I spent this past weekend cleaning out and organizing parts of my house. I started with the bathroom, and ended up with a full garbage bag of expired prescription and OTC medications, old cosmetics and beauty products, a small box of items such as gently or barely used hair curlers, straighteners, extensions, clips and bows that is being donated to Goodwill, and gave several half-empty bottles of shampoo and conditioner to my mom. Deep inside my cabinets I found six boxes of hair colour, three cans of mousse, two detangling leave-in conditioners, two cans of hairspray, an unopened bag of Hall's throat drops, three unopened boxes of wrinkle cream (2 L'Oreal and 1 Avon), four toothbrushes, small flosses and mini toothpastes from my dental visits, and numerous other miscellaneous items I had no idea were lurking under my sink.
(I think I have enough hair c0lour to last me a while!)
It was pretty amazing - and kinda scary, too, to think of all the money I've spent on useless crap this past year (or maybe two; I can't remember the last time I did this!). Some items I'm going to use - the detanglers, mousses, and hair sprays - and if I end up not liking them (most likely the reason they ended up under the sink to begin with), then this time I'm throwing them out! Yes, I hate the thought of wasting the money, but if it doesn't do what I want it to, it's out.
After I finished the bathroom, I decided to go through my cookbooks and magazines in the kitchen. I donated to Goodwill several old cookbooks I've never used, tore recipes out of magazines like Oxygen, Sunset, and Cooking Light, then tossed the magazines, and put the recipes in a 3-ring binder. Then, I started organizing my Clean Eating magazines. I've been subscribing to Clean Eating since it began in 2007, and unlike the other magazines I fully intend to keep all these, so I had a few years to sort through. Most of them had post-its on the pages with recipes I have tried and liked, or want to try but haven't yet, but without taking the magazine down and thumbing through it, I had no idea what the recipes I'd tagged were. So, I went magazine by magazine, page by page, and wrote on an index card the date of the issue, the name of the recipe (and/or the main ingredient like salmon or pork), and the page number, then taped that to the front of the magazine. So, now all I have to do is pull a magazine out and read the card to see if it's the one I want. Hopefully this will save me hours and hours looking for recipes I want to make. (Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did not come up with the index card idea myself. I saw it somewhere, but can't remember where now.)
My hope is that starting off the new year all cleaned out an organized will help me stay that way for the next 12 months and beyond! Wish me luck! Cheers!