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Upcycling and Organization
Category: Member Blogs

In the house I grew up in, I developed the attitude that recycling was for organized people, and we weren't even close as a family. Seem a bit apathetic to the planet? When you find yourself sifting through several feet of clutter interspersed with rot and bugs just to locate the carpet color for the first time in months you may feel differently. After all, the paper, t-shirt, cat vomit, and the apples that fell off the table are already composting in the kitchen, so maybe they'll help the decay process in the dump. The bio-hazards in the fridge left me disinclined to wash plastic, glass and metal when I just wanted to get the vile things out of the house.

Yes, I literally had to move out to learn how to live in a relatively organized environment.

Without the piles of mystery hiding the floor, I learned how to keep up on the recycling wash and sort process. I'm still working on dusting, and am not as orderly as I would like to be. A big part of the problem is the crafty and creative side of the family that has ALL members wanting to play with any DIY post we find. Minimizing can be hard work when you know how to build something, but I've slowly learned time management and prioritizing. It's taken years.

It's still a war with myself to not become my mother.

Despite all this, the coffee canisters and the yogurt tubs with their nice tight lids just looked too potentially usefully for me to scrap. Most of them could not be recycled in our area anyway, but what in the world was I going to do with those?

Mom is still mom. She still keeps stopping by with more rye flour. "I can't find it all so you must be low." More brown rice. "I couldn't find it so you must be out." More multicolored lentil beans. "I wanted the pink for dinner." More red whole wheat." I was sure It was almost gone." Now if I ACTUALY cooked with any of this stuff, it would be thoughtful, BUT I DON'T, so it makes it that much harder to find my white whole wheat, forbidden black short grain rice, almond meal, and oat flour in the collection of dry goods.

So now I have a project. All those empty yogurt tubs are getting spray painted for neat labeling. Bob's Red Mill flours may give me some nice whole grain options, but the bags were not designed for a baker to measure out of. The tubs are big enough for me to level off a cup over. The larger quantity stuff will be coming out of zip lock bags and moving to coffee canisters with more neat labeling, including water to grain and cooking time notations for my rices. While yes, it's nice to have a variety of seeds, beans, and grains to work with, it's useless if I can't make a quick check of supplies before testing a new recipe, and now I found a solution.

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