The Why: We've come to see that stuff begets stuff. The more we accumulate, the more we think we need. A serving bowl to match that serving plate, a pretty tea towel for the new bread basket, a set of martini glasses to use with the cocktail shaker. By getting rid of stuff we aren't just making our kitchen an easier place to cook and clean and entertain in, (and investing in a lifetime of much simpler moving days!) we're also choosing to be content with just enough and learning to be honest with ourselves about what we need and use.
The Plan: Both Luke and I felt that it was important to go through the kitchen stuff together. We both love to cook and bake and entertain, so we both needed a say in what stays and what goes.
So last night after getting the kids to bed, we decided to take every single item out of the kitchen, discuss whether to keep it or not, wash out the cabinets and put everything we were keeping back. We wanted to take everything out rather than do a cabinet at a time so that we could really get a feel for how much stuff we've accumulated. Then I was going to take pictures of my fabulous new minimalist-ish (I know that's not really a word) kitchen to share today.
The Reality: We underestimated what a huge job it would be. Where did all this stuff come from???
At quarter after ten the house looked like this... (and there's Luke, taking a well deserved break!)
By 12:30 I was lying on the kitchen floor trying to do the math to figure out whether the narrower/deeper casserole dish or the wider/shallower one holds more food. Luke wisely suggested that we give up and go to bed.
Here's all the stuff we've committed to get rid of so far. But we aren't done!
So tomorrow will be the minimalist-ish kitchen tour. Today I'm going to drink good strong coffee and calculate the volumetric lasagna potential of all my casserole dishes.
We are doing one small thing (almost) every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!
If you want to avoid calculations, just fill one with water, then pour it in the other. That way, you can easily see which one holds more. I'm lazy like that. :)ReplyDelete
so simple...duh! LOLDelete
NOT LAZY HILARIE... SMART!!Delete
Your blog is so very inspiring. I am a new reader to both your blogs and I am loving every moment. As a busy working mother of 3 and great accumulator of random stuff, I too have pledged to clean out, declutter, reorganize and find the "white space" in our life. I am not as organized as you are with my method, but I am getting there slowly nonetheless. I find myself looking every day for new posts, great job! And thank you!ReplyDelete
Wow, I'm so impressed with you especially since you recently decluttered your kitchen for your home staging... we moved recently and I got rid of so much kitchen stuff, then when we were unpacking I got rid of more, and I still think I could get rid of more. It's amazing how much we really don't use.ReplyDelete
BTW, are you going to stay in your cute little house now, rather than sell?
Hi! I'm going to be writing an update for the other blog soon about our house situation, but the short story for now is that the house is currently still on the market and we are committed to being content whether it sells or not :)Delete
Oh, good to know, I too have been wondering about that :)Delete
I am inspired as well! It's great that you and hubby are in this de cluttering project together! We are very slowly clearing out here as well but in a much less organized manner. I look forward to watching your progress.ReplyDelete
How would you suggest I get my husband on board with me? He has a whole 2 shelves of "sentimental" beer mugs, glasses and plastic cups from football games we really never use... But he doesn't think we need to get rid of any thing!! Ahhhhh;)ReplyDelete
Hi Nichole! I'm really fortunate that my husband and I are (usually!) on the same page about these things.Delete
My suggestion would be to focus on other areas where he is more willing to declutter and leave the mugs alone for now. He might change his mind about them someday. I know I wouldn't want my husband trying to convince me to get rid of something I want to keep, so I figure that should go both ways. :)
I'd keep the wider and shallower - it will require less cooking time because there is more surface area. And that would help to minimalize bills :)ReplyDelete
You can come and do my kitchen when you are done with yours!!! he he heReplyDelete
You're getting rid of your roasting pan? I've been wanting one for years and haven't bought one. Do you not use it?ReplyDelete
This is kinda embarrassing....but I have two. A couple times I've made two turkeys on Christmas day, so I bought two roasting pans.Delete
Got it. LOLDelete
Wow, I would probably need to do this in my kitchen.ReplyDelete
Update: I removed the knive block from the counter when you did that post, and have not missed it at all. Now just need to check with husband that it's ok to get rid of it.
I love how you are doing some decluttering, then going back, and finding that you could still do some more. We are experiencing this in our home as we journey with you. My husband called it "contagious"- the more we declutter and get rid of, the more we want to! And we keep going back to "already done" areas and finding more things that we should have parted with the first time! Can't wait for the kitchen reveal tomorrow!ReplyDelete
I am so inspired by your blog! My family is also committed to living simply, but I think we're a few steps behind you. I think the kitchen would be the most difficult space to de-clutter, since I love cooking and hosting with all the "right" kitchen gadgets and tools. But your strategy of getting everything out into the open to do a true assessment of items is SO SMART. Keep at it!ReplyDelete
"the volumetric lasagna potential"ReplyDelete
I love it!
I started this minimalist/purging journey several months ago and I have done a lot of what you have done - I love your blog and I am using it to find new areas (like yesterday, paperless) and to re-visit others and make sure I have re-accumulated anything!
The kitchen is my weakness. I have such a hard time with those used once or twice a year items! I wish I lived near a good friend who had the same outlook and we could share these items! I once broke a 9x13 with company over and it became a big joke, so I have been given 9x13's since then! I have 4. I know it's too many, but at least monthly I have a day that they are all in use. Ahhh, it's such a struggle for me in the kitchen.
I'm afraid to do this. The hubby and I went cabinet by cabinet cleaning, and I did a huge clean out of my bubbling/warped/stained fake tupperware (to somewhat be replaced by real tupperware...). We use most of what is in our kitchen on a fairly regular basis, whether we truly need it or not. I think we may move on to a new room and try this one again later. :)ReplyDelete
After reading the polka dot dish entry yesterday I went into my kitchen and started clearing things out. I find my problem is aspirational. I want to be the gourmet cook, the envy of all. I want to have a Martha-styled house, perfect every day. I want to knit beautiful elegant jumpers that make me look French and four inches taller.ReplyDelete
Once I stopped aspiring I realised that I like myself and my way of life, if anything I'd like less! Thanks for helping the rest of us :)
We just finished painting our kitchen a few days ago (after days of stripping wallpaper, spackling, sanding and priming). I was just about to tackle the kitchen today, so this was a very timely post! I ended up doing a much more thorough job than I had originally intended (though not as thorough as yours). I have a a page on Facebook where I both sell and give items away (the giveaway part was inspired by you) and I just added a few more items to the page. Mostly I just shredded, threw away, cleaned, reorganized and now we will enjoy. Thank you! :-)ReplyDelete
By day 365, you are going to be a family of nudists! heehee, teasing - love your blog(s)!ReplyDelete
Someone above called it contagious and it is. Hubby and I are both going crazy clearing things out. Our question is how do you get the kids on board. Our kids are fretting over items and freaked out when we worked on their rooms. They are collectors and savers! If not hoarders.ReplyDelete
I think my kids are so used to me reorganizing and redecorating and purging that they don't think much of it. Also, we have a very communal home,meaning that the kids understand that most of the items are shared among the family. Even birthday presents are shared toys. Except for a few beloved bears and blankies (which we'd never declutter for them!) our kids don't have a lot of possessions yet that they would consider their own.Delete
I do try to always put a positive spin on it for them and help them to understand my reasoning. "We're going to give away some of the toys you don't use so that it's easier to find your favourites!" or "Let's go through your clothing and see if there are any that you don't need anymore and can pass on to somebody who DOES need them!"