Our simply abundant kitchen

Auntie Joy, I can’t believe that you don’t have a toaster! It’s one of life’s greatest necessities!

My dear 15-year-old nephew was really surprised that we didn’t have one.

Well, we did have a toaster but gave it away when hubby and I started downsizing our home about two months ago.  I found a toaster redundant since I rarely needed to toast anything and when I did, I just used my skillet. (Sample video: How to make a grilled cheese sandwich.)

Taking inspiration from The Minimalists, hubby and I packed almost everything in our kitchen. Two large boxes were quickly filled with pots, pans, utensils, plates, mugs, pitchers, etc.  Then we just unpacked things as we needed them: We needed  bowls for our oatmeal so we unpacked them; I needed to cook noodles, so I unpacked my stockpot; and so on.

It’s been almost two months now and most of the stuff are still in the boxes. We didn’t need them. And I don’t think we will be needing them again. Now they are ready to be sold or given away. In fact, my mother-in-law already “shopped” from the boxes. She’s happy, I’m happy.

We don’t claim perfection but more often than not,  we wake up and see our kitchen counters clear, our cupboards organized, and our pantry basic.

It’s visually appealing — looks bigger, neat, and airy.

It’s easier to clean, of course!

And thankfully, we have that feeling of abundance KNOWING that we have everything we need.

Ahhh…simplicity, you are good! Hubby and I like you.

Related articles from around the web:

What’s in a minimalist kitchen? Check out her list and make your own.

Wash your bowl. This article is simple but very thought-provoking.

A no frills kitchen still cooks. A New York Times article on how to tackle the great challenge  of kitchen decluttering

How to live with just 100 things. This is a bit extreme but motivational.

Enough

If you are an athlete, would this excite you?

It sure excited me before.

Not anymore.

Let me tell you why.

About two years ago, I fell in love with running. Along with that came a love for buying everything related to it: shorts, shirts, socks, shoes, caps, books, magazines, etc, etc. It was so delicious seeing my collection grow.

Add to that all the free shirts and accessories given by the many races I joined.

Of course, I saw how overflowing my closet  quickly became: how I had to push shirts into the drawers because they could hardly fit there anymore and how I had to dump some of them on the floor before I could find something to wear for my morning runs.

I didn’t mind the stress. I was having fun!

Then  one ordinary day, I looked at the hodgepodge and told myself:

ENOUGH.

After a few minutes of sorting, I had tall piles of shirts and shorts. Those that didn’t fit or I didn’t like quickly filled up one large trash bag. They will be given to anyone who wants them or sold in a garage sale sometime soon.

I’m still left with a lot. I’m going through them again within the next few days to see which ones I can still do away with.

Meanwhile, my closet is neater and finding something to wear in the morning is easier.

And in a weird sort of way, now that I have less, I feel more abundant.

Really.

*************

Related posts:

Only the useful or beautiful

Our simply abundant kitchen

Other interesting reads:

A Practical Guide to Owning Fewer Clothes by Joshua Becker

Project 333 by Courtney Carver. An experiment on how to live with only 33 items for three months

7 Steps to a Minimalist Wardrobe by Francine Jay

Favorite Clothes of Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn

Decluttering is like a marathon

My favorite place to run is UP Diliman and my route almost always takes me around the Sunken Garden. Sometimes, there are sports and other events held there. But more often than not,  it is empty like in the photo below… so serene and large… a very nice place to be in.

I guess a clean and empty space, no matter what size,  is almost always relaxing. At least that’s how hubby and I feel about our living room now. No, it’s not totally empty. But compared to how it was before we cleared it of clutter last week, it is now relatively empty.  We L-O-V-E it.

And all it took was five hours of work.

Such was not the case when we started with our bedroom. We were overwhelmed! Nineteen years being married and about fifteen years in this house brought us A LOT OF STUFF!  To think that over the years, we already threw or donated a lot of our things already. We finished decluttering our living room after just five hours. For our bedroom, it’s been almost two weeks now and we’re not done yet.

“It’s just like running a marathon,” hubby said. “We need to pace ourselves and not give up.”

One of the posters during hubby and I’s first marathon, March 2012

Haha, we’re not about to crawl nor give up! Seeing how wonderful the the small areas we have cleared so far is encouraging.

Decluttering cannot always be be like a sprint where we just clear and clean everything in sight and then finish after a short time. It’s persevering, pacing and keeping our eyes on that glorious vision: A clean and truly relaxing bedroom.

No, this is not our bedroom. I wish it were! But we want something like this: clean straight lines, few but quality furnishings, concealed storage, and ZERO CLUTTER.

We have a long way to go but we’ll get there. I know.

Related posts:

Only the useful or beautiful

Enough