, and send it off to someone who will use it. I consider it a blessing to have clean clothes that fit, and just like with any relationship, I want to respect what I have; clothing huddled in a stack is not respectful. Clothes crammed so tightly into a closet they can hardly breathe, isn’t either. All of this signals that it is time for them to move on, giving me room to take care of and respect what is left.
The same applies in the bathroom or kitchen. In the loo, I quickly toss expired items, including old medicine, sunscreen and mascara. In the kitchen, marshmallows from the s’mores we made two years ago and the herbs that are practically mummified in their glass jars make their way to the trash bin. For each item I toss, I take an unexpired item from the shelf and put it in a box for the local homeless shelter. This is my way of reminding myself to use what I have, as there are plenty who have nothing to use.
To accompany the kitchen clean-out, I often make time on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead. I make one go-to salad, with a quinoa or grain base that will keep easily for a few days, should I be too tired to make dinner one evening. Having the full day to do this allows me the freedom to enjoy the process, instead of feeling rushed. I also prep all my fruits and veggies for the week so that they are accessible, and ready to eat. This ensures that I reach for a healthy snack, instead of one that is processed. The additional benefit is having a cleaner, more efficient kitchen, as I am not taking out a cutting board, vegetable peeler, and knife each time I want a carrot stick.
Without a doubt, a little bit of prep brings about a lot of reward. By keeping my closets, drawers, cabinets and refrigerator organized, I give myself the freedom to rush less, be less frenetic, and to truly enjoy all that I have.
Amy is a woman of wellness, a writer, and the winner of Seattle’s Ultimate Housewife contest. As a liberated Texan, she has lived on both coasts, and on the high streets of London. Most days you can find her teaching Pilates to her beloved clients, editing her memoir, An Expat’s Wife, swiffering her home, or writing thank-you notes. At this very moment she is undoubtedly cuddling with her wife and cat.