Well, I went from being a Tupperware Lady and having everything I could ever possibly imagine I would need . . . to purging, purging, and purging-some-more until I had basically no containers.
I seem to be Directionally Challenged when it comes to finding that place called Happy Medium on stuff like this.
Anyway, I lived for a while (could be a year, could be four years . . . ) not having a storage container at all for my corn starch. I don’t use corn starch every day, but it’s a must for my chicken stir-fry sauce that we love.
I don’t think corn starch goes bad, but I threw away and replaced many-a-package because I figured it couldn’t last forever . . . especially not in the crumpled up bag inside the box.
And then my kid did the egg drop science project around Easter and one of the things we tried was the corn starch box. (Which didn’t work, by the way.)
So all I had was the crumpled bag.
That looked awful, and caused me to spend extra time sifting through it every time I made chicken stir-fry (which is supposed to be a quick meal) checking for critters.
And then I read Easy. Homemade. It’s an e-book I purchased on a whim, thinking I already knew quite a bit about making things from scratch. (Self-image isn’t generally one of my issues.) I really loved the e-book. It gave me new ideas and encouragement about how easy it is to make many basic pantry staples from scratch.
But one thing that stuck out to me was when she mentioned she uses glass containers. The ones she uses are basically what she and her family collected from things they bought anyway.
Later, as I was eating the last pickle from a glass jar, I realized that the jar was a good size for a package of corn starch.
Then, while at Costco last week, I lamented the fact that the fairly-priced organic strawberry jam was in such a big container. A non-squeezable container. And I may not be prissy, but do not ask me to dirty another spoon just to scoop out some jelly.
Squeeze jelly has spoiled me completely. (OK, maybe I am prissy . . . )
But . . . I remembered we were mostly out of (meaning I couldn’t get any more out, but still hadn’t actually thrown it away) grape jelly. So I bought the fru-fru organic stuff. Then I washed the squeezable container, and re-filled it.
I know. It’s not like rocket science, but I’m excited and proud of myself.
Here’s the thing. I used to save ALL of it. EVERY little thing that came through our door that could possibly be re-used . . . I kept.
Way more than I could ever possibly use.
And the sheer volume of possibilities took up so much space in my kitchen that I had no hope of ever keeping it under control.
The stuff, or the kitchen.
But then (as I tend to do) I went to the other extreme and gave up. I pitched anything and everything and resigned myself to not having the containers I needed.
So, I’m now making a point to use the wonderfully-free containers that come to me.
Not store them.
Just use them as they come available. I didn’t have to store the pickle-jar/corn-starch-container at all. I just washed it and used it immediately to solve a problem.
The not-quite-empty-but-really-actually-empty jelly container? Giving it a purpose helped me get it out of the fridge, washed, and put back to good use. No storage necessary.
So the excuse in all this? There are kind of two.
First, I let my corn starch sit in an ugly/not-practical scrunched up bag because I didn’t want to shell out the money for the perfect Corn Starch Storage Solution. When really, several Corn Starch Storage Solutions had passed through my house and into the recycling bin over the past year.
Second, I’m not going back to the days of saving EVERYTHING while my eyes dance with possibilities that will never be realized. Let things pass on through unless there’s a real reason right here right now to keep and USE them.