Next? The pantry. Enlist some kids help with this (they don't have to be your kids... nieces, nephews, or even the neighbor's kids!). I have observed that for some crazy reason, kids get a big fat kick out of finding outdated stuff and tossing it into a bin! I personally think that it is the “tossing” part… again, these items (spices, mixes, crackers, pasta, and any other stuff) can be composted. Their containers (cardboard boxes and such) should be able to be broken down for recycling, leaving virtually no waste (or, realistically, cardboard and paper can be composted as well if you have the space)!
You can buy compost bins that rotate by hand. I simply take a pitchfork every once and again and sort of mix mine about. Believe it or not, if you put the correct things in it (check the list in the link, things like meat and cheese really shouldn't be composted) it doesn't stink, and will do wonders for your garden (if you have one). Large things (like whole fruits or vegetables) should be cut into pieces for easier, faster breakdown time (thanks to my friend for telling me that one, I had no idea!).
I think that you will discover that once you are on a roll with this part of the process, it is fairly quick and painless. Make a deadline! This part of the process is a bit of a no-brainer, in the aspect of, “What happens to food when it sits out?” Well, it attracts bugs. It starts to stink. With the warm winter and almost early spring-like temperatures we have been having, I have recently started to notice ants around the pet food dishes in my kitchen. Make sure these dishes get cleaned daily (just like yours!) and put out a few ant traps if necessary. This alone should be enough incentive to get that stuff out of this Bagua and into the compost or trash!
Cupboards and pantry (in my opinion) go hand in hand in the kitchen. One thing I want to touch on briefly, I think most people have this and don't want to deal with it... the dreaded plastic container cupboard (dun dun DUN... insert evil presence bad guy music here). This, you must tackle. I just went through last week and paired all containers with lids. Any lid without a bottom, or vice versa, has to go in the recycling. Where the heck did they GO? No idea. Somewhere the stray containers and single socks that the dryer ate are hanging out somewhere having a party... Straighten containers! Stack them neatly! Put all lids together in one place! You would be surprised what a space saver this is, and how easy it will be to pair tops and bottoms when it is time to put some leftovers away!
I think this goes along with the gadget drawer. It is so much fun to have all the goo gags and funstuffs that kitchen stores have to offer, but if you don't use them, there is no sense in having them. Again, if you haven't used it, touched it (thumbing through the drawer while trying to find something else does NOT count), or thought about it in a year (or since you got it)... it must go. Going back to previous posts, either put it in the yard sale, give it to friends or family, or donate it.
Any sections I forgot that your kitchen has and mine doesn't? Go around the room, counterclockwise, through each shelf, cupboard, nook, and cranny. Clear each space. Make room in your bagua, make room in your life!
What comes next, y’all? Celebrate!! Maybe not with a chicken, ginger, pineapple, and marshmallow casserole… but you get the idea! If your fridge was that bad, maybe this is the night to go out to eat. If you now have a handle on your existing refrigerator and pantry “inventory”, between now knowing what you have “in stock”, the information from my first blog on “periodicals”, and all those recipes you kept, you have a great formula for a victorious meal!
Sit back, pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and start imagining what you can accomplish next! Combine that with a great art project in your new, clean space and that leads us into the next category. Which is…
Next: 7.(Toys, Arts & Crafts Supplies, Hobby Related Equipment)