I decided to sort out our overflow staples shelves in the utility room today. I'm chuckling at how I'm reduced to finding such things a win, but writing it down helps me see where things are getting better and where they are not.
My Ocado delivery arrived and I found I'd accidentally left another litre bottle of olive oil in the order, forgetting that I'd already bought one when I'd popped into the supermarket for something and saw it was on offer. I'd meant to delete it, but I couldn't get into the App at the time and then I forgot that I'd already got one when I checked my order for the final time.
I went into the utility room to put it away, and had no where to put it. The shelves were completely disorganised, and I'd got out of the habit of ensuring stock rotation. I stared at shelves for a while, playing Shelf Testris in my mind, and trying to work out what the best organisation strategy was.
I decided I'd start with one shelf and see how I got on
The shelves are ancient, from Ikea about 25 years ago, and are sturdy but aren't really great for this type of thing. The consumables are stored on two columns of half width shelves, which are at right angles to each other at the corner of the room. They have bits where stuff easily gets lodged and overlooked.
For example, on one shelf I found 8 x 250ml bottles of homemade Cherries in Kirch, which we'd done in 2009. I opened one, it smelled OK, but I looked at them and knew that if I hadn't used then in the last 14 years, I probably never would. I emptied them into a colander in the sink.
On the equivalent place on another shelf I found 6 x200ml bottles of Prosecco. That can go out in to the summerhouse fridge.
On another shelf, there was some unopened dry cat food, which was originally for our old girl who died last year and which I'll pass on to the local rescue place. There was some cordial that I'm never going to drink, and some tins of mixers that I bought to try and didn't like.
I found some needle-less syringes (which I use when having to dropper feed the Girls). They were on what used to be the petfood shelf, but we don't need a shelf for that anymore. I've put them on the side to find a new home.
Once I'd got all that sorted out, I started to try and organise things better.
I put non-perishable things (like spare plastic bags) down dark hidden recesses. I organised the foodstuffs by expiry date and by type of food. Some of the stuff has an expiry date but it's a bit of a nonsense (like tea, vinegar, sugar) and I won't throw those away but I have moved the expired stuff into the kitchen so it gets used.
I ended up sorting 8 shelves, and there is a bit of space left. I can see where I have absolutely no need to buy certain things for a long time (and I will resist the temptation, even if said stuff is on offer).
I just need to try and keep it sorted now.
I need to think about how to sort out some of the other shelves as well. Our sausage stuffer, which is a tall upright one, currently lives in the loft. Now we are getting a bit creaky, it is a bit of a faff to move it downstairs (and back up again) when we want to make sausages. I would like to get it into the part of the utility room where I keep "occasional use" equipment.
Not today though.
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