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Moving On Up: Cleaning Chronicles

Walking around the UNC-Asheville campus this past weekend for the Organic Grower’s School (SO much fun!), the abundance of spring blooms on display was profound. Hyacinths, daffodils, tulip magnolias, camellias, muscarii, snowdrops-the works, all showing their finery and offering incontrovertible proof that spring is ‘a knockin.

A winter’s worth of shut windows, co-mingled with woodstove dust and animal fur always renders the house in a fine layer of what we’ll call “life grime” come March. Which gets me itching to clean. And not just any clean, but pull-everything-out-of-the-pantry clean. Rearrange-the-drawers clean. Go-through-the-attic-with-boxes-and-a-permanent-marker clean. You get the jist. Oh yes, it’s open season on muck and mess and I’ve got my spray bottle loaded and pointed.

One area I’m constantly at war with is my pantry. It’s a large, walk-in space and, since we’re always cooking and entertaining chez English, not to mention tending to a menagerie of animals, its lot in life has historically been one of various stages of disarray. Well, no more! An often overlooked area of creating organization is vertical space. Our pantry has a great deal of height that, until recently, we weren’t taking full advantage of.

To that end, Hubs put together some inexpensive, yet beautiful, pine shelving. These new units now house extra dinnerware sets, my ever expanding collection of baking equipment, platters, cake stands, pitchers and so much more. Pictured above is the shelving he made for surplus dinnerware (both for entertaining and photos). It’s sturdy, affordable to construct, imminently utilitarian, and punctuated with his customary touches of whimsy. I love it.

I now find my eye moving ever upward all over the house, wondering what other overlooked spaces I’ve neglected in my quest for organization and order. Walls, consider yourself forewarned. I’ve got you in my line of sight and I intend to make you work harder than you can possibly imagine. We’re moving on up, ya’ll.

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