Last night, I threw out a container of cornmeal that expired in 2008, some vinegar that expired in 2006, and a partial bag of shredded coconut that had been opened probably two years ago. I also moved some things around in the kitchen, part of the eternal quest to 1) fit everything into the kitchen, and 2) be able to easily access it when I need it. Now, I really shouldn’t complain, because the cabinet space in our kitchen is beyond generous.

The previous owner actually removed a set of lower cabinets and the kitchen doesn't suffer at all. I counted up how many hinges and handles we'd have to buy when we re-finish the cabinets, and it's a disgustingly high number. 38 hinges, and 34 drawer pulls, give or take a few. Oh, and that cabinet above the refrigerator? Completely empty. It was always going to be blocked off by stuff sitting on top of the fridge, and it seemed smarter to just leave it empty.

Pardon the mess. This was taken the second or third week after moving. See all those cabinets against the far wall, and the countertop? And next to it on the right, the closet? Further on the right there's a pantry. That's a ridiculous quantity of storage space.

(I should note that the sacrifice is that there is absolutely no wall space anywhere. The quantity of paint required to re-paint this room would be so minimal. That means that the only way to decorate the kitchen, aside from paint, is with towels. Or we’d have to replace the tile and the countertops. Ouch, that’d be pricey.)

But, I can honestly tell you that all of the cabinets you see here, with the exception of the lower one under the TV in the second picture and the one above the refrigerator in the first picture, are full. Maxed out. I’m debating moving some things into storage in the basement, or giving some things away to Goodwill. We never use the Panini press. I think the rule is that if you don’t care about it, and you can’t remember who gave it to you (wedding present from Great Aunt So-and-So? have to keep it), then it’s fair to give away.

Last night, in an effort to find more room for coffee mugs (tea mugs? hot cocoa mugs? are they still coffee mugs if they haven’t held coffee in years? discuss), all sorts of things got moved around, which thankfully included remembering to look at the dates on some things.

I was going to continue the madness after dinner, and sort the spices (I know that we have 3 Cream of Tartar containers and it’s driving me crazy!), but we went to the MOA instead, and were exhausted when we returned. now owns several casual long-sleeved shirts, but we didn’t find a little black dress for me (for ‘s wedding in June). I won’t do the spices tonight, because I leave work early to go to a 3-hour class in Minneapolis, which involves a whole lot of bus/train time (I really should have brought some embroidery – thank goodness I have a book and an iPhone!), and a very tired me by the time I get home around 8 pm. Still, the class only meets 4 times, and is much better than a Saturday morning class. Then, I get to sleep in for three whole days. 3! I am so very tired right now. Were this not a post about the house, I’d babble on about school, but I’m trying to keep it focused. Maybe later.

House-related questions: anyone have a good solution to the pile of papers that inevitably shows up on the kitchen counter? thoughts on paint color (a project that is quite a ways off, but I don’t care for the blue – it’s very high gloss and was done very poorly)? curtain ideas? ways to keep a black stovetop clean? kitchen item that I absolutely shouldn’t throw/give away?