Sunday, May 19, 2013

Take out theTrash

     Today, I went to visit my stuff.  

     Let's just say, one way to store a lot of prep supplies is not to store it all in one place!  I have also taken some of my past baggage to the storage place.  I keep some of that stuff there as a sort of urban camouflage.  If anyone were to look at my cache, they would say this is not where we find food and supplies, some artsy girl stored a lot of clutter here.  They would move along rather than move the first row of artfully displayed stuff to get to what they might want.   In an emergency, you do not want to waste a lot of time scavenging through a lot of useless junk.  

     I go there every so often to sort some things I have dropped off in a rush, to catalog the things that are not already accounted for, and to check myself. I have to keep records of what I have so I don't continue to purchase the same things unwisely duplicating things I may only need a few of.  I come from a line of children of poverty and the Great Depression and it is too easy to turn a good idea into a case of A-1 steak sauce!  Yup! A-1 sauce!  

     My grandmother had an aversion to lists.  She didn't make grocery lists because she was on her own, she thought she knew what she needed.  So, she would run out of an item and have that in mind at the grocery store.  She bought it.  Then the next time she went to the store she remembered she needed that thing but wasn't sure if she had bought it, so she got another.  Then Every time she went to the store she had that thing on her mind and that's how, when we closed her house we found twenty seven bottles of A-1 steak sauce in three different sizes!  I need two bottles a year, maybe. I want one I am using, one in storage and a recipe for making a reasonable facsimile, not a case or more of anything that isn't really necessary.
     Everything nowadays comes in little plastic bags.  Even when I go to a yard sale, people are so eager to get rid of them, they bag up your items for you.  Years ago, I bought a rack.  It is anchored to a wall.  It holds those little shopping bags.  It has a rack below that also holds extra bags.  Here is one for you that hangs over a cabinet door for about $5.  This is the first step I take in taking out the trash.  I went to the storage place and started emptying bags.  After the contents were put in order, I had a bag of plastic bags to take home.  I can brag I have not bought a single kitchen or bathroom waste bag in over five years.  I don't need to, people will give you theirs just to be rid of them.  

     The second step I take in getting the trash out is taking the time to clean my car from the paper clutter of mail, the receipts in bags that I do not need and just general trash.  Any glossy paper or sale papers and those glossy paper post cards go in a bag for the trash can.  The plain paper that isn't important gets torn in half or smaller and set in another bag to carry into the house.  

     When all is done, I put the plain paper in a large rubber maid container with a quart of water and half a cup of bleach.  I stir in the new receipts torn papers and envelopes and leave it.  The bleach does two things.  It removes any personal information and it keeps the water from souring.  When I have made enough pulp, I use it in paper crafts and paper mache projects.  I have an unending supply of paper pulp.  The grand kids think it is magic!  

     With the paper pulp I have from mail and receipts I can make fire starters, or mend a drywall hole when a door knob hits too hard.  I can sculpt projects like Christmas ornaments or make new paper.  Imagine what you could make with the paper pulp laying around your desk or that place you dump mail.  

     I enjoy straightening up these little details before they become a mess and too overwhelming to face.  I like turning some trash into usable items.  But, trust me, I took a bag of unrecoverable material straight to the dumpster.  Truly, there is no excuse to save a hideous see through lace blouse I am too old to wear from a wedding that happened twenty years ago. I have plenty of lace and well, it was time to take out the trash.  With the storage unit straightened but not so clean you can see the prep items, I felt I had a good day.  

So, you take out the trash and have a good day, too!



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