One Shelf at a Time

I have been cleaning out my refrigerator. It has taken several weeks, and I’m still not done. Why so slow? Because I have been doing it one shelf at a time.

It started back in August when I noticed that my crisper drawer was completely empty. This is an unusual occurrence for us since we like to keep fruits and vegetables on hand. I decided to take advantage of its emptiness and give it a good scrubbing. It looked so good afterward that I decided I would clean the whole refrigerator. But not just then.

In subsequent weeks, usually right after I’ve loaded the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher and when I don’t have a pressing morning engagement, I’ve donned my rubber gloves and attacked another shelf. It is very satisfying to see it gleam.

I’ve concluded that this is a good approach to tackling a large project that one tends to put off.  Cleaning a refrigerator is a pretty annoying task, and it can be time-consuming. By attacking it in small, measurable bites — and only on days when I have the time, energy, and inclination to do it — I’ve been able to make steady progress.

Next time you find yourself putting off a large, unpleasant project, ask yourself what one step you can do that will move it along. Sometimes just one shelf is enough.