Waste. Simply stated, being unorganized causes unnecessary waste. Wasted time, wasted money, wasted space, wasted food, wasted energy, and wasted opportunities. As a Professional Organizer & Bringer of Calm, I see it every day. From food, to clothes, to toys, to tools, to cars, to miscellaneous collections, we are a wasteful society, and many of us are overwhelmed and stressed by how much stuff we have accumulated – including food!
The photo above is from a kitchen organizing project I recently completed. The garbage bags shown contain food that is expired or no longer wanted. While it may not look like much, there is at least $150 in food in those four bags. And, what is not shown are the three extra large heavy-duty garbage bags that had to be dumped because the food was rancid, stale, or the cans were damaged or seeping. Those bags were so full and so heavy, I could barely lift them into the onsite dumpster at this client’s complex.
Donations to Food Banks
I was hopeful that the items in the bags shown above would be accepted by a nearby food bank. After doing a lot of online research, I found that most food banks in my area do not accept any expired food. Thankfully, I did not give up and I sought out a friend who is affiliated with St. Vincent de Paul. St. Vincent will accept out-of-date food as long as food is recently expired, unopened, and there is no damage, seepage, or rust on the cans. I have an appointment to deliver the food to St Vincent’s this weekend, and I am happy to do so.
Children are going to school without breakfast. People are hungry on street corners. Regardless of how or why they got there, they are “food insecure.” People are dumpster diving behind restaurants and grocery stores because they are hungry. And yet many of us continue to stockpile, hoard, and forget about how much we have in our own cupboards and pantries. We are so fully stocked that sadly, the food passes its “Best Used By Date” and many end up throwing it out. This lack of organization in our homes and our lives creates massive waste, and as stated earlier, the waste goes far beyond the actual cost of the food.
Less is more, folks.
Stop buying what you don’t need.
Do some meal planning every single week!
Bring older food items to the front of your cabinets so they get used first.
Use or give things away before they go bad.
Remember, to whom much is given, much is required.
Be a good steward of your blessings (money, food, talent, time, etc.).
Do not let the things you bring into your space own (overwhelm) you.
Share with the less fortunate.
If you need help clearing out your cabinets and cupboards, please give me a call right away at (480) 382-1085. Let’s support those in need and get those things donated before it is too late and they simply become waste.