Here is an interesting thought to ponder on while moving forward in 2021: As we get older, leastways to my way of thinking, we should do our best to consolidate wherever we can. Think about it – some of us – when we retired or were down-sized – decided, “Hey, that isn’t such a bad idea.” Why don’t we downsize as well – who needs humongous living quarters? So, what did we do?  We downsized our living quarters as well.  We consolidate our space.

But why stop there, why not learn to consolidate on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. By now you are probably wondering how to consolidate? Especially now that we are now living in smaller quarters. What else could we do? Well, think about it for a moment.  Let’s start with breakfast and oh, before I go any further, here is the definition of the word consolidate:

Combine (a number of things) into a single more effective or coherent whole.

Let’s start with breakfast. Eating the same cereal day in and day out can get rather old and boring. So, on your next trip to the grocery store, buy three or four different cereals and then when you get home, find yourself a five-gallon plastic jug or can (remember when chips and/or pretzels came in large cans). Try to stay away from glass as we old geezers don’t want to strain anything especially at breakfast time, cause what I am about to suggest might be hard to handle when we first arise in the morning.  See where this is heading? Take the cereal – whether it is flakes, bran, squares, one with raisins, chocolate covered puffs, or whatever, and mix it all up in this five-gallon jug or can.

You could even, using your last name, call it something wild and crazy like: “Smith’s fortified, frosted, fruity, chocolate covered raisin bran flakes!” It will be a smorgasbord of cereals. I am suggesting that you name it because in some homes, I have seen such containers used for the pet’s food and well, we wouldn’t want to get them mixed up. More about that later. Doing this would consolidate numerous boxes that are cluttering up the pantry into one big jar or can. I would say box – but I’m not sure they make a box that big.

And you would not have to stop there. Think about it.  How many of you reading this article love pretzels? Now, how many of you have also tried Snyder’s flavored pretzels? For those of you unfamiliar with Snyders flavors, I am here to tell you that they come in: Honey Mustard & Onion, Hot Buffalo Wing, Cheddar Cheese, Jalapeno, Buttermilk Ranch, and Sweet Chili Garlic flavors. I can feel the flavors exploding in my mouth as I write the words. Using similar containers as described earlier (remember the big variety pop-corn containers) – toss a bag of each of these tasty pretzels into the jar or can and then gently shake it up to mix up the pretzels (nuggets are the best). I cannot imagine what such a concoction must taste like – but hey – anything to eliminate several partially eaten bags of pretzel nuggets taking up space in your pantry once they are opened.  

Here’s another thought but this might apply to a large family. And being retired, chances are there are just two of you in the house. But if you are like my wife and I – she likes some things that I don’t and vice versa. So, in order to please each of us – we tend to buy two types of ice cream and then if (when we could have company) you entertain often and need other flavors of ice cream in the house, we tend to buy one or two other flavors as well. Well, consolidation would work here too once the cartons become almost but not completely empty. What do you do? Seeing that each only has a spoonful or two of ice cream left in the container, combine/consolidate them into one bucket or tub. Only problem with this solution is that when looking into the tub, it may just look like someone wasn’t feeling good one night and well – let your imagination take it from here.

Oh, and guess what, you could do the same thing with the various half-empty containers of cookies that might be taking up too much space in your pantry. Combine them all into one big container. Now here comes the fun part – whenever anyone wants a cookie – you be the one to offer it to them but instead of letting them look into the container to pick and choose – hold the container high enough so that they have to stretch to put their hand into the container and thus will not be able to see what they are getting. Doing it this way would make getting a cookie seem like it is Halloween – every time they reach into the container for a cookie: “Trick or Treat!” Now this could present a problem though because every now and then someone must be the sentinel and responsible for rotating the stock. Otherwise, you are going to have a problem.  If the stock is not rotated, you will never really know if they are getting a cookie that was baked this year or one that may have been baked last year. I mean – let’s face it – Day Old is one thing but One Year Old – well that is quite another thing!

This combining of things can get a bit out of hand though if one is not careful. For instance, say you have several opened bags of various items/snacks such as Doritos, Buttermilk Ranch flavored chips, Salt and Vinegar flavored chips, Jalapeno flavored taco chips, etc., and noticing that there are not enough in the way of quantity to fill a big can, they all get consolidated into one bag. Now seeing that the Doritos bag has the least amount of snacks in it, you choose this bag as your bag to use for consolidation purposes. Chances are the next person to reach in for a Dorito may end up with a Jalapeno potato chip instead. Not good and if there are small children visiting and this happens to them, well, they might just become skeptics and will stop believing in everything. I mean reaching in a Doritos bag and coming out with a Jalapeno potato chip might just tend to mess with their little minds.

Why one person took the consolidation situation so seriously that their child reached into a box marked graham crackers, pulled it out of the box and quickly took a bite only to realize she had bit into a piece of RyKrisp – (Remember Ry-Krisp? RyKrisp is a brand of rye crisp bread.) It is hard to offer that little girl a graham cracker to this day.

One has to be careful with this concept especially if the plan is to consolidate medicines as well. Saving space by using only one bottle for various pills can cause serious problems. For instance, one of your relatives may ask for an aspirin and when providing them with a pill from the consolidation bottle, you really do not know if you are giving them something that will cure a headache ( baby aspirin), sweeten their breath ( a Tic Tac that looks like a pill), put them to sleep (melatonin), dry up their sinuses (Benadryl), make the person regular again (fiber), or make sure they don’t get pregnant (birth control pill).

So, if you are married to someone that may be trying to consolidate the contents of various containers into one container to save space, do take care. Now go and have your breakfast but before you do, you may want to check the dog’s food supply to make sure that bag is still full!

Until next time!

4 thoughts on “CONSOLIDATION!

    1. Glad you liked it Sue. I could write about the boring stuff we do to get through the day but creating posts like “Consolidation” is more fun. Especially when readers such as yourself enjoy my nonsense. Take care and thanks again for following my nonsense. 🌞

  1. I am a great believer in consolidation. First, on retirement, I closed all the bank accounts that I had operated over many transfers and transferred all the balances to a bank account just 100 Mts from my home. Next, I encashed various investments and brought the proceeds to the same account in FDs. Now, my affairs are manageable.

    In the kitchen, I do what you suggest. I keep consolidating much to the chagrin of my children who would rather have separate containers. I get away as I am considered to be cranky.

    I have also consolidated my wardrobe into one cupboard and a chest of drawers.

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