Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just When I Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse . . . (#3 of 11)

Today the new kitchen countertops will be installed. Bad timing, because I’m deep into my decluttering project, but it’s the only time the installer could come. Everything currently occupying the counters needs to be removed. 
My husband produces a giant plastic tub which we load with small appliances – toaster oven, traditional toaster, food processor, hand mixer, blender (I’m noticing the duplication of functions for the first time), knife rack, coffee grinder, bag sealer. The tub is full. We drag it into the small second bedroom/office/library/den/music room.

The counters are still far from empty. We start carrying things by hand into the multi-purpose room – electric samovar; utensil caddies; oversized bottles and canisters of cooking ingredients that are too large to fit in the cabinets; giant jars of pasta, legumes, and grains (we do eat healthy!); the drain rack; the vegetable juicer. By now the furniture in the second bedroom is overflowing with stuff piled on top. We set up a card table to hold the overflow.

I had no idea how much stuff that we hardly ever use has overtaken the kitchen counters. I am even more amazed by how ample the counters appear as we strip them naked. This must be what the kitchen looked like on the day I moved in, before I had unpacked anything. Funny, I don’t remember it ever looking this, so . . .. exposed. It feels bizarre. But in a good way.

The new counter tops arrive at eight a.m. 

There’s been a mistake.  We ordered light colored granite, this is black marble. If we accept it, we’ll have to redo the floor to blend with it, and the tiny kitchen will become a dark cave. 

Black marble goes back out the door, and my husband and I exchange looks of resignation. We need to bring everything we moved back into the kitchen.

But wait! This is the perfect time to declutter the kitchen! If I cull now, the mess that has assembled over time won’t take over the new light granite counters that will be coming in a couple of weeks.

We lift each item and consider our options: 

!. return it to the counter.
2. store in the cupboards,
3. relegate to the garage (still in turmoil from the declutteriing                begun last week), 
4. sell, 
5. offer to the kids or a neighbor, 
6. donate to a charity, or 
7. discard?

But before I can begin – I must declutter the kitchen cupboards, to make room for the things that will be relocating there. I remove the contents of the cupboards and pile them onto the counters, to be sorted. 

All this is to explain why, with the garage totally uninhabitable by cars due to the decluttering that began a few days ago, the kitchen is in shambles, and there is no space to walk through the office/guest room/music room/den.

I am decluttering!

(To be continued next week.)