Minimize: The Project Where I Get Rid of All the Things (in the Kitchen)

Last week I introduced my new project #minimize: the the project where I get rid of all the things. It’s an awesome project. And it comes from a deep-rooted place in my soul. Which is why you should check back on Thursdays to see all of the small yet awesome ways you can downsize clutter and live like a minimalist. And if you want to know more about why I’m doing this project, read the first post.

My first #minimize clean-out idea came to me while I was drafting up the first post. I was making lunch for Max and reached for something in the cabinet where we keep kitchen odds and ends: Max’s cups, Chris’ whiskey, my cookbook, and about a dozen containers of bubbles (because that’s exactly where they should be kept, right?!). When I reached in the cabinet, things tumbled out. All over the counter.

And I knew it was time to make a change.

So I finished making Max’s lunch and went to work. I took everything out of the cabinet. And I took a moment to think through the last week: what had I used and what was just in the way?

Obviously the bubbles came out first. It’s January. There is no bubble play in New England in January.

Next I got honest about the fact that Max is a toddler and doesn’t need baby sippy cups anymore. Or the snack cups he hasn’t used in 6 months. Followed by a whiskey decanter Chris kept, empty, behind the whiskey bottle. Because if the bottle is next to the decanter, it’s like you’re using it…

Everything that I could get rid of was gone – recycled, thrown, or stored for summer. Everything Chris was responsible for – i.e. the whiskey decanter – was left with a note: 24 hours.

I was intentionally vague and mysterious.

At the threat of the lost whiskey decanter, Chris took action. And now our cabinet looks even better than the “after” picture below. We’re trending up.

Minimize: the project where i get rid of all the things (in the kitchen)

Minimize: the project where i get rid of all the things (in the kitchen)

I think I’m going to say this a lot during the course of this project, but here we go: my first thought was, why did I wait so long to do this? It took all of 10 minutes to clean out the cabinet, recycle things I knew we didn’t use, and pare down the things we do. It was exhilarating. I feel lighter. And I’m energized and excited to do it again.

But I’m waiting.

The idea of the #minimize project is to do one corner, one cabinet, one small space at a time. Because when it’s small, it’s achievable. When it’s achievable, I’m more likely to do it. And when I do it, everyone in the house is happy. Especially me.

I’m already noticing unnecessary clutter more. And while I’m tempted to immediately dive into the next #minimize segment, I know myself better. If I wait for the right frame of mind, I’ll do a much better job. And for this project I’m only going for best work.

The point is to start slow. Start small. Really work on incorporating into your life. Just like I talk about with fitness – small changes lead to lasting results.