My sister is having some renovations done to her house and is momentarily out of bathrooms. So she has been staying with me intermittently.
When she comes, she usually brings a list of errands we have to accomplish.
One thing on the list was to return some sheets that she had ordered online to a bricks-and-mortar store. We did so, and while we were there, she decided to buy some pillows that were on sale.
When she went to pay for them, the clerk asked for her store charge card. She had one, but it turned out to be out of date.
The clerk told her if she reopened her account, she would get 35 percent off anything she charged that day.
She got two pillows and I got four, and she put all six on her new card for the 35 percent discount.
I then told my sister that I had been wanting a new set of pots and pans because I had pretty much blackened the ones I had.
We went to inspect pots and pans and found some we both approved of. (Why I would need her approval for pots and pans is a conundrum, as she rarely cooks.)
I also had her charge the set of pans, three saucepans with covers, a Dutch oven with a cover, two frying pans (the larger one has a cover), a griddle and several utensils to use with the pans.
I carried them home and decided I would not unpack them until I had cleaned out my cabinets and made a better space for my pans. I have always decried the fact that though my kitchen is large, it has little storage space.
Now I have decided I have plenty of storage space; I just don’t use it for kitchen storage. I had everything in the world in my kitchen cabinets.
At least two drawers were filled with tools and one with old pictures; one is full of manuals (some for equipment I no longer have).
Some people have a kitchen junk drawer; I have about three.
Two drawers were full of flags for various seasons.
One cabinet was half-full of old paperback books. I have not even mentioned the amount of paper my husband seems to collect and need.
One cabinet is used to store my sewing machine and one drawer for thread and various accoutrements needed for sewing.
And, I have to admit that two drawers were filled with my old papers.
Those pans started me on a three-day odyssey of moving things from one cabinet to another or to other places in my house. Repapering the cabinets was part of the plan.
My kitchen table was covered with stuff for the duration.
I am proud to report that I have gone through all the storage places in my kitchen and thrown out a considerable amount of junk and paper.
Most things now have an uncrowded place in which to live.
You would think I would be happy. But that spate of cleaning led to even more. Once one thing is clean, everything else looks dirty.
The counters and backsplash needed cleaning, the outside of the cabinets, and the microwave as well (inside as well as out). The canisters needed to be emptied and cleaned inside and out.
Then there was the stove. It has been cleaned inside and out and the racks polished. I have washed the windows and washed and ironed the curtains.
I am eyeing the refrigerator, the floor and the wall behind the stove. I think that is next on my list.
I have been cleaning my kitchen for about a week and a half (for at least a few hours a day), and I am not seeing the end yet.
Those so-called bargain pots and pans have cost me a lot of time and effort. I really wonder if I wouldn’t have been satisfied with the old ones if I had known what a turmoil that purchase would cause in my kitchen.
By the way, I have used them and they cook wonderfully.
But I can’t have company yet. I still have more cleaning to do in the kitchen before I am satisfied.
Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at email@example.com.