the annual cleanout is well overdue

I've lived here in this little flat for 15 months now.

Before I moved, I cleared out lots of stuff that I knew wouldn't fit and stuff I thought I'd probably never need or use again.

When I unpacked here and found I still had too much stuff, I sent a few extra garbage bag loads to the nearest Goodwill type place.

Now I need to go through some cupboards and do it all again.
There are things in the back corners of cupboards, stuff in the top-of-wardrobe section, bits and pieces in the cabinet under the bathroom sink that I haven't even looked at the whole time I've been here.

Like the half dozen bath towels that I never use because I prefer the larger bath sheet sized towels.
The sheets that are worn in the middle and I was keeping to use as cleaning rags, but really, how many rags does one person need? 
The big and medium sized frypans.
I cook for one now, so bought a small frypan and that's all I need.

I can ignore packets of dried foods, because they'll keep and eventually get used (pasta, rice, custard powder), but I'll check everything else in the kitchen cupboard that I call a pantry.
I started last weekend by tossing spices that I knew were at least 5 years old and I hadn't used them at all apart from the one or two teaspoons needed when I tried a new recipe.
Recipe wasn't something I liked enough to make again, so the spices got shoved into the cupboard and left there.
Now they're gone.

I should probably cull my t-shirts too. 
And all those Cheap-as Chips bedsocks that are all stretched out.

Oooh! This is going to be fun. 


  1. A good cleanout just can't last, can it. It must be done, and then stuff to fill up the chinks works in through the door. We need to invent the permanent cleanout.

  2. I expect almost every one of your readers has a spice in cupboard bought for a single recipe and only used once. Does anyone need some rosewater? I bought a bottle in 1992 when I needed a few drops to make an Indian yoghurt drink.

  3. I loves me a good cleanout...I call them 'chuckin' out days'.

  4. Hi River,

    Mrs PM is banned from reading this post in case it makes her consider "clearing out" my stuff.




  5. Hi River -- and HOORAY! the warning has finally disappeared, and I'm able to see your blog for the first time in forever.
    I've been cleaning out too -- I did my pantry not long ago, and discovered a whole pile of Tupperware YAY

  6. Good for you, River! I "need" everything until we get some of these kids out of the house. For example, six old ice cream buckets were being used all at once as we had sickness going about the house. Crazy stuff like that. :)

  7. Ah yes, the clean out.... I do a clean out every few years and like you I get rid of everything I haven't used since the last clean out.
    Of course I need the things I've thrown out a week after they go...but thats life!

  8. I've gotten into the habit of writing the date on anything I buy for the cupboard. I'm still throwing out spices that must be at least 10 years old. My pantry is a nightmare and gone are the days when I had herbs and flowers hanging from the ceiling to dry. I used to be a proper housewife/cook but now I'll even eat straight from the pot.

  9. ...can you come and do my place when you're finished? I can cook you many One Pot meals and have a friendly dog on standby as your payment!

  10. I am much closer than Kath - and would also welcome you with open arms. All of our cupboards bulge. Shameful.

  11. Joanne Noragon; funny how stuff just appears out of nowhere. Six months after a good clean out the cupboards and shelves are looking too full again.

    Andrew; find a Turkish Delight recipe and use up the rosewater in that. Or add it to your fabric softener and everything will be "coming up roses". I can't guarantee the fabric softener idea works as I've never done it.

    Delores; that's what I call them too.

    Plasman; wise decision.

    Toni; I'm so glad that horrible warning has gone. I have all my plastic stuff in a separate cupboard, and go through it all about once a year to make sure I have containers with lids. Any containers without lids go and any lids that I don't have containers for also go.

    Happy Elf Mom; icecream buckets are always handy for something when there are kids in the house. I used to have several filled with home made play dough in several colours.

    Tempo; Me too! Just last week I wanted something that I'd tossed in the last cleanout and my daughter was asking about an item that I'd tossed at least six years ago and completely forgotten about. Now of course, I wish I still had it.

    JahTeh; I used to write dates on stuff, I should do that again. You may have to work on your pantry one shelf at a time.

    Kath Lockett; I'd love to come and help, but it's a bit far away, I'd be late for work the next day. Perhaps you could post a few One Pot recipes now and again, for me and Andrew. Give Milly a good patting for me.

    Elephant's Child; Buy bigger cupboards? Or start clearing one shelf at a time? Or use my method. Empty the cupboard completely, put back only what you know you will definitely use and is less than a year old. Chuck the rest. I recently tossed out a couple of those meal base sauces that I'd bought to try and make Mongolian Lamb and something else, they were dated 2008 and 2009, and I don't even like lamb!

  12. lol, I'm a devil for this kind of stuff, I'm keeping old tees to try and make a Tee quilt (when the new ones I got this year get worn out of course), I've bits of old jeans to make a jeans quilt (which hasn't even been started yet), I've balls of wool for projects that have never been started and at one stage I thought it would be awesome to make jewellery, so I've little glass jars, and plastic jars of beads and findings taken up room and I'm writing now and not allowing myself to have distractions so that means they'll stay dusty, and the Mrs will keep sighing until I get rid of them...can you tell I hate parting with anything? Though having said that, I was thinking of maybe opening up an etsy (sp) shop and selling the beads, try to make back some of the moula that I spent on's an idea, will I follow through...we'll see. Best of luck with your sorting.

  13. The Wicked Writer; I once had piles of sewing stuff such as ribbons and laces, jars of buttons that I gave away when I hadn't even opened the sewing box for at least five years. I was kidding myself thinking I might make this or that, but deep down I knew I never would.

  14. I was just pondering a clean out for my place the other day. Then I got an attack of the lazys

  15. In spite of the post I wrote about "stuff", I do enjoy clearing out the old and re-organizing everything from time to time. My lovely organization doesn't always last as long as I'd like, but while it lasts, I must admit to spending a good bit of time admiring my handiwork. But the spices. Uh, yes, I really DO need to cull some of them out. I'm pretty sure I still have a thing of cardamom I bought in the early '70s. Hey! That makes it an antique, right?

  16. Fenstar de Luxe; I've had the lazies attack me too, usually I give in and take a nap. There's no use fighting the lazies.

    Susan Flett-Swiderski; I love the reorganizing, it's very satisfying to open cupboards and see everything just where it should be and easily accessible. This is why I do my pantry twice a year. In the autumn I bring all the winter essentials to the front of shelves, in the spring I reverse it all again. this year though, I actually tossed out some of it.
    I wonder if you could sell your antique Cardamom on ebay?

  17. I do love the thought of our Andrew smelling of roses.


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