Remember Marie Kondo? She's probably back in your memory sitting right beside your recollections of Instant Pot hysteria.
There are those of you who loved Marie Kondo and her Zen militia type attitude towards getting your house in order. You probably still love her.
And then there are those of you who were quite annoyed by her. Your Swiffer Wetjet might not spark joy but a clean floor does sooooo.
7 years after buying it, I’m still only halfway through The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up so I guess that's proof enough that I'm not a convert.
I do think she’s got some stuff right. Like doing it all at once. Getting rid of all your STUFF in one fell swoop instead of little bits over the entire year.
Like these people are doing with their Instant Pots.
The advantage to purging all at once is you aren't going to be tempted to use the newly cleaned up, decluttered room as a place for all your other stuff.
If you only tidy one room at a time you risk infiltration from other rooms. No room in the basement for the bread maker anymore? That’s O.K. you just tidied the bedroom. The bread maker will fit perfectly under your bed. As will your tax returns and car jack.
Ms. Kondo says if you work really hard and FAST you might be able to make your way through her program and tidy your entire house in 6 months. If you’re fast.
I could build a storage room in less time.
The one Marie Kondo trick I really glommed onto in 2016 was her folding method.
7 years later I am still folding my teeshirts this way. And my jeans. And my pyjamas.
The Summer of Doing Stuff Challenge
In 2016, I spent the entire summer with readers who were taking part in The Summer of Doing Stuff Challenge.
It was a 3 month long program where readers taking part spent one month completing any project that they'd been putting off, one month redoing their backyards, & one month was spent tidying.
Which turned out to be pretty hilarious.
Why was tidying hilarious?
The kitchen cupboard contents.
The very first day of the course one of the members tackled cleaning out her pantry because that was the homework I assigned for the day and found the best before 2010 Jello pudding. It was expired by 6 years.
It soon became obvious that there was going to be a competition for who was likely to be hospitalized first based on the best before date contents of their cupboards.
And then another reader posted a box of Curry Mix that expired 8 YEARS AGO. Ditto for a jar of fig chutney.
Imitation Coconut Extract that expired in 2008. Apparently 2008 was a good year for expired food.
That one went over well with the group but THEN there was this from Kate …
“Careful now, ladies- you’ve entered into my Thunderdome… I bring you unopened vanilla frosting, best by date: Apr. 6, 2006.”
Then there was the blackberry jam Sharron had been saving “for the right occasion” since 1992.
Over and over these photos and comments kept coming in featuring the expired foods.
At the time I checked my own cupboards but I didn’t have anything funnier than 2015. I think that’s based on the fact that I redid my kitchen a few years earlier and it certainly isn’t a reflection of the comedic abilities of my food.
So I checked again today in 2023. I present to you the pizza oil. Expired 12 years ago.
So now I’d like to propose a challenge to all of you. Just for fun because blogs should be fun again.
Clean out your pantry and get rid of the weird stuff you thought you’d love to cook with but never did.
Like the bottle of sauce you picked up at the Chinese market that’s so authentic the label is in Chinese which you can’t read and therefore have NO idea what it actually is.
And being a Chinese ingredient you’re too afraid to taste a bit on your finger because what if it’s saucy, pulverized fish guts?
YOUR WEEKEND HOMEWORK
"The Cupboard Challenge"
The keeper of the most expired food wins.
Go now to your pantries, to your cupboards and shelves, and find the can that screams:
If you eat me your innards will definitely rebel.
Then come right back here and tell us what it is and when it expired. You can also take a picture of that 2001 bottle of no name ketchup and send it to me by clicking this button.
I'll add all the photos I get to this post as they come in so we can all laugh and point fingers at everyone else.
Added bonus - you'll get a cupboard cleaned out.