My brain is getting overcrowded these days: a consequence, I think, of aging. As memories pile up, something has to go, but before we have a chance to sort through it all the jumble catches up and tends to overwhelm us.
The pantry-cleaning effort became an exercise in metaphor as much as tidiness, because it involved making sense of the past: discarding what is no longer necessary to make room for what is still important.
So out went the ten-year old packets of Bird's Custard mix and a tin of sardines of the same vintage (what was I thinking?) among other archaeological finds, and in went a new dog food bin that allows me to close the door for the first time in six years or so. Not that I'd want to, because the whole thing looks so good now that I amuse Beloved Spouse by standing in the little room admiring my work.
I did end up putting cork on the shelves, which required putting a bar tray under stuff like honey and molasses so they can't leak onto the porous surface. I still have to re-cover the upper shelves, but they've been cleaned off and spiffed up, awaiting my next trip to Home Depot. The cork is a bit pricey, but it seems to take the edge off all the angles, and actually quiets the visits to retrieve tinned tomatoes for a sauce.
The plan is to inventory supplies every six months, and to be much more conscious of how long things remain. If I ever get serious about food preservation, I'll now have room for more stores of pickled garden veg, jam, and tomato sauce.
The photos are a bit blurry because I don't have the patience to set up the tripod and didn't want to use a flash. But I'm happy with the way it all turned out. I actually feel less overcome by my things-t0-do list as a result of having accomplished this one small thing, so perhaps it's a harbinger of better days. After all, the Museum of Unfinished Projects has also recently been catalogued (more or less), and I can actually get in there as well, so excavating the study can't be far behind.