how to keep your pantry stocked, not overflowing

by rebecca on October 28, 2012

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I used to buy the sales. That’s how I acquired 17 bottles of my favorite Annie’s Shitake Mushroom salad dressing. I haven’t put this on a salad in months. I’ve discovered that there is a fine line between what is abundance and too much.

When I went to visit my sister-in-law, she had fresh flowers in every corner of the home. A single rose sat in a mason jar on the windowsill above the sink. Two yellow daffodils brightened the corner table.

Her philosophy of flowers felt just right. Enough is a feast. Stockpiling feels heavy.

I grew up with bargain hunters. Buying things on sale and storing them on the shelves in the basement was a way to save money. This kind of bargain comes to me at great cost.

There is a weight in constantly fearing I will run out. There is poverty in the thought that I need to stockpile.

I am drawn to the Old Testament story of manna for the Israelites. Each day they collected manna that rained down from heaven. When they tried to store up a jar out of fear for tomorrow it soured.

I said the Lord’s Prayer countless times growing up, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Storing up for tomorrow takes me out of living Now.

It is so slight.

I can justify a sale in so many ways.

  • If I’m going to spend the money eventually, why not spend it now and save $3?
  • Buying 2 now will save me thinking about canned tomatoes for a month.
  • There is ease in opening the pantry and having a plethora of dinner choices.

What feeds me is not meant to be stored away in a pantry

The bottom line is signified in those flowers. They wilt and will be fresh if changed.  When I keep our food revolving I feel light, alive and more present each day.

I am grateful for the bread upon my table now. I see the abundance of this day. I am not busy yesterday saving up for tomorrow. I live in the presence of now.

We use this white board.

  • If someone uses the last of something from the pantry, it goes onto the board.
  • If you get a sudden dinner inspiration, write the ingredients on the board.
  • If you drink the last glass of milk, write milk on the board.
  • When I head to the store, I make my list from the board.

I am learning to pass up sales. I like the feeling better when things become empty. Want is a good teacher. It brings me into this moment. I know today I’m hungry for chicken. I can tell tacos sound great later this week.

Did I need 17 bottles of my favorite dressing to learn this? It’s all a mystery to me. Life is back and forth for me. The tug of war of juxtaposition. Fullness/emptiness. Planning and spontaneity. Bargains and buying only what I need.

I am learning to let go, to be thankful for my empty pantry and my daily bread.

Please enjoy the impermanence of this mandala.

I am taking time to tend my home. It’s part of my 4-step philosophy in Soulful Cleansing. Identify – Notice – Address – Tend.  I’d love to have you  join today’s discussion by leaving a comment, join the team and stay in touch or join the class.

I am participating in 31-days of Soulful Cleansing. This project is the collaborative brainchild of The Nester. Join her here and see all the other 31-day projects.

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