I’ve been watching more HGTV these days. No disrespect to Food Network or anything, but watching Paula celebrate butter, mayo, and cream cheese every night is definitely not the way for me to stick with South Beach. So most evenings find me watching at least a little bit of a home show. And I see a theme running through them…banish the clutter. From shows that do complete makeovers to ones that offer cosmetic changes to get a house sold, they don’t like clutter. Neither do I.
It’s funny how clutter has a way of working itself into your life without even registering. Take my recipe stash for example. It started innocently enough. There were all these recipes that I wanted to try. No harm in holding on to them for a while until I could test them out. I used to keep entire magazines, even if there was only one recipe that I wanted to try. That had to stop – do you know how much space three year’s worth of Cooking Light takes up? Then I started keeping recipes in a folder. Only, they multiplied the second I turned my back. What started as one folder morphed into eight. And they all had pages and pages of things that caught my eye in a magazine or on the internet. I was overwhelmed with choices to the point that I started avoiding my stash.
I turned a blind eye to the corner where the folders lived. If I didn’t acknowledge it, then it didn’t exist right? Wrong, it still continued to grow. And that’s the thing about clutter. You get so used to seeing it that you don’t realize how it has taken over. I saw a tv show a few years ago with a family that had so much stuff that it filled an entire warehouse. All this was crammed into a single family home. How they functioned in all that chaos on a daily basis is a mystery to me. And at the same time, it’s not. Eventually, you just stop seeing it.
So I decided to banish some of the clutter. Not the hard stuff like books that I read once but can’t let go of, or our collection of dvd’s that we never watch. No, I started small…the recipe stash. I opened the folders and looked at what was in there. To be honest, I don’t know why I kept some of them at all. Those were the easy ones to toss. Harder were the ones that sounded like they could be good but had ingredients that leave me cold…fish sauce comes to mind as do anchovies and artichokes. My discard pile grew. And really, how many recipes for green beans do I need? By the end of the exercise, I had thinned the folders substantially. That left one serious offender – the cookbooks.
Tucked away in the same corner was a stack of cookbooks. I was torn. Almost all of them had been gifts, so how could I get rid of them? But isn’t the point of a gift to give you something that you will use? Those cookbooks were just sitting there, day after day, waiting to be wanted. So I’m putting them up for adoption. That’s right, I’m giving them away. Here’s who’s looking for a new home:
Nigella Lawson – Nigella Express Nigella has found a new home!
Mark Bittman – The Minimalist Cooks Dinner
Cooking Light – Chicken Cooking Light has been adopted!
Warren Brown – Cake Love
South Beach Diet – 2004 Cookbook South Beach 2004 has a new home!
Leave a comment indicating which book you’d like to adopt. Include your email address so that I can contact you about delivery.