It’s Minimalist Monday once again! This is week 5 of Minimalist Monday, which means we’ve been intentionally simplifying our lives for well over a month now! This may not seem like a long period of time, and granted, I have been inching toward minimalism for longer than I have been writing..BUT these are milestones in my book (and I may be overly excited).
Let’s jump right in because there is nothing to lose! (Nothing important anyways)
We should all know the guidelines that have been set in place. Keep them in mind when completing these challenges. They are only around to keep the situation as focused and peaceful as possible.
- Pick something small.
- It should take 15-30 minutes from start to end.
- Make 3 separate piles. (Keep, Sell, Donate/Trash)
- Make sure to have a box handy. (You don’t want a pile of stuff that you’d like to donate or sell cluttering some other part of the house!)
- Have fun. Don’t make this a chore.
The kitchen is one of the few rooms where we spend a large portion of our day. With frequent visits due to hunger and thirst, as well as prep work for meals to cure our appetite, we are able to rack up several hours daily.
This is also the place where many people buy replacements without removing the original thing that is being replaced and the room where (in nearly every home) there is a dreaded junk drawer spilling with random items with no particular home. What a perfect area to declutter and minimize.
Now, I won’t bother you with the foods from the cabinets that we no longer consume. These were removed first, and made for a quick and easy start. They were disposed of and allowed us to move on with plenty of enthusiasm.
We went cabinet by cabinet doing our best to keep the multi-use tools, while ditching the duplicates and seldom used utensils.
The first thing we grabbed was simple enough. Our old coffee maker. It was a traditional coffee maker that we had been keeping around just in case our new (3 months ago is still new, right?) french press didn’t work out. We decided we preferred the french press by mid-January, but honestly forgot that we still had the old one.
On top of the cabinets was our “collection” of coolers. Most of these were from our daughter’s bottle days, and since have not really been used. We decided to keep one regular sized lunch cooler (I use this regularly for work) and our large picnicking cooler, for well…picnicking. The remaining 5 (yeah, yeah.. I know) were added to the donation.
Our utensil drawer was a complete mess with too many duplicates to count, and too many things that didn’t belong. We decided it shouldn’t take the force of our body weight to slam the drawer shut. The duplicates were added to the donation, and the rest were sorted through according to how often they were used.
We for some reason had both exact duplicates as well as like-items in our baking pans. 3 glass casserole dishes, 2 deep metal pans, a flat baking pan, 2 round baking pans, and a muffin pan. That seemed a bit excessive in our eyes, so away the extra pans went.
Then it was on to the knives. We have a knife block, which on it’s own is probably too many. It does seem, however, that it would look strange to have 4 knives sitting in the block. So, we went through the remaining knives that weren’t included in the block. Most of them were oddly shaped, and were for specific things. We could only figure out what a couple of them were for, but none of them were used other than the paring knife, so off to the shelter they shall go.
As much as we would like to minimize our pots and pans, we aren’t able quite yet because of our inability to replace them. Once we can work a new pan or two into the budget however, this will be an easy task. With two cast iron pans, two teflon (yuck, I know) pans, a steel-aluminum soup pot and a cast iron dutch oven, I don’t think we’re too far off a respectable set.
We DO use both our single-serve blender and our full size food processor regularly, so we are keeping both of these. The only way for us to pare down, is to replace the two with a Vitamix or Ninja, but we don’t think this will happen in the foreseeable future.
We only have 4 bowls, 4 large plates, 4 small plates and 4 mugs (not including our daughter’s plastic stacking cups). Since there are already 3 of us, we thought this was acceptable. There are 2-4 of each size of Tupperware container in our cabinets, which we run out of somewhat regularly and couldn’t image downsizing.
Under the sink, we had a plethora of cleaners from 2-3 different tub cleaners, to multiple carpet cleaners and more than enough air fresheners. These were disposed of as needed. Though, I think that we could pare down farther with the right multi-use cleaners
Our junk drawer was getting somewhat out of hand, so we decided now was the time to step in and handle it. Nearly everything was removed, with some things going back to their homes, while many others ended up in the trash. We did end up keeping our junk drawer, but now dubbed it the “office drawer” because it contains scissors, a pen, a highlighter, a tape measure, and our phone book (yes, we still have one of these).
Overall, we feel much better about our more simplified space. The counters and cabinets are less cluttered and everything has a home. We do feel that we could pare down farther, but unfortunately, we do not currently have the tools (or the money to get the right tools) for that to happen. Perhaps another Minimalist Monday?
How was your Minimalist Monday? Were you able to pare down to your heart’s desire? Or do you have further minimizing to do in the future?