Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cleaning Out the Refrigerator - Literally and Metaphorically Speaking

This morning, as I was trying to fit a pitcher of tea into a stuffed refrigerator, I realized that for some reason, I couldn't get the thing closed again. No matter how I rearranged the pitcher into the crowded shelf, I just COULDN'T get it to fit in there for some reason. As soon as I closed the door each time after a rearrangement, I still heard that annoying, "clunk" sound that told me the door just wasn't closing. No matter what.

So I started taking things out, throwing away old food, cleaning up spills, cleaning it up. Still it wouldn't close. After doing a refrigerator cleanout, and reducing a lot of clutter and mess inside, I finally stood back, looked at the WHOLE refrigator, both inside and out. Then I saw the problem, a sack of dog biscuits my husband stored on top of the fridge had slid down slightly at the top of the door and was blocking the door.

What this taught me is: 1) I sure don't clean out my fridge very often. I recall in the old days, when I was a child, we didn't have a self-defrosting freezer, so cleaning the whole freezer and fridge from top to bottom was a monthly ritual. I don't do that anymore and SHOULD. 2) Sometimes in figuring out one problem, we find other things that need to be addressed too to fix a nonworking situation; 3) Sometimes I get too narrow or short sighted in problem solving and don't step back to take a larger look until I've run out of all other options. 4) Why do I have 4 containers of lowfat cream cheese? Probably because I haven't been organized enough nor paying close enough attention. 5) This is all really irrelevant, but feels oddly relevant somehow. 6) Cleaning and decluttering, when done in small doses, targeting one area at a time can be very effective without a huge time investment. 7) Even mundane tasks like cleaning up the refrigerator can give me insights - and it's oddly carthartic.


Elysbeth said...

Sometimes Life has a way of making certain you are paying attention.

Have a good week.

Carol said...

I did the fridge yesterday and am working on the cabinets. They are in such disarray. It is my fall routine. I am working on the metaphorical part too.

JessaLu said...

Your post helped jump-start me into cleaning out the fridge (including taking out all the shelves and washing them) as well as cleaning out the junk room (yes, we have an entire room devoted to crap) and going through my clothes. Thank you! :o)