I started my fall cleaning this week in the kitchen area. The pictures you see are of the door and then of their contents AFTER they were cleaned. I'm not yet... humble... enough to show you what they look like before.
First, I cleaned my pantry. It is a quite large pantry with shelves floor to ceiling. I don't keep much food stuffs in here, mostly baking dishes, large pots, paper towels... you get the picture. My Mom used to tease me about wanting everything in my cabinets to have 6 inches of space around them. What can I say? It soothes my OCDish tendencies.
Next is my dry sink. It sits to the right of the pantry. My husband bought it for me many years ago and it has served many purposes. Currently it holds crocks with silverware and such on top, cookbooks inside. On the top shelf, left, you might be able to make out a recipe box. It belonged to my Mother. I rarely use the recipes in it but I like to look at her handwriting every now and then. It comforts me.
To the left of the pantry is an antique pie safe. On top of it sit a few things that came from my Mother's house as well as some items from my husband's family. The clock hanging on the wall above it was a gift my parents received on their wedding day. I don't know who gave it to them but it has been a fixture in my life ALL my life. Inside we keep dry goods and vitamins. The top shelf is for things that have been opened, the middle shelf is for things that haven't been opened and the bottom shelf is for baby food. Our twin grandsons currently live in our home. They and their parents are out of town as I write this and it is eerily quiet!
Next are the lower cabinets. I have very few cabinets and not much counter top space so this is for things that get used on a daily basis. Spices, coffee, a few pots and pans, food storage containers and cleaning products. I only have two small drawers in my kitchen but I make do.
These are my upper cabinets. Yep, that's right. Only 2 units, both small. Again, I make do and if you can't tell, I don't keep much in them anyway.
Now the refrigerator. I clean my fridge more than once or twice a year! It just so happened that it needed a good cleaning at fall cleaning time. It wasn't too terribly bad but I'd really like to know how it gets so dusty beneath the produce bins! My least favorite thing in the fridge to clean is the door. I forget where everything goes and by the time I am able to find everything on it quickly, it is time to clean again.
Last, for today, is my hall closet. We decided to put shelves in here, too, since I have so little cabinet space. The top shelf is for all of my "fancy" glass dishes. The next shelf down is for medicines, and miscellaneous items. The middle shelf is for everyday dishes and coffee cups. Next down is for extra bathroom item storage and baby bath supplies. The bottom shelf is the baby bathtub, beach towels, and a basin. The floor... shoes, jugs of water and a foot bath. The water isn't for drinking, it is to be able to flush the toilet during unexpected power outages. I was standing in the bathroom in order to take this picture. I never knew the knobs on the closet doors were uneven!
Now that you've seen what is behind closed doors in the kitchen area of my house, let me remind you that these are pictures of what they look like AFTER I cleaned them. If I were to take pictures of the same spaces a few weeks from now, they wouldn't look that much different (OCDish, remember?) but there would be a few variations.
The cookie sheets would be stacked less neatly in the pantry. In the dry sink there would be papers from here and there strewn about until I found a place for them. The shoes in the closet would be kicked off in more random fashion. You get the point! I will also confess that there are things that are hidden or completely left out of the picture. There are just some things that I prefer you not to see or know. And isn't life like that?
The vast majority of people whom we meet will only see the surface, the door, if you will. Some people will get a peek inside and, for a select few, we will throw the doors open, but only AFTER we've tidied up a bit. Those who think they have complete access really don't. No human sees into our thoughts and motives. "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?" 1 Corinthians 2:11a
Others can guess or discern based on our actions and words but they can never really KNOW. I think that is one of the reasons that God wants us to completely surrender our will to Him. His ways, His thoughts, His motives are always right, good and pure so if we align our spirits with His Spirit then we will have no fear of any person's judgement and we have no need to hide or manipulate. "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Genesis 4:7
We can even close the door to our own selves! I like how the New Living Translation puts it "But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves." How often do I fail to take an honest, humble look behind the door of my heart? Too often. How many years have I spent in spiritual turmoil because of it? Too many!
Cleaning these rarely seen spaces in the kitchen is my least favorite part of fall cleaning. Maybe that is why it feels so good to be done with it for the year (of course I will clean the fridge before then!) I still have the rest of the house to do but this is a start. And I will sleep well tonight. Bonus!