pandemic cleaning

Pandemic Cleaning: Pie Safe Edition

There are so many things we can’t control right now, many of them truly awful: the progression of the virus, the upcoming election, the lack of justice for people of color. Last week I decided to take matters into my own hands with some pandemic cleaning. I cleaned out my pie safe.

(Dare I admit that the Netflix series Get Organized with the Home Edit inspired me? I ordered organizers for the kitchen — more on that next time! Long time blog readers know that for me, Uncluttering is a Spiritual Practice.)

Are your pies safe?

Isn’t pie safe a weird name for a piece of furniture? My daughters like to joke that we’ve never lost a pie. But the reason is not the pie safe — it’s because I never make pie. The feminist in me decided long ago that pie crust was a symbol of female servitude. (To be clear, I eat pie, I just don’t make it. Cobbler is easier.)

My pie safe is a humble piece of furniture, too rustic to be called an antique. It’s made of wide plank wood and the doors are inset with metal mesh.

When our daughters were little, the pie safe functioned as a toy cabinet. I filled it with indestructible items: wicker baskets and empty cookie tins and trays made of hammered aluminum. Later the pie safe was a handy place to stow kitchen overflow: serving platters and extra vases and stemware. More recently as our parents downsized, the cabinet has absorbed all sorts of sentimental items. It has become a memory safe.

Last week my daughters and I took out each item, recounting the story of where it came from. Then we put back the things we wanted to keep. I took pictures of everything else, to list the items on our local Buy Nothing Facebook group. I feel a sense of satisfaction that the items have found new homes, and the cabinet is sorted for its next season of life. It’s such a small thing to have put in order. But it helped. Maybe I can start writing another book now.

Have you done any pandemic cleaning?

If so, what did it shift for you? Let me know in the comments!

pie safe


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