Sunday, March 21, 2010

Recycling Day! Plus Cleaning Update 3-21-2010

Well Recycling Day was a success:
  • all of the cans of expired food got emptied
  • an entire pickup truck bed full of recycling
  • more than 4 black trash bags full of trash left the apartment today
  • 4 loads of dishes got washed
  • 2 loads of laundry were washed
  • the couch was completely unearthed from under it's papers and other clutter
  • the dining room table got similar de-papering treatment.
  • the front hall is now cleared of styrofoam, closed-cell foam, and boxes
  • all but 1 of the kitchen counters are de-cluttered and freshly scrubbed (with my nifty new skoy "paper-towel" cloth and Windex)
Today was scheduled to be a big day thanks to one reader's offer to move all my recycling at once rather than in small chunks.  Many thanks to that reader and my other helpers for all their work in Operation Recycle.

I started today's cleaning by finally emptying and rinsing the expired food discovered on a pre-blog mission to only have non-expired food in my fridge and pantry.  After some discussion over the past few days I decided to tackle this by rinsing the fluids down the kitchen sink, dumping the solids into a double bagged kitchen trashbag (which specifically had absorbent trash from the rest of the apartment), and then tying off both bags, and hauling them to the dumpster IN the trashcan to avoid springing a leak or tear.

The pile of cans which needed to be emptied before Operation Recycle commenced

The cans running scared from their empty and clean future...

Overall I was impressed with how easily this went.  I saw sell-by and best-by dates from as far back as 2002 and 2003.  Despite the fact that some of it was labeled as best-by 7-8 years ago, nothing LOOKED especially bad.  There was 1 can of 2005 tomato sauce that released a little bit of pressure when I opened it.  The can of red enchilada sauce was a bit odoriferous, and the ragu's were a VERY dark red, but smelled fine.

Aside from the sweetened condensed milk which needed a couple rounds of rinsing & soaking, everything else came out smoothly w/ a spatula, shake, soak, and rinse.

The cans all cleaned and emptied for inclusion in Operation Recycle
I worked on getting all of the cans, glass, and paper recycling presorted before the troops arrived.

It is impressive just how much we were able to empty, recycle, and trash in less than 2 hours.

The black bags are filled w/ the contents of expired ramen, expired pretzel rods, and heaps of styrofoam.  The white can contains the contents of the expired cans.

And now for the star of our show, 1 truck full of recycling:

Phone books, cat litter containers, glass, paper, cans, and heaps of cardboard all on their way to become new products.
With more than an entire pickup truck less stuff, my apartment is now so spacious I actually said "WOW" and stopped dead in my tracks to look around this evening when walking into the Junk Room.

*UPDATE*: For those of you who wanted pictures of the Junk Room, check out this previous post.

Here is how things look now:
Yes there's still stuff in here, but there WAS a whole pile of boxes on top of the stuff that remains

All that's left of the Wall of Kitty Litter (a.k.a. Project Guppy & Brine Shrimp tank)

Yes that's actually open wall and floor space.

More floor, no boxes

I can actually put my fan in the window again. 

Just that is a huge accomplishment and prepares me for the next phase of Project Clean Apartment.  I now have sufficient space to start creating piles, areas, and sections for items to be kept, sold, donated to good will, recycled, or trashed.

Here is how the futon and kitchen counters look now that they are clean.

Every inch is free of paper or clutter and ready for sitting or kitty snuggling.

It feels so nice to have what little counter space I have back from the expired cans.

Note my nifty new skoy cloth on the sink handle, it's like a paper towel and a cloth at the same time.  They are supposed to take the place of 15 paper towel rolls.

The counter to the left still needs to be cleaned up a bit, but just look at how that oven and right counter shine!

New video of the Junk Room:


  1. And you are more than welcome to borrow my van anytime...

  2. Yay!! It looks like you have a collection of ancient towers in monitors in you junk room that is similar to what we had. I finally made them leave before we listed the house and the garage and basement look SO much better.

    Great work so far!

  3. Happy to see progress! As you continue your project, you may want to consider cleaning with microfiber. I use microfiber for cleaning surfaces in the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as for dusting furniture and cleaning floors. Usually, a little bit of water or a vinegar mixture will do the trick. No chemicals. Microfiber works great, and they're washable and reusable!

  4. I've got several stacks of both Microfiber and regular towels that I use for cleaning. The problem is that my nice white towels eventually get spots and stains that don't leave. So I'm looking forward to the Skoy handling the OJ, wine, and Coke and other spills that would normally stain my towels.

  5. I also use microfiber towels when I dust, but let's be honest...I don't get around to dusting too often.

    And I think it will be quite a while yet before the biggest cleaning fish I have to fry is dusting.

  6. I do say, it was a productive day! Candy got her first good workout!