When cleaning out cabinets, you never know what you’re going to find

Published 1:36 am Sunday, July 21, 2013

It is bsolutely amazing the things one can find when cleaning out cabinets, especially after a really long time.

While cleaning the bathroom cabinets, I found a bath toy that belonged to one of the grandchildren… probably at some time played with in our bathtub. Our youngest grandchild is 18, and I don’t believe my great-grandson has ever had a bath at our house. Hmmm.

Then there are those things one “puts in a place where I can be sure to find them” and then promptly forgets. These may never be seen again… unless one indulges in a “clean it out and throw it away” mood. While cleaning out closets, cabinets and drawers, those hiding places just may be unearthed.

You have probably guessed I am finally getting around to my “spring” cleaning. It’s a little late this year, but it had to wait for a combination of both the mood and the return of my energy. Up until recently, I had neither.

Last year with problems with my back and legs, I let hidden places such as cabinets and closets “go to pot” as they were definitely things that could wait until I was able. At nearly five months after back surgery, I finally feel both my “want to” and my stamina returning.

I started with small chores that I can complete in a short amount of time. Sitting on the floor and pulling things out of the bathroom cabinets was relatively easy. (Getting up wasn’t as easy, but that’s another story.)

Looking into such a small space, I thought it wouldn’t take too much time, but when it was piled out on the floor, it was unbelievable how much stuff came out of that little cabinet!

As for the time — didn’t take long to pile it out, but it can’t all go back or it would defeat the purpose of cleaning it out. So the decision-making process began. I kid you not — I found a plastic Mardi Gras glass filled with little leftover slivers of bath soap!

It is completely against my nature to waste anything, and somewhere in my mind I had kept them and planned to melt it all down and make liquid soap. It was a pretty good idea if I do say so myself — but somehow I never got around to it!

So a decision to make — do I keep it or toss it? I’m tempted but remind myself that I am in a clean-out mood and can’t keep everything, so I toss it in the throw-away pile, plastic glass and all.

Then there were stacks of washcloths — new ones, old ones, stained ones and raggedy ones. So the decision making again — keep this one, put that one in the rag pile — remembering they make good dusting and cleaning cloths. Same thing with towels. Refolding and restacking the best ones makes a little more space.

The drawers are another story. Such a conglomeration of makeup, razors, powder puffs, old makeup and new makeup, combs, brushes, pencils, pens, etc. How did all this stuff get in there? As I tossed things, I kept seeing that soap and feeling guilty. I stood my ground and left it in the throw away pile.

Plenty of decisions made. It took a lot more time than I had planned but when finished, the neatness alone was worth it. I still have the kitchen cabinets to do sometime in the near future. I may need some help with the upper ones.

After these smaller chores were finished, I kept eyeing the really big one — the laundry room. That’s the last ditch place for junk before it leaves the house. It is so easy to relegate things to the laundry room, and mine has room for a good bit of stuff.

I put it off for several days and then decided I had to either start on the room or quit going in there — which I couldn’t do if we wanted clean clothes. So I divided it into sections and took them one at a time — or I should say I am taking them one at a time.

No way am I finished. There are a lot more places to get to, but one by one, small job by small job, I am gradually getting to it.

Even though I have stacks of stuff I am discarding (some I have given away), throwing stuff away that can still be used goes against the grain. I hate waste and if something still has a life, I like to give it a chance — but take that too far and you become a hoarder. I understand there’s a fine line there!

While I am in the laundry room, I notice my container of homemade laundry soap is getting low and I need to make some. A bright light goes off! Where did I put that plastic glass filled with soap slivers? I knew I would find a use for it!

Retired Lifestyle Editor Bob Ann Breland, a resident of Pine, writes a weekly column and may be contacted at bobann_b@ yahoo. com.