Purging your home may be the most difficult task

Last time we began our journey through ‘space’. Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize and Edit. This is the way to start taming that nuisance ‘clutter’ and this week we are going to talk about purging.

Purge – This is the ruthless elimination phase of space and yes, it can be tough sledding sometimes. So let’s get organized to eliminate those things you no longer need or want. You can donate them, recycle them or throw them out. Find a couple of boxes for the donate and recycle items and a garbage bag for the stuff that’s getting tossed.

And, because we started this little ‘space’ journey in the kitchen, let’s continue as we examine the purge phase. Remember we divided everything into zones representing the various activities that go on in the kitchen? Now we’re going to look at each of the zones and see what stuff we need to eliminate.

Food preparation zone – Go through everything you have in this pile and look for anything that’s broken – Yup, toss it! So, if the wooden chopping board is grungy looking or split, it’s time to get rid of it and get a new one. Have you had your potato peeler for 25 years? Go ahead treat yourself and get one that’s sharp and will only peel the skin and not half of the potato too. Look at the good stuff and see if there’s anything you don’t use. Put it in the donate box. When it comes to the spices – did you know that most spices lose some of their strength after about six months? Yikes, if you still have spices in your cupboards that came from Woodwards – it’s really time to throw them out!

Cooking zone – Take a good look at your pots and pans – if they have a Teflon coating and are badly scratched, it’s time to toss them, the same with any baking dishes that are chipped or damaged. And what about that mini bundt pan that you got as a gift and have never used? Yes, into the donate box it goes.

Dishwashing and storage zone – Here’s where it’s time to take a good look at all of your dishes and glasses and yes, throw anything out that is chipped, cracked or broken. If your everyday set of dishes has been serving you for many years, maybe it’s time to buy a new set. Now I am a matchy swatchy kind of gal (my kids give me the gears about it all the time), but if you like the eclectic look, your dishes don’t have to match, but they should be chip and crack free.

Food storage zone – Ok, now we need to get our glasses on to find the expiry dates on the food kept in this zone. Most everything has an expiry date now, so look for a date and toss it out if it has expired. Cereals and flours can get little bugs if they aren’t used within a certain time, so if you have a corner in the back in the dark, that is home to some of these foods, look at them carefully.

Household information centre – Because this is usually paper of some kind, you know best as to what should be kept and what should be tossed out. Because everyone has a different method of keeping their house receipts, bills, etc., I will talk about how to organize this area in another column.

Utility zone – Here is where you should go through your rags and if they are really holey and stained it’s time to go through your linen closet and find new rags. Most chemicals used for cleaning don’t have an expiry date so you’re fine there, but look at what you have and if you don’t use it, dispose of it.

Phew! Glad that’s done! Onto assigning a home next time.

Remember, reduce, reuse and recycle!

Lynne Ring is the founder of The Organizing Guru. She can be reached at 403-343-2201 or by email at organizingguru@shaw.ca. Also check out www.organizing.ca.