Wednesday, December 18, 2013

have you heard of minimalism?

About a year and a half ago I heard the term “minimalism” for the first time. Wait a minute, there are people in the western world who actually TRY to live with as little “stuff” as possible?! This sounded very intriguing to me for quite a few reasons.

1.       Less stuff, means less money spent
2.       Less stuff, means less to clean
3.       Less stuff, means more enjoyment out of the things we do own

I began reading an eBook that I got for free on my Kindle about living with less, and I have to say it was very eye opening. I actually TOOK NOTES for the first time since college.

There were so many concepts that I didn’t realize I had already been floating around in my head, I just hadn’t put them to use in my life and home.

The first place I started was in my kitchen. I think this is probably the most common room for excess “stuff” in people’s homes. Think about it. How many mixing bowls do you ever use at one time? The answer is not the same for everyone. The answer for me is 3, and only a few times in a year. For my mom, it could be 6 or maybe even more sometimes. She bakes often, and in large quantities.

How many items do you have that can complete the same task? Do you need a quesadilla maker when you already have frying pans? Do you need a food processor when you have a set of knives? Again, the answer is not the same for everyone. I do not need a large food processor. I have a small two cup food processor that works just fine for the rare occasion that I need it. I could actually probably go without it completely, but it doesn’t take up much room so I am okay with keeping it.

Some people might say, “Why have a microwave or a toaster when you have an oven?”

This is taking it a little too far for my family, I think my husband would flip out if I got rid of the microwave!!

I had already done a pretty good purge of our kitchen, but during our recent move I decided to really ask myself if we TRULY needed each item I was packing and unpacking in our kitchen. I found that it was easier to purge when I was unpacking, and could see how much space these things were taking up in our new home.

One unexpected perk of minimalism in the kitchen is that there are less dishes to do, even though I may have to wash some items more often. I don’t have an extra mixing bowl to dirty, so I have to wash a dirty one first. Writing this out it doesn’t seem to make much sense, but I am finding that I have less LARGE loads for my dishwasher.

Challenge: next time you are unloading your dishwasher, look at each item and ask yourself if you have any duplicates that you do not need. Once you fill a box, take it to your car and drop it off at Goodwill next time you are out. 


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