Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Pantry Exposed!:What Clearing the Clutter Does for Your Mind & Spirit.

When we came home from our annual week at the beach I had a whole boxful of half eaten foods to return to my pantry. Open packets of crackers, started cereals, cans of tuna, boxes of angel hair pasta...... You get the idea. 

The problem was my pantry was already jam packed full of these same items, in complete disarray.
I took one look and realized I couldn't try to squeeze them in to an already overflowing stack of shelves. I would have to clean the pantry out before adding anything else in.

To my horror, I found I had 3 un-started  packets of flour, 6 sachets of instant mashed potato, 9 (!) cans of half used spray oil (well they were different kinds!)  and many scrunched semi-sealed bags of cookies, chips and pretzels, all scattered through out the shelves. 

That was it! I couldn't bare the thought of shoving more boxes onto the bursting shelves. 

I was ruthless and by the time I had weeded out all the stale/ out of date/ one cracker filled zip locked bags and grouped like items together in plastic boxes, I found I had lots of room, lots of oil and organized shelves. Not only did my pantry look great, a strange kind of calm came over me. Not only did I know what I had and what I needed to buy (certainly not oil) but the orderliness and space was very soothing and pleasing. 

Four weeks on I am still getting pleasure from this closet. I have tried to train ( I am always hopeful) )  those wayward boys of mine to seal things properly and put them back where they came from and I can see clearly what needs replacing. Making space has really impacted my kitchen and grocery shopping life!

With  September, the beginning of a new school year has arrived
and  although it's still hot and humid here in Maryland, there is the first hint of Autumn in our garden with a few leaves burning red in our hedge. 

This week our family will also be celebrating the Jewish New Year. 

In order to avoid clutter in our homes, the advice is always to clear out the old before bringing in the new. Rather than relegating it to the garage, clearing it out of your home once and for all is the best way to go. Donate it or trash it. Much as I did with my pantry.....

 And perhaps that is a message for a new phase of life, new season or new year. Before allowing any thing new into our lives, we have to make room for it with some de-cluttering. 

What does that mean for us?

It may mean clearing or changing our way of  thinking

It may mean clearing or changing  our schedule

It may mean clearing or changing our desks or jobs.

It may mean finding clarity in some of our relationships and mourning the losses of others.

It may mean cleaning out the pantry.....

In order for new opportunities to come in to our lives, we need to make peace with what we have, decide what we need to disguard and work out what we need to update or renew.

All these beginnings , newness and cycles open up possibilities  for changes, new opportunities and challenges in our lives

Making space in our lives is the first step to allowing new things in. How are you going to let go of the old to bring in something sweet and new?

As we go into this new season, I want to wish those of you celebrating Rosh Hashanah a sweet, peaceful and healthy new year and  I wish all of you the clarity and space to allow beautiful new beginnings into your hearts and homes.

Let me know what you are thinking of weeding out of your life to open it up to new possibilities.


You might also enjoy 
A Year In review -Check Your GPS

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  1. I'm de-cluttering everything constantly. It's my favourite thing to do. I may be subconsciously trying to get back to the time I arrived in Israel, aged 25, with everything I owned packed into 2 suitcases. Whatever my motives - it's the best feeling to be unencumbered by clutter (mental and physical).

  2. Before we moved to the US, we moved homes every 2 years and each time I had a chance to de-clutter. I was always amazed how freeing it was on my mind as much as the physical freedom it gave me not owning all that stuff.
    As human beings we also hold on to disagreements, resentments, slights and disappointments and they also need weeding out so that fresh uplifting thoughts and ideas can take their place.

    Perhaps replacing one thought at a time, like de-cluttering one object at a time is a way forward....
    A happy clutter free year to you Rachel. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Reading your post has gotten me into action! Not to clean out my cabinets but to make a clothing donation I've been putting off. I have a pile of clothes that is much needed by others just taking up space in our small home. By donating the clothes this week, (finally!) I think it will be a great way to symbolically welcome the New Year and celebrate Rosh Hashanah too!

    Thank you!

  4. You post has gotten me into action, Gilly! I don't need to clean out my cabinets (did that recently) but to make a clothes donation that i've been putting off forever. We have a few large bags of clothes just taking up space in our small home. What a great way to make room for the new in the New Year by taking the clothes to the Salvation Army. We don't have community here to celebrate Rosh Hashanah but that could become a part of our family tradition while we're overseas!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Thank you Alli. Isn't it great when something spurs you into action? Even if it is a mess you cannot stand any more but have been putting up with for way too long.... I think traditions are a great way of marking changes in your life or a new year. Yours sounds perfect. Wishing you a very happy and peaceful one. Gillyx