Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend. It's Getting Cold In Here Again.

Our kitchen is small. Like postage stamp sized small. We have only the cupboard under the sink and one tiny side cupboard that make up the bottom bank of cabinets. The top cabinets include one double cabinet over the island, (that holds the tiny side cupboard and the dishwasher), a regular size cabinet to the left of the sink, 2 small cabinets that share the corner to the right of the sink, and a bank of small baskets that go above the stove and refrigerator. Did I mention it's small?

There is no pantry. We have a shelf pot rack hung on the wall to hang our pots and pans when not in use, a baker's rack that holds the microwave oven and some small appliances in the cupboard underneath, and a big hotel armoire with four large drawers as storage. We call the armoire the "pantry" just as a way to identify it to one another. And while it holds quite a bit, it really is not nearly as convenient as a walk in pantry would be. One day, I hope that we can build one just off the kitchen in the garage. If we ever do, I would ensure it was large enough to hold a spare refrigerator, all of the small appliances that are in the laundry room, because we don't use them that often, so they haven't made the list to stay upstairs, and the upright freezer we have downstairs. 

Because, let's face it. It's not convenient to have the freezer downstairs. It's also not convenient to have to go down there to get extra paper towels, the waffle iron, or the syrup, and it makes putting groceries away great fun. We definitely get our exercise when we're unpacking the car and putting the frozen stuff away. 

But that is our situation for the foreseeable future, and we'll deal with it. We are actually very, very thankful that we have that extra storage space, and I am not complaining. Just explaining. 

So the other night, I asked Hopper to run downstairs and get the last of the pizzas that were in the freezer. We'd gotten some when we'd gone shopping a few weeks ago, and there were 2 left, and they were going to be supper. We had just stocked up on a few more necessities the other day, so the freezer was full, so I asked Hopper to make sure she closed the freezer well. When she came upstairs, she said that she had, so I popped the pizzas in the oven and forgot about it. 

Yesterday morning, I went to the laundry room to start a load of clothes. I was in my stocking feet, which is abnormal, because I'm wearing shoes 95% of the time I'm awake. But certain shoes throw me a little bit off balance on the stairs, so I kicked them off before I headed down. And I'd barely stepped into the laundry room, when my foot was soaking wet. The freezer was defrosting all over the floor. 

:::le sigh:::

The freezer had been open since the night before, when Hopper got the pizzas out. I know I should have checked on it, but there are some nights that I just need a little break, and that night, those stairs seemed so incredibly long, and I took the easy way out. I needed a break right then. It's probably good I got it when I did, because I've been working on the freezer in my spare time since then!

I can't get mad at Hopper. She did the best she could, and she often says, "no" when she means yes, and vice versa. It's on me. And instead of beating myself up over it, I've decided to just be thankful that the freezer will be clean, and I'll be able to organize it and keep it clean, to prevent this from happening again.

I realized that Hopper had pulled one of the drawers out and then couldn't get it pushed back in all the way, which made the door hinges appear to have been sprung. And as handy as I thought it would be to have drawers in the freezer, they haven't been that great. Then again, we probably haven't implemented them in quite the way they were intended. We've used them to store the frozen goodies from the garden, and come to think of it, the freezer packs that Hubster used to use in his cooler for lunch were in there, as well. I think that they just weighed the drawers down to much to allow them to move freely. So once we stock up on groceries again, I'll make sure that nothing heavy goes in either drawer. 

I've already found a short box that I can stand the freezer packs in that is going to work perfectly to help keep things organized and still allow us to access them easily. 

Don't worry. It's on a shelf. 

I've learned my lesson.

When we go get the groceries to fill the freezer again, I'll have Hopper help me put them away. Hopefully, I can make it a learning opportunity and explain that she can't move things around or pull the drawers out, because we always need to make sure the door closes completely. If need be, we'll start locking it, so she can't get in and rearrange things. 

If all else fails, there is an alarm on the freezer, to let us know, if the door has been left open, but it has a major design flaw. . .

We have to remember to turn it on.