Week 6: The 365 Declutter Challenge – Food Waste

Ok! Time to report on week 6 of The 365 Declutter Challenge. This week I was mad at myself because I hate it when I waste food. I did a quick clean out on the refrigerator and came out with this:

food waste

And about 1/3 of this bag of trash is food waste. Grrrr.

food waste

Here’s a jar of caramel the kids found that had a best by date of May 2008!

old caramel

And then I pulled some old baby food out of the pantry. It makes me so mad that I wasted this!! I could have given it to someone else before it expired, or used it in baking or cooking.

baby food, boots, hat, vac. bags

Other items include old vacuum bags that we don’t have a need for anymore, a hat and boots that are too small, and a pair of jeans. I think I attempted to get rid of these jeans once before and they stuck around anyway for some reason. So I didn’t include them in my “official” count.

I just counted all of the fridge food waste as 6, plus everything else gave me 19 clutter items out the door for week 6!

clutter counting - 19

If you want to read something more lighthearted about food waste, check out my Ten Ways to Waste Food.

And if you are in the mood for something more Valentines-y, read about my Love by Decluttering post from a couple of years ago.

Fill me in on what’s going on with you! Do you have a certain type of clutter that makes you mad?

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18 Responses to Week 6: The 365 Declutter Challenge – Food Waste

  1. Farm Girl

    Well! I could tell you were mad about wasting food. That upsets me too. It is like throwing away money.
    What makes me mad, sometimes at myself, sometimes at the company is when I find coupons that have expired, especially those that offer a nice clean $10 off because you spent up to a ‘magic’ amount of money with the store. Some companies don’t allow enough time in between purchases to build up purchases to get those magical cash-off coupons and some have a very short time frame in which to use the coupon and I don’t need their products again that quickly.

    • Elizabeth

      Sorry for such a grumpy post! I’m sure it didn’t help that I started writing it at midnight when I should have been sleeping. I’m feeling much now and I’m ready to move on and stop beating myself up. 🙂

      I totally know what you mean about the coupons. I have mostly stopped using paper coupons and have gone to using electronic coupons. I am much more successful with those!

  2. ChrisCloen

    I love the idea of re-purposing items, and making an item earn it’s share of the real estate we call our home. This week l took a Vera Bradley purse that l love but don’t use because the handles are too short, into a jewelry box. The purse has a ton of pockets, and the center spot also holds my travel case. This allowed me to sort and get rid of several pieces l no longer wear, and the yucky plastic organizer that held it all. Now the purse sets right on my dresser, is pretty to look at AND even reminds me to wear what l have more often. This weeks count 15 items.

  3. Cleaning out the fridge is probably the worst “housework” job I can think of! I now make it a habit to clean out the fridge right before a grocery shop so that I don’t cover up the bad food with good food, otherwise it gets lost in the back of the fridge for another week or two. Plus then you can better organize the new food coming in. Good for you for doing the dreaded job!

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks, Carly. I do dread that job, which is why I don’t do it enough. You are very wise to do it before a grocery shop! In this case I did it after shopping because I didn’t even have room to put the good food away!

      • WilliamB

        I have jobs I dread also (although fridge cleaning isn’t one of them) and it just gets worse when I let it build up. I’m trying to employ the “bit by bit” philosphy on it: I don’t have to get it all done at once, doing even some of it will help.

        It’s working for the bags and bags of stuff my mother gave me after a recent trip. I put off dealing with it because of the work involved – each item needs to be evaluated then it needs to have a home – and there’s so much. So literally nothing got done since 2 January (WB hangs head in shame). A few days ago I decided that one bag a day would be sufficient and I’ve been able to stick to that. Taking over a week to deal with it seems long, but not as long as the 6 weeks I procrastinated.

  4. I cleaned out my fridge this week too…and threw out a TON. On the plus side, my tupperware cupboard is overflowing now! lol

  5. We did the same thing the other day. So frustrating! I’ve been trying to actually DO projects that have been sitting around for ages so I can get rid of things being saved for those projects, like fabric left over and so on. I’ve also gotten rid of a few books after reading them. I’m being a lot more stringent about which books I keep and which I’m content to let go of after a single read. I started a difficult job this week that I’ve been procrastinating, which is going through my trunk of “keepsakes” – all paper. Paper clutter is so labour intensive! You start with a four inch pile of paper, sort and read for two hours, and end up with a three-inch pile of paper. o_O But I’m loving the chart, I have to say!

  6. I’ve been trying to use up my freezer/fridge/pantry items all month so I can really relate to this post (and your previous one on wasting food…I’m the worst about buying “interesting” things and letting them sit because I have no idea how to actually use them or I find out they take too long to prepare). I really do need to do a serious cleanout of our fridge this week. These posts are very inspiring!

    • Elizabeth

      Oh yes, I have some “interesting” things still in my cabinets. Perhaps we’ll see them another week. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

  7. laura

    I hope you continue this project. It has been very inspiring!

  8. laura

    I was so glad to see your new post! Sounds like you have been very busy. Congrats on the progress. You are inspiring me to begin a similar project…but first I need to figure out how to add a few more hours to my day!!

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