Minimalism

Minimalism in action? (the kitchen)

I feel as though I’ve hit that point in the decluttering. The one where what you have is enough and you don’t need any more  nor do you want to get rid of anything else. Part of feeling this way is having gotten rid of things that take up space but don’t work. Today, that moment happened in the kitchen when the dishwasher got tossed. The dishwasher hasn’t worked in… 5 years maybe? We’ve been getting along without it since then and if that’s true then we don’t need a new one. However, the old one was taking up space. I don’t have the time or the money to redo the whole kitchen but I wanted that space. So when a friend mentioned that a hardware store had cabinets on sale, I went to see if I could  match the color and find a cabinet that would fit in the space.

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Ok, so the color doesn’t match. However, the important thing is that it’s now useable space! I didn’t clean up the kitchen before taking these, so you will see some things out. I know that in Marie Kondo’s book, she says things shouldn’t be out on the counter. Honestly? That’s impractical. I’d spend all day putting things away. Also, the coffee maker and the other things out are used every day or often enough that I don’t feel bad leaving them out. Moving on, the cabinet, contains my cookbooks now.

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Pardon the lighting.I will mention, that the binders are all paperwork. The pink one contains everyone’s important documents (birth certificates, social security cards, etc). The blue one is for my nursing program. It has any document that they could ask to see, an old resume that I need to update and a few other documents directly related to nursing school. The shelf has cords for cameras and the pencil sharpener. All of that stuff came out of a large cabinet that is in the dining room. All that’s left in that cabinet is my nursing books and a shoebox with extra pencils and highlighters, my calculator and some post it notes. Since we’re here, I thought I’d give you a tour of my kitchen. You’ll notice it’s on the small side so the decluttering has been a huge help in gaming the space more useable and functional.

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Under the sink, which used to be full. Now there’s only things directly relevant to the sink.

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This is the cabinet over the new cabinet. This is all of our coffee cups, regular cups, plates and bowls. This space will eventually get decluttered more once the kids are done with the kiddie bowls.

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Turn around and this is the other side of the kitchen. Yes, that’s all of it. The space to the left has the washer and dryer and a pantry closet. I didn’t include that here. Also, the cabinets over the microwave are empty. They used to be filled with things. Nothing up there got used because I could never reach, so to use something meant I had to climb up there and get it down. The things from that cabinet that I felt I needed have now been relocated to where I can reach. You’ll also notice that the top shelves in most of these cabinets has very little. Again, I can’t reach that stuff easily.

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My mixing bowls and measuring cups. Also, my tea pot with the matching cups. Honestly, it gets used very little however it does bring me real joy. I adore it. So it stays.

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This cabinet has my baking dishes, a popcorn bowl up top and some baking supplies.

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This drawer is still the worst. It’s my cooking utensils. I need a drawer divider or some paper to put in the bottom so stuff doesn’t move around. However, this drawer used to be packed and there was a canister on the counter. Now it’s just the things that I use all the time and no extra gadgets that collect dust.

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Other side of the oven is a set of three drawers. I just realized I forgot to take a picture of the cabinet on the right. It has all my pots and pans. Sorry about that. So back to this drawer. There’s a lot of silverware here. Honestly, it’s more than we use. I will declutter this eventually because I cringe every time I open this drawer. But for now, it’s acceptable.

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Next drawer. Pot holders, coffee, tea, salt and cooking stuff that I need quick access too. Under the potholes is actually part of the coffee maker. I could probably get rid of that too. Some of my larger mugs don’t fit in the space with that piece in, so I took it out. It’s never gone back which is probably a good indication that I don’t need it. I have been toying with the idea of a new coffee maker. For now though, what I have works fine. Maybe with a final kitchen clean out I’ll do that. For now, I’ll add that piece to the list of things that can go.

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The bottom drawer has kitchen towels and lunch making supplies. I may eliminate most of this if my kids continue to eat lunch at school. If they aren’t using this stuff then we don’t need it and when they have field trips, everything has to be disposable so I can’t use any of this. I do use my daughter’s lunch box for my lunches at work and I will use the plastic storage containers (they’re all in the lunch boxes, so you don’t see them – a thermos and three different sizes of lunch containers). So there’s still work to be done in the kitchen but it’s not urgent. We have space and nothing is coming in, which is great. I can find everything that I need quickly and things aren’t falling out of cabinets anymore. It’s been wonderful in the past couple months since I decluttered here.

So that’s where we are with this section of the house. I’ve made progress and will continue to make progress and refine what is needed and what is not. I’ve also been working on decluttering arts and crafts supplies and I may have finally gotten that down to the perfect place too. I’ll save that for another post though. For now, I’ll end with a smile and the knowledge that I am working toward an open, clean space that is filled with things that bring joy and serve a purpose. I will continue to modify those things and use the book as a guide but not a strict rule. Until tomorrow, lovely people!

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