Friday, 31 August 2012

My pledge for National Zero Waste Week: decluttering my kitchen, the final frontier!

Yes, you heard it here first!

I'm going in!

Venturing deep into my kitchen, where for the first time in nine years I am going to attempt to clear out all the cupboards, banish the clutter, get organised and prepare myself for the new school term!

And that is my pledge for National Zero Waste Week, which kicks off on Monday.

The theme this year is to encourage participants to do that "one more thing" to reduce waste.

When I thought about what I could do, I knew that as we already recycle all we can, the only thing left to tackle was food waste. We still have some, not an enormous amount, but some food waste all the same.  And with the wormery still out of action, it's the main thing that gets sent to landfill, along sweet wrappers and crisp packets.

I thought if I pledged to use up what we have in the fridge during National Zero Waste Week, and try not to go shopping until we'd done that, it would be easy.

Then I thought again.

That's like putting a sticking plaster on a broken leg.

The truth of the matter is I CAN'T STAND MY KITCHEN!
These days, I spend as little time in there as I can get away with and yet underneath I am a bloody good cook with a sense of adventure for creating good food.

But I need space to create.

I simply don't have it.

And it's all got on top of me.

Our kitchen is tiny and as the household has become busier and busier, the space has become more and more cluttered. My previously much-loved gadgets,such as the yoghurt maker in the photo above, have become unused and gather dust, supporting bowls that can't even be squeezed into cupboards for lack of room!

All too often, when I'm at my busiest, I take one glance at the kitchen, and sigh, before scooting the family off elsewhere.  Then follows the guilt of trying to rescue perishables in the fridge before they die a certain death. And it is here that I sometimes fail.

So I've decided that this vicious circle must stop!

I need to clear out the stuff that I will never use again, rehome it or recycle it and find some space in the cupboard so that I can clear the worktop.

I must also decide how much I really need those gadgets and cookbooks.  The breadmaker, juicer and yoghurt maker all sell the idea of such a lovely lifestyle, but if they clutter up the workspace and make me feel too disorganised to use them, is there any point in keeping them?

And as for the sound effects that add to the atmosphere, my washing machine and dishwasher have both started groaning like a poor elephant with a hernia.

It really doesn't create a relaxing environment, so I'm going to see if we can get them repaired.

Then maybe, if I make it safely back from my excursion into the unexplored corners of my freezer, I will finally have the quiet, uncluttered, well-organised kitchen I dream of...

... and the creative space I need to avoid food waste!

This National Zero Waste Week pledge may be my toughest challenge yet, but I'm rolling up my sleeves and going in and hopefully I will feel better for it. Admittedly, I may need some gin first to avoid the lemons going to waste!


To keep up with National Zero Waste Week, follow @MyZeroWaste on Twitter.  Now in its fifth year, the awareness campaign is really gathering momentum with a whole host of industry leaders, politicians and celebrities making personal pledges, and even before the week starts, over 800 people have signed up on Facebook. So it would be great if you could join in and do that "one more thing" to help tackle the world's waste. Just one more thing!  And I doubt it will be as tough as my blimmin' kitchen.


Unknown said...

I gave my bread maker to my mum; recycled my popcorn maker and gifted my Gaggia coffee machine. All in an effort to declutter the kitchen.

i also turned a cupboard into open shelving to discourage the mad stuffing that happens once it is no longer visible.

And am eating my way trough the freezer, i get a strange satisfaction when it is half full and I can see what is in there

So good luck my sweet!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Thank you my lovely. I admit this is something I am both looking forward to and dreading, so I'm very pleased to have your fab support. x

Compostwoman said...

Much like you I find Zero Waste Week difficult because we already do so much - so I am decluttering my study this week.

I will remover stuff (to recycling bins as required) and re arrange so I can actually use the remaining stuff properly.

Also will be emptying out the gueat bedroom ready for major re furbishment ( new floor, windows/dry lining etc ) so lots of stuff going to charity/ Freecycle/ and as last resort the recycling bins.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi CW - It looks like decluttering this week is the way to go! I'll be spending a couple of hours in there of the next few days, then once the children go back to school, I hope to really give it some welly. Good luck to you...see you when we both resurface. :) x

just Gai said...

I'm attempting a similar exercise on my freezer - declutter, reorganise and maintain efficiently!

LTC Insurance said...

I've had a hell of a time decluttering my kitchen once... not because it became much more organized and neat... but because I've managed to find stuff that I've been looking for for quite some time now.

Arlene Bergel said...

I've had the same experience with the fridge. Often, I tend to remember what's in the fridge at just about the same time when "mushroom monsters" would appear on a particular food that I'd want to eat.
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