I start this blog with one request – no judgement. That being said. Although I did it all today, I count this for the 10th-13th. This picture shows the items that were trashed. Yep. All of these items were expired. The exceptions are the taco sauces and parmesan cheese from take-out food. It all began with me having to remove several cans to get to my bread crumbs for dinner. (Yummy pork chops coated in bread crumbs, parmesan and crunchy fried onions) I noticed the cans were expired. I set them on the table. Also, as I pulled out the bread crumbs, the bag of condiments came falling out, so I saved a handful and tossed the rest.
I must confess I was shocked how many cans I had that were expired. One had started to bubble on the bottom so it would have exploded soon. The winner of the oldest is the chilis from 2008. (Remember I said no judgement).
My old pantry was deep – about 2 feet deep. I always had expired stuff because I rarely got to the back and kept new stuff in the front. When we remodeled 4 years ago, we installed this pantry, which is much less deep. I thought I had been better about using stuff up. Guess not. Today will hopefully help me turn a new leaf. Look how usable and nice it looks now. (I wish I had a before picture.)
OK time for the analysis part of the blog. I grew up in a home that always had fully stocked cupboards. Why mom kept it that way, I am not totally sure. Security. In case of emergency. Stock piling. I don’t know. I do it for several reasons. Here they are in no particular order.
1) It’s what I know from growing up. It’s familiar and comfortable even though it is wasteful and inefficient.
2) I feel I always have something to cook if we need a meal or snack. I am prepared to provide for my family. The odd thing is that I provide for my family by meal planning, creating a list of what is needed to make those meals and I grocery shop every week. Having a few extra “in a pinch” meal options in my cupboard is fine. What I had in there before today, is not fine.
3) I don’t fully trust that God will provide for all of my needs so I plan ahead for the worst case scenario. Yikes – did I just admit that out loud. (Seriously now – no judgement). I am a planner. I realize that in life I often get the go ahead from God on a new direction and I plan it all out. I get the idea from Him but the implementation is all me. With my home, I over stock to prepare for a bad day, a natural disaster or just to remind myself that I am provided for. This mentality leads to clutter. I hold onto everything because I may need it or if something happens, I’m prepared.
Follow my reasoning here for a minute. When my kids outgrew diaper bags, I was thrilled. I bought a small purse and happily entered the world without baggage – well, at least not a large bag with diapers. The freedom thrilled me. Also, when I travel, I pack light. I prepare for the weather, toss in a few extra items but I know that I can always find a Walmart if I forget something.
In my daily life, I want to live knowing I can always find a Walmart. If I truly NEED something, I can get it. If I truly NEED something, God will provide it. I don’t need to keep a stockpile of food. I can’t tell you how good I felt tossing it. I showed my kids the decluttered center cupboard (yes the side ones need work) and they said “wow.” The cycle of overstocking stops with this generation. WOW.