Cleaning and Cooking Corona-Style

I can’t go to church, the dentist, book club, the hairdresser, writers’ group, Talbots, or out to eat. Like a lot of other people stuck at home, I have a lot of time on my hands. So I’m cleaning and purging, and feeling very frugal about it.

Yesterday’s project was the closet in my office. This narrow space, filled with shelves, started as a place to keep important papers. You know, files full of old bank statements, insurance policies, retirement information. Somehow over the last 14 years, though, the closet became a catchall for gift wrap paper, various knickknacks, and random craft supplies for grandchildren.

It was so junky, I was afraid of losing some of those important papers in the piles of bows and empty shoe boxes (kids love these for various projects).

junky closet

It would go against my naturally frugal nature to throw away perfectly good bows and paper that can be used again, so I decided to pull out all the gift wrap stuff and find another location for it.

I boxed up my youngest daughter’s middle and high school trophies, which were in another downstairs closet, and relocated them to the attic. I put the gift wrap supplies in the freed-up space in that closet.

If it sounds like I just moved stuff from one location to another, well, yeah, I did. But I also threw away quite a few tissue rolls and egg cartons (more kid craft supplies) and some squashed bows and wrinkled paper. Here’s how the office closet looked after I finished.

clean closet

Wow, some bare space. The craft supplies are better organized in shoe boxes on the floor. It’s not perfect–I still need to work on the files–but I was rather proud of my morning project.

Also, while in the attic putting away the box of trophies, I found these lamps. I think they were my husband’s grandmother’s, at least the ones with the delicate green flowers. I’m saving them for my middle daughter, who’s soon to move into her renovated bungalow in Charlotte. Like me, she’s a fan of restoring and reusing.


Another area I’ve been cleaning out is the freezer. Finding no hamburger in the grocery stores on at least a couple of occasions now has sent me digging in the bottom of the refrigerator, where my freezer contains various dabs of leftovers. I have a waste not, want not nature, so I probably save food others would throw out.

Take this leftover frozen spaghetti sauce. Not much, but thawed, reheated, and dumped on some just-cooked pasta, it was last night’s dinner.

spaghetti sauce

I may have the Coronavirus Pandemic mixed up with the Great Depression. Every fall, my husband’s uncle brings us a huge bag of potatoes he buys on his annual trip to Maine. Usually by the spring, I throw away the last of the bag, potatoes that have grown a little soft and sprouted.

The other day, rather than face the germy grocery store, I found myself using a few of these potatoes. Peeled and cooked, they worked just fine in my Easter potato salad for two.


Still, even I admit these spuds are a little sad looking. I’ll put “small bag of white potatoes” on my list for the weekly grocery trip. I’m betting they’ll be easier to find than toilet paper.

Maybe I should recycle the old ones by planting them. I wonder how much yard space is needed to grow a patch of potatoes.

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1 Response to Cleaning and Cooking Corona-Style

  1. Nancy Pierce says:

    That was great Patsy. I have been doing a lot of the same & tons of yard work. As bad as this time has been. It has kind of been good too. It has made me appreciate my family & friends so much more. I can’t wait to go out to eat!!!


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