Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Have you ever read the book  If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff?  It's one of my favorite kid books because I can relate to it so much! Read on to see why...

Following a recent teenage get together at our house, I was putting away some serving trays and bowls in the dining room buffet, but the drawers were cramped.  Soooo, I took the opportunity to clean out the drawer to make things fit neatly; the things that we rarely use, or never use, went into a donation box, which of course is much greener than the dumpster.  I repeated the process for the remainder of the drawers....which meant recycling some mostly spent birthday and scented candles into firestarters.  Which lead me to the laundry room to my lint collection basket, and recycled cardboard egg cartons, which I stopped to fill with the lint and candle pieces.  Wah-la, firestarters!

While I was in the laundry room, I spied a bunch of cook books that I had placed on top of the dryer...I had moved these cookbooks from cabinet above the microwave because there were too many crammed into the hard to reach cabinet.  The kids could never fit the cookbooks back in the cabinet because they can't reach, and because there were too.  Soo, to resolve that problem, I culled through the cookbooks so they'd fit neatly in the cabinet, and added a few to the growing donation pile.  I was wracking my brain to figure out a new location for some of hubby's specialty cookbooks.

As I was trying to figure out a good home for the overflow cookbooks, it dawned on me that there were a few of hubby's cookbooks on another nearby bookshelf.  So, in typical If You Give a Mouse a Cookie fashion, I went to the bookcase to see if the overflow cook books would fit.  Well, you may have guessed that this lead me to sort through the dusty, kid's books that have been taking up space on the bookshelf (my kids have outgrown the books).  Many of the kid books are books I cherish and want to keep for future grandchildren.  So, during the course of the day I went through the books with each of the kids to see if there were any they also considered keepers.  This process resulted in 3 piles of books: books to share with our cousins; the keepers that needed to be moved to a new location; and a pile of books to swap.  If you haven't heard of, you should check it out.  It's a site to swap books, housewares, and much more with others who want to keep things out of the landfill, but receive something useful in return.

So the kids' books were cleared out, and the overflow cookbooks now filled that space...but you guessed it...this little Mouse now had to find a home for the kid's books that we wanted to keep, which lead me upstairs to a bookshelf with a collection of kid books, including the Little House on the Prairie series, a bunch of picture books, and classics.  Sooo, to fit this batch of keepers, I had to delete an equal amount of books that were already shelved there.  Which lead me to add to the 2 remaining piles;  books for cousins, and books. 

Since the downstairs bookshelves were being reorganized, I figured we should continue with the second we cleaned out the collection of movies, deleted some, and vacuumed the shelves.  Some of the movies went to the donate pile, some of the movies went to the pile, and the rest were neatly replaced in the shelves. 

But wait, there’s more!  My Mouse experience wasn't over just yet.  I headed back to the laundry room.  There were still some bowls and things to fit back into the laundry room pantry…which was a mess.  I stood staring at it for a minute, and a light bulb went off that I might be able to consolidate all baking pans, pie plates, cake pans, specialty shape cake pans, etc. under one of the large cabinets in the laundry room.  It took me awhile to figure out what to keep, and how to best organize the odd shaped pans such as bundt pan, snowflake and heart shaped pans, special muffin tins, etc.  As I took items from the pantry, and stacked them neatly in the cabinet, I realized that there was still another weird shaped pan...and then I found another half sheet cake pan.  I culled a bunch of cookie cutters that we no longer use and added them to the pile for our cousins, creating space for the pans.  Removing the baking pans from the pantry created space for the food processor, potato slicer, the Pampered Chef mandolin slicer, crock pot, large bowls, etc all on one shelf in the pantry.  Eventually I turned my attention to the very top shelf of the pantry, and as I reorganized it, I kept thinking that I needed to make things easily accessible because since the top shelf is tough to reach, and I didn't want things falling down on us.  Sooo, I took the opportunity to toss some more things into the donate pile. 

Cleaning out the pantry lead me to my computer to email my Mom with a few questions about a few of the items I was removing from the pantry.  Did she want them?  If not, they could be swap items, or donate items.  The day continued in this fashion, but in the end I felt like I accomplished a lot by decluttering several cabinets and drawers, removing and donating boxes and bags full of items we don't need and/or use while simultaneously keeping all those useful things out of the landfill. 

So in the event that you have one of those clean-out days that doesn't turn out the way you planned, and it evolves into a If You Give a Mouse a Cookie kinda day, do your best to keep it green!

No comments:

Post a Comment