Making space

I have mentioned before my resistance wardrobe decluttering, but this reluctance does not necessarily extend to other areas of my home.  Sitting with my gym friends enjoying the usual post-exercise coffee, I happened to mention that I had a boot full of crockery and glassware that I was taking to the charity shop. I was unprepared for the reaction when I went on to say how good it had felt to ‘start again’ with a completely re-organised kitchen. The cathartic effects of getting rid and streamlining are, it seems, not unusual, and when I admitted to a little warm glow of satisfaction the following morning when I’d  opened several of the cupboards just to see again how neat and spacious they looked, you’d think they’d all just been told that they had lost a stone at our latest gym assessment (we can dream), such was the chorus of delighted agreement!

My usual method of cleaning cupboards is to empty the cupboard, wipe it out and refill it with the same items, albeit a little more tidily. That was my intention but as I emptied the first cupboard I found myself wondering whether I really needed to hold onto a box full of plastic baby spoons given that even the youngest of the grand-babies no longer uses them? Since I bought the food mixer, did I still need the hand mixer so close to hand? Surely it could now be relegated to one of the less accessible cupboards. And as Husband asked recently – did we actually need four dinner services?  So I decided that cupboard by cupboard was not the way forward  – instead I emptied every cupboard…

kitchen 1

…and piled the contents onto every surface

kitchen 3

kitchen 2

I even used the floor. There came a point when, as is so often the case when one embarks on such a task, that I wished I’d never begun, but as I ruthlessly discarded each and every item that had remained unused for years, I began to enjoy myself.  Four piles were made:

  • keep and re-home in my newly organised space
  • offer to daughter who has soon to rebuild a kitchen almost from scratch (she said yes please)
  • take to charity shop
  • destined for the tip

Somehow, this orderly environment has made me feel calmer and I’ve since made a start on the drawers in the bedroom and had a go at the office, but so far I’ve not ventured anywhere near my dressing room!



  1. That was very brave of you. I am scared to do that although why a single woman wants so much is beyond me. I think there’s a sort emotional attachment there which isn’t right but . . .


    • We are of a generation bought up by parents who lived through the war years, Joy. Perhaps their need to hold onto things (since replacements were hard to come by) rubbed off on us. And yes, there is often an emotional attachment to inanimate objects (which would explain why I have two 62 year old teddy bears, buts that’s another story).


  2. My goodness, four dinner services! We have just the one now, used all the time, plus some new blue & white plates. Our cupboards aren’t large and really, I should do the same. I have four tea services … but I love them and they are used … well, occasionally!
    Margaret P


    • We now have two and a half dinner services. One went to the tip and daughter-in-law took half of another one. It was a twelve serving one bought to use when the whole family was here but that is now very, very rare – it’s just too many people all at once! I have two tea services which really is plenty.


  3. That’s my method as well! When you see so much stuff spread everywhere, you realise that it must not all go back in the cupboards. My very large stash received this treatment and the last of it gets rehomed tomorrow. Last year, I did the same as you with crockery, cutlery etc and there is now no danger of being knocked out by a falling object when a kitchen cupboard door is opened. Tidy cupboard =calm and productive mind for me. We have just made a huge pan of veg soup and are now having a coffee. Sewing machine is coming out today-I think my mojo wants to come home from wherever it’s been.


    • So glad that your mojo has reappeared. I do hope it stays around. It is very calming to have such a big clear out and I was determined that it would not all go back in the cupboards. It is SO nice to be able to see things and have a bit of space around them!


  4. Oh, my! You are a braver woman than I, Eloise! LOL! I’d just be too overwhelmed to pull everything out! But…I have been wondering if I really need my Christmas china? I haven’t used them in the past 3 or 4 Christmases. But, they were a gift from my mother. Then, there is that glass casserole dish (also a gift from someone else) that I rarely use…I think a clean out of the kitchen cabinets is in my future! 😀


    • The emotional attachment to things is a big reason for keeping stuff that doesn’t get used. Getting rid of things has to feel right.


  5. I understand how you feel. I love a good clear out – I really dislike clutter – and if I can keep opening cupboards to inspect my good work, then so much the better. X


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