I've been reading the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and have been absolutely loving it. In it, she describes her year-long quest to become happier by trying out small things, so that she could change her life and be happier, without actually changing her life (no running off to Italy or Bali for her!). There are so many different things she tried that are really thoughtful, and have really clicked with me. My favorite so far is the "one minute rule" wherein if a task takes less than a minute, just do it right then. It's only a minute! I am notoriously guilty of being too lazy to, say, fold and a sweater I tried on but decided not to wear, or place the newspaper in the recycling after I'm done. Sweaters end up in piles, newspapers strewn around the apartment. That's just me, but I'm trying to instill her rule (I obviously used kind examples).
Anyway, the book has been really inspiring so I thought I'd do a little Spring Cleaning to de-clutter my apartment. I only got through phase one, but I consider it the most important phase: my refrigerator.
This is what my refrigerator looked like:
It may not look that bad, but it was. I could barely fit anything into it and who knows how long some of those vegetables have been in there. So I started out by taking everything out and laying it out. Then throwing out some (half of) the stuff in there. (Please don't look at the piles in the background...)
Seriously, I found a Christmas cookie. Ugh. Anyway, I moved on. The smartest thing I did was order these little glass bowls with lids. They are the best! Seriously, you must make this investment - under $20 for twelve of them. I ended up putting a lot of things in them for the refrigerator, and not just leftovers, but things that come in flimsy plastic containers or leaky ones. I can't think of an easier way to store things like cheese, or that half lemon from last night's vinaigrette.
I took these bad boys beyond the refrigerator too - great for pantry staples like dried fruit, and so much easier than dealing with "resealable" (ha) plastic bags. Also, they double as serving dishes - much better presentation points for a glass bowl of olives than the plastic container they came in. (And you can then wash and save the plastic container for bringing lunch to work - much lighter to carry and no need for presentation points.)
But I digress. So I ended up taking out all of the shelves, wiping everything down, and then putting things back in nicely (in their glass bowls!). One thing I realized was that I could raise the upper shelf one level and still fit everything above, which gave me much more room in the middle section.
So far, I've been really excited about this and have kept everything nice and tidy. I even arranged the refrigerator door!
Wasn't I clever with my active dry yeast packets going next to the beer? Yeah, I thought you were impressed with my themed sections.
While I feel like I've added a big step in my happiness levels with this cleaning out, there is still a looming fear: the freezer. I shudder to think about cleaning that one out. Not a one-minute task.