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.


Trash Cans to Love

Is it possible to fall in love with a trash can?  When the brand is Simple Human, I believe the answer is yes.

I grew up with a metal step-on can in the kitchen.  When I became an adult, that’s always what I got for my kitchen.   But after I moved to my current apartment a number of years ago, I noticed that when I stepped on the pedal, the top clanged against the wall when it opened.  It was noisy, and over time it left marks on the wall.  I tried keeping the trash can a few inches from the wall, but with three of us continually stepping on that thing, it never stayed there.

Simple Human Butterfly Can

Simple Human Butterfly Step Can

One day, while visiting the Container Store, I started browsing their trash can collection. (I love the Container Store and frequently browse there just for fun!)  To my delight, I discovered Simple Human’s Butterfly Step Can.  Instead of the top of the can coming straight up as one piece, it opens up into two pieces, to the left and the right.  Then they come down gently.  No noise, no banging, and no marks on the wall.   I have had it for several years, and it still works smoothly.

The Butterfly Step Can also has a very slim profile.  It’s perfect for a small Manhattan kitchen, where two is a crowd and three is a mob scene.  And I can use my supermarket bags inside them.

But I have a generous heart, and I found that there is room enough in it for two trash cans.  Recently, a client of mine was looking for a unit that would combine a trash can with a recycle bin.  I steered her toward the Container Store website, and especially to the Simple Human items, as I had remembered seeing one like that.  She decided to order the Simple Human Rectangular Recycler. This trash can has two sections, one for regular garbage and one for recyclables.  It’s a great space saver.  It works so smoothly and is so nice to look at.   I love throwing things away when I’m working at her home!

Simple Human Rectangular Recycler

Simple Human Rectangular Recycler

Trash cans should be all over your home, to ensure that there is always one handy when you are ready to discard something, thus keeping clutter at bay.  (See my earlier post “Things to Have in Every Room“).  We use them every day, usually several times a day.  Simple Human trash cans are not the cheapest ones out there, but the quality is high and the variety of styles is impressive, including pull-out under-counter styles. It is worth investing in trash cans that best fit the allocated space, as well as the desired function.

You can see the full range of Simple Human trash cans on their website.  There’s also an extensive selection on the Container Store website.

Think of me next time you throw something in the trash.