The trash can is my friend

I’ve been listening to some podcasts by a woman who is a homeschooling mom of eight and who started, owns, and runs a full time business.  This lady has a lot on the ball and obviously knows some stuff I need to learn.  She is extremely practical and motivating, and after listening to Getting Rid of Clutter I, Getting Rid of Clutter II, and Getting Rid of Clutter III, I was motivated to get rid of some clutter in my life.

I took what seem like some teeny, tiny, baby steps.

One of the things P.J. says is, “If you don’t use it, get rid of it,” so I thought a lot about (but took no action on) going through the stuff in my kitchen and getting rid of what I don’t use, but yesterday I was more or less forced to address the Excessive Kitchen Utensil issue.  Let me explain.

In the past two months, we have had The. Most. Horrific. infiltration of fruit flies known to man.

I initially thought they were fungal gnats in houseplants, but no.  Fungal gnats move slowly and these guys are more like Speedy Gonzales.  In the summer, we usually have some bananas, peaches, and cantaloupe ripening in a basket on the counter, and they attract fruit flies, so we always keep a small glass of apple cider vinegar and with a few drops of Palmolive nearby.  The fruit flies are drawn to the vinegar and die drinking it.  That normally works pretty well, but these guys would have none of it.  Besides, they weren’t even hanging around the fruit basket beside the fridge very much; they seemed to be over around the sink.

So. .. my next step was to be very diligent in leaving NO food sitting out.  This is quite inconvenient, as it means no fruit can be left out to ripen, and every single dish, pan, glass, and utensil must be thoroughly washed the minute we’re done using it.  Then, in addition to attempting to cut off their food sources, we’ve kept manually swatting at and killing (an untold number of) the little guys, but somehow they still seem to reproduce like rabbits.

I then asked our friend at church who is an exterminator about it, and he said that the goal is to figure out where they are nesting, that they like drains, and that if we weren’t on a well, he’d recommend pouring some bleach down the drain.  We had become so desperate that I decided to heck with the well, and I have taken to pouring about a pint of bleach down the kitchen drain every night.

I even had Scott buy one of those bug bomb things.  I figured I’d set it off in the kitchen and blast ’em all to Kingdom Come, but then I read the procedure on the label, and it’s INTENSE.  You have to cover everything, turn off all appliances, be gone for hours, air the house for hours before re-entering it, etc., etc., etc., so I punted that idea.

But yesterday I found a can of Raid for Flying Insects under the kitchen sink, and it said it kills fruit flies.  Aha!!!  And I was going to be gone that morning for several hours.  So, with a murderous gleam in my eye, I moved all the stuff off the kitchen counter and into the living room, covered the toaster and Andrew’s coffee maker, and sprayed half a can of that stuff into every part of my kitchen, including the sink.  The air was heavy with Raid-ish mist and the floor was slippery with it when I left.

Four hours later, I returned to a dry kitchen, 15 dead fruit flies, and two dead lady bugs.  I was pleased and hopeful.

I wiped everything down and began to move the crocks of utensils and stuff back into the kitchen, and that’s when it occurred to me that I really didn’t use all of those items.  Hmmm. . .  In fact, I didn’t actually use most of them.  Maybe I could get rid of some of them!  So I pulled out the ones I use regularly and returned them to the counter and I put all the rest in a paper bag which I dated and set in the pantry.  Anything I don’t get out of the bag for a month is going to the thrift shop.  = )

And then I went to my desk to deal with some email stuff and saw that there were 50+ messages in my in-box.  Most of them were there because before I could delete them I’d need to do something, and I never seemed to make time to do those things.  Yesterday I did.  I spent more than one hour and less than two systematically taking action on ALL THOSE EMAILS, and now my in-box is down to nine items!!!

I am on a roll, albeit a very small one, and I am gathering momentum.

There was a fruit fly over the sink this morning.  = {

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1 Response to “The trash can is my friend”


  1. 1 Josiah Roberts October 8, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I once read a similar idea: “look at the things you have, and if a thing does not bring you joy in some way, get rid of it.”


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