Dissension in the ranks

One of my grander second quarter project goals has been to get rid of the (insert lots of swear words) garbage can in our kitchen. I hate that thing. It’s huge, it’s ugly, and it takes up precious floor space in a very tiny room. And when you’re only taking it out twice a month, it can really stink.

The bane of my existence.

The bane of my existence in its new home, the laundry room.

I go through it periodically to see what’s even in there — I mean, how else can I see where we’re failing? — and inevitably I find items that are either compostable (that would explain the fruit flies) or recyclable. And then I yell, who put this in here? and wouldn’t you know it, NO ONE DID. It’s like we’ve got an elf who comes and throws stuff away in our kitchen. (Or maybe Sasquatch. This is the Pacific Northwest.)



It’s no mystery that I want the garbage can OUT. I talk about it a lot. I’ve tried hinting: What could we use instead of a garbage can? I’ve tried asking: Hey, do we have like a bucket or something that would fit under the sink that could replace the garbage can? I’ve tried crying: (Sobs.)

But so far, nothing has worked.

So on Thursday, I took matters into my own hands. I moved the thing into the laundry room.

And then kind of wondered what took me so long.

I didn’t say anything about it because I kind of wanted to see how long it took anyone to notice. It wasn’t until Friday morning when Johanna went to throw away her (compostable) oatmeal pouch. Hey, she said, what happened to the garbage? And I was like, Johanna wins! Which just confused everyone. I guess they didn’t realize we were having a contest.

I explained that there is a lot of stuff getting thrown away that does not need to go in the garbage, and I want to see every single thing beforehand. But what do we do with our garbage? Abby asked, and I was like, put it on the counter. And she was all, you’re kitchen is going to be junky, which is a good point because I HATE messy kitchens. (Well, mine is also smack in the living room and dining room — we went with one of those “great room” extravaganzas, and I have to say that was a terrible idea.)

But here’s the thing: We have a recycling closet literally eight steps down the hall. (That’s what you get when you’re building your own house and realize you have dead space in the wall.) I keep a crock in the sink for items we can rot. Plastic bags are kept on the stairwell, also for recycling (i.e. the outside bread wrapper — bread being Eric’s bye item). The only thing that should even be in the trash is the plastic that wraps the cheddar and the inner lining of the bread bags. Even the lining of Abby’s cereal can be recycled here — they’re #2 plastic, even though that’s not printed on the bag, so we can put them with the other plastic bags.

Anyway, it’s only been a few days, and since we were gone all day Saturday — went to Pasco for my youngest cousin’s wedding, and it was lovely! — I can’t say we’ve ended up with a messier kitchen than usual at this point. Trash count as of last night: 1 sticker from the meat counter and 1 plastic strip from a pouch of smoked salmon (Beth, you’re the best). Mostly I just want everyone to really think about what they’re about to throw away, which they can do the now as they walk the 10 steps to the laundry room. 😉 And eventually, maybe not having a trash can won’t even be a big deal.

Then I’ll tackle the trash cans in the bathrooms. There’s always something.

Next up: I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on “quick kid lunches” that involve packaged products exclusively. So I’ll show what we do for the girls’ lunches (actually all of ours).