Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My minimalist kitchen

The other day I felt really stressed out/restless, so I decided to do something that would give me a sense of accomplishment. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do but after reading so much on minimalism, I wanted to do something to make my living space better. Since I wasn't ready to let go of my own personal belongings just yet, I decided that a good place to start was the kitchen, because it has a lot of replaceable items, so throwing away old stuff was going to free up space without making me upset. Although cleaning the kitchen in and of itself wasn't going to bring me happiness, it was one step closer to simplifying my life and decluttering my house.

First things first, before I could clean and organize everything, I had to declutter the counter, empty the trash, which had accumulated (see pictures below) and make sure that the one important space I would see everyday wasn't making me feel suffocated. In other words, I had to make sure I would keep the counter clean and empty at all times.

After I got rid of the trash I started emptying the cabinets. That was the tricky part because, since we are renting this apartment, we can't make any changes to the cabinets or anything else for that matter. And well, the middle cabinet being a corner one, it's very difficult to grab the groceries from the back. As a result they don't get eaten, get old and eventually might go bad if I don't pay attention. So I decided to simplify my cabinet system.

First, I threw away any food that had gone bad, like dry and canned goods past their best by dates, anything with dots in it, as it could have been infested with pantry moths (i.e. little black dots in the flour mostly, and thread-like things in the tea).

After that I took everything else out of the cabinets, I cleaned the shelves thoroughly, and even made a few changes in shelf height and such to allow for more organized and clutter-free space.

You can see the results in the pictures below. Sorry I didn't take a before picture for the inside of the cabinets, but basically the food was in the middle one and the appliances in the left-most one, and it was just a hassle to take everything out whenever you needed something!


 After taking out the trash


Left-most cabinet, where appliances were, I don't even know how they used to fit!

Middle cabinet where the food was, I don't know why it ended up there in the first place! (Note there use to be a shelf in the middle at the level of the rice cooker, but I took it down and put it at the bottom of the cabinet, so I wouldn't have to store it anywhere else)

Right-most cabinet, tea & spice cabinet, also used to be the baking ingredients cabinet (top shelf), but not anymore!

Boy, did I feel good after I started! I felt like nothing could stop me! Not to mention how great I felt when I was done. I felt like a victor! (I know, I know, small victory, but I got a big rush from doing it)
Bonus: I must have spent the whole day climbing up and down the stepladder, and gotten in a good amount of exercise, because I felt quite sore the next day!

Do you have any success stories about how you decluttered your home? If so, I would love to hear what you did in the comments section!

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