On my way to decluttering, fridge love takes hold

On my way to decluttering, fridge love takes hold

I just love how easy it is to find new books on the library’s website. About once or twice a year, I take a few hours to go through all the new book listings, put some books on hold and then wait for them to come in.

I have a few favorite fiction authors, but I’m usually looking for cookbooks and other books that can improve my life. I was clicking away a few weeks ago, putting a variety of books on hold including such topics as tiny space gardening, health-improvement books, a writing how-to book, zero-waste cooking and two air-fry cookbooks, among others.

So on my book list was “Keep the memories — lose the stuff: declutter, downsize and move forward” by Matt Paxton. Yes, the Matt Paxton of "Hoarders" television show fame, the expert who helps people sort through their stuff and make those tough decisions of what to keep and what to give up. I like to watch the show for inspiration, although I feel bad for the people on it. It’s usually something very traumatic and painful that sets these poor people on the path of too much stuff.

That is a book I want to read because everyone like me who has lived in the same spot for quite a while can attest it’s easy to get too much stuff. Despite the progress I’ve made, I’m still on my quest to clean out my clothes and get rid of extra stuff.

How does it all get there? One minute you’ve got plenty of space, and then all of the sudden, your stuff secretly grows and threatens to overtake your existence like a bad 1950s sci-fi movie.

The lose-the-stuff book was what I really wanted to read first, but what book gets to the library first instead? An interesting book on organizing your refrigerator. I’d put this book on hold because I’d never seen a book on organizing your fridge before.

There had to be a lot more to organizing your fridge than I ever imagined, especially because this book is 334 pages long including the index and 100 recipes.

One look at the cover of the fridge-organization book, and I was feeling inadequate. The cover and inside photographs featured perfectly organized refrigerators filled with healthful foods in clear containers including many that were prepped and recipe ready and some ready to eat. Everything was carefully stacked in neat rows with some items organized in clear plastic boxes.

Yikes, in a million years, this is never going to be my refrigerator. As the week goes on, more forgotten food items in plastic storage containers or zippered baggies get shoved to the back only to resurface weeks later as a science experiment.

And with the fridge book, it was obvious that instead of getting rid of stuff, I was going to need way more clear containers and clear plastic bins. In fact, I don’t have any of these very attractive containers. My life is incomplete.

But then I shifted away from the photos and started to read the book. There’s a section on fridge goals. I didn’t know I even needed fridge goals, but this was looking interesting. Then there was page 45, where the author suggested you just recycle some empty glass jars you already have around, like from salsa or spaghetti sauce. I could do this.

Then there’s an alphabetized section on foods and the best way to prep and store them. I checked out the recipes in the back of the book. They are super healthy, and many are easy to prepare and store so you can just grab them out of the fridge and eat.

So now, just like the title of the book, I have “Fridge Love.” It’s written by Kristen Hong, who also has a blog at hellonutrition.com. I’m checking that out now.

In the meantime one of the books I’d like to read next is "365 Quick and Easy Tips for Home Organization," which has simple techniques to keep your home neat and tidy year round. It’s got a corporate author name of Weldon Owen Inc. Probably not getting it soon, though, as 17 people are ahead of me for that one. Looks like I’m not alone in this quest.

Hmmm, maybe I should use the wait time to actually start organizing instead of just reading about it.

Oh look, it’s an email from the library. I’ve got another book ready for pickup.


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