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wasteful vs. guilty

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I've been doing a lot of cleaning an organizing lately. I've cleaned off my countertops and only a few things remain to go through. I cleaned our laundry room and finally have NOTHING on my dryer (it was a collection place ever since we moved in) and I hung some photos in there too. For those of you who've been to my house you know that the door to my laundry room is usually closed and that was for two reasons. I didn't want to look at the mess and I wanted to keep the kids out. Now, if the door is closed it's just to keep the kids out! It feels so good and so freeing to see the clutter gone.

Now, don't be fooled into thinking there is no clutter in the kitchen because our computer is in the kitchen and the scanner/printer/copier is covered in paper...that I need to file. I just have to make myself file the paper work and that will be clean too. I guess I'm just writing this all to ask you to help keep me accountable. It used to be that the piles went away when visitors were coming and often times they just moved to the dryer or my dresser (which is a mess, by the way). But now that the dryer is cleaned off I'd like to keep it that way. And now that the counters are mostly cleaned off I don't want to go back to how it used to be.

If you don't know anything about the FlyLady and her principles you can skip this paragraph because it won't make much sense to you. I have read the Fly Lady stuff but have not actually applied anything other than the shiny sink thing (which I'm doing right now by the way) but what I have read has sort of motivated this new clean and organized me. I don't do the 27 fling boogie but I throw more and more things away, I don't set my timer for 15 minutes but I find one section that needs to be cleaned and do it till it's done. I do make sure nothing is in my sink when I go to bed and I do one load of laundry a day. So, I guess I'm following some of her ideas but I don't have a control journal and I don't put my shoes on every day.

One thing though...I feel wasteful for some of the things I throw away. Like plastic bags, I'm not talking Walmart plastic bags (I have no problem throwing those away), I'm talking sandwich baggies, or freezer bags. My mom always saved these and washed them and reused them. I'm grateful that she did that but when I save them I don't always get to washing them right away and then there's this big pile of sandwich bags that need to be cleaned in order to be re-used. So, after a while, I feel guilty for not doing it, so I just throw them away. Then the guilt is gone, but then I feel wasteful. Catch my drift? The other thing is at Christmas we got LOTS of homemade cookies and other goodies. We didn't eat much of it and today I finally threw it away because it was making my counters feel cluttered and I felt guilty for not eating it. So, now I feel wasteful for throwing away perfectly good (although a little old) cookies. UGH! What is the better option? Any ideas!? Thanks!
I'll leave you with some photos of the kids from yesterday.

All tied up
Kari said...

I understand feeling guilty about the plast bags, etc...but I'd remove the guilt of throwing away the goodies. I think at some point you have to think about your overall health...both physical and mental and I'm sure a LOT of that stuff was not healthy food-fare for the family. Homemade goodies are sweet, but probably too many for your family (often happens to Pastor's families). There's no way you could have gotten through all of them...and it's almost the END of January they didn't taste good anymore anyways. Good for you for getting all the other areas decluttered!!

Mikaela said...

Leave the guilt about the plastic bags and throw them away right away before you collect a ton and then don't even use them. When you don't have two little ones running around, maybe you'll get to them quicker, but ditch them for now. We too had the overabundance of Christmas goodies... must be a Pastor's family thing. I stopped eating sweets right before the holidays and so there were a ton of extras left, normally I would eat my fair share and not feel guilty about throwing away the "bad" ones (not my favorite kinds) So this year after the holidays and after all of our company left, Luke took them to the Youth Center...those kids will eat anything! It was a great way to get rid of stuff and not feel guilty about it because like you, I'm so thankful people think of us but we just can't eat them all. The other thing I did with treats we like is froze them for a later date! Last Saturday I took the whole day and went through and organized my files. It was on my to do list for a long time and felt so good to have finished! That's all my thoughts for now! Kudos to you for cleaning up! Keep up the good work!

Holly said...

We always have bags pile up and our Wal-Mart has a recyceling thing for plastic bags. So even though I'm not reusing them, at least I'm recyceling.

Casey said...

Jamie-I get so much food from students as well and I finally had to get to the point where throwing them away or giving them away (right when I receive them) is the best option. 1) I don't need the calories and 2) they will just clutter my house and eventually go stale. As for the baggies, they are cheap enough to throw away and better to be out of your house. If you feel bad about wasting plastic, try using tupperware to pack sandwiches and snacks so you can wash them in the dishwasher. I stopped bring my sandwiches to school in plastic bags for the same reasons you feel and now I just pop them into gladware and stick the gladware in the dishwasher each night. Again, I aplaud your organization efforts!

Anonymous said...

Jamie - I have "baggie" problems too. The solution that worked for me was to get rid of them. I now put leftovers, sandwiches, lunch stuff, etc. into reusable, washable containers. It causes a few more dishes in the dishwasher, but no guilt! I pack my son's lunch for school and use the "take and toss" containers which fit well in the lunch box - bonus: no crushed crackers! I also started stocking up on glass see-through containers for leftovers so that nothing gets left behind in the fridge...We still keep baggies in the house, but their usage has decreased :) Good luck!

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