We emptied everything out of each area, tossed what we needed to, cleaned and then put back the stuff that would stay. Holy cow we had a lot of stuff in there!
One of the things that struck me as odd is how many bottles of alcohol and mixers we have considering we don't drink all that often. And boy is some of this alcohol old. At the beginning of last year, most of what we had was stuff I bought for a party nearly ten years ago now. I bought a bottle of what each of the people who would be at the party were drinking at the time. So there's a little gone from each bottle, but then those friends drifted out of my life and the bottle, minus a drink or two remained, not to be touched again. Then, my parents cleaned out their pantry and brought over their alcohol, which probably more than doubled the supply in volume and quadrupled it in age. Many of their bottles are from long ago parties, similar to mine, where the bottle simply sat and collected dust. Pretty much if it isn't vodka, it's just sat there.
But in looking at it as it all sat on the dining room table, Matt seized upon a bottle of scotch. It supposedly was aged eight years before it was sold. Now it's sat in a pantry at my parents' house and now our house for probably a good thirty or forty years. I'm sure it's good stuff. So Matt poured a shot and I took a sip. Man, did it burn going down! Matt finished off the shot and all I could think was, "Marvin probably would have loved this. Why didn't I drag it out a long time ago so he could have it?"
So I learned quite a bit today while I cleaned out the refrigerator, freezer and pantry:
If I buy something to have it available for someone and it's not something I'm going to use, send any that is left home with them when they leave. I can always buy another for the next time.
Don't save things for special occasions; it may go bad before that "special occasion" arises. So make an ordinary day special.
I really don't need to buy refried beans in the next 100 trips to the grocery store. Ditto that for black beans, cream of celery soup, canned mushrooms, lasagne noodles and frozen veggies.
Keep an eye open for things that other people can use that are just wasting away in my house. When I find them, give them away while I still can.
A sharpie is my best friend in the freezer because I really won't remember what I put in that freezer bag a few weeks down the road, no matter how much I think I will.
There is such as a thing as too many plastic grocery bags. (Yup, an entire large garbage bag of them is way, way, way too many. I'll never use them all as trash can liners).
Oh, and my husband is a genius. He attached those little command hooks upside down on the outside of the garbage can. Then he looped the drawstring under them to hold the edge of the bag outside the can so the bag doesn't slip down inside. It worked like a charm; no more fighting the garbage bag. Now if he could just figure out how to keep Smoke from jumping up into the little windows in the family room...