Unpacking the kitchen

I moved to my new flat over the weekend – approximately 500 square feet.  I did the move in four Honda Fit trips and one truck trip.  Still more Stuff than I would like to have, but less than half of what I had to begin with – wow!  Allow me to take a small moment to pat myself on the back.

I went from packrat to minimalist (or minimalish) in a week.  I found a blog that inspired me — missminimalist.com — and decided once and for all that I was going to start over.  With less.  With enough.

However, toward the end of packing, I began just shoving everything into boxes and not being as careful about thinking it through.  I wound up moving some Stuff that I didn’t need but took anyway to determine its fate later.  I have a “yard sale” box already started in my flat that doesn’t even have everything unpacked yet!

First-tier purging was easy: I put all my books, clothes, shoes, craft supplies, etc. out, really looked at the pile, admitted that I wasn’t even using half of it, and tossed it into a “yard sale” or “donate” box.

Second-tier purging, as I unpack, has a lot to do with the space available in my flat. It also has a lot to do with the fact that I want to reduce clutter and knick-knacks and stuff on the prime real estate of my kitchen countertop.

I have two kitchen drawers.  I have two cabinets under the sink (I plan on putting cleaning supplies there along with my garbage and recycling bins), two low cabinets (already beginning to fill with small appliances), and two very high cabinets I need a step-ladder to access if I want to reach higher than the first shelf (dishes and food in these two).  Aside from my fridge, which is housing my microwave on top and my tupperware and lunchbox inside (when am I ever going to fill it with food?), those cabinets and drawers are all my kitchen storage.

I started by prioritizing the things I would use most often — four plates, four bowls, four juice glasses, and four coffee mugs are on the lowest shelf.  Then Pyrex mixing bowls and baking dishes.  Another shelf of Pyrex.  On top, I have extra napkins and the saucers and small plates from my dish set.  I don’t need those all the time (or, ever, as the case may turn out).

After streamlining the dishes, I had to admit that I had excess Stuff in my kitchen.  I probably don’t need all that Pyrex, but I haven’t been able to break up the set, and I have actually used every piece of it, so it stays for now.

I’ve had to decide if I really need that bamboo lazy susan that doesn’t even turn smoothly and I’ve never used in my life.  Yard sale box.

Brand new 9×13 pan that I got in 2009 as a wedding gift.  Did I mention brand new?  Never used it.  I got four 9×13 baking pans as wedding gifts.  One I left with my ex-husband when I moved out, one I donated to my mother’s kitchen, and two I took with me — one metal, one glass (Love Pyrex. Love it).  I decided I could do whatever I needed to with the Pyrex one, and put the brand new pan in the yard sale box. It hurt a little.  Brand new.  I also put a brownie pan into the box.  Who needs a special pan just for brownies?  Apparently I used to (I actually did use it several times, but I can make brownies in the pan I kept, I don’t need this one too).

I have a cake pan and two muffin/cupcake pans that I’ve never used but I got at yard sales, because I like to cook and bake.  I really do!  But, to pull from Miss Minimalist, the cake pan, pie plate, muffin pans… those are more for my fantasy self that spends all weekend Betty-Crockering it up in the kitchen, not really for my reality self that would rather go one block down the street and buy a fantastic vegan cupcake rather than making two dozen that she would then consume.  Verdict on the baking pans: Undecided.  (Side note: I started my purge with three pie plates and pared down to the one that came with my Pyrex set).

I could go on and on about my adorably tiny kitchen with its built-in breakfast nook (and only one accessible outlet, under the table — who does that?) and high cabinets and cute little cup hooks, but I think I’ve rambled enough for one post!  Next up, getting my clothes to come out of the closet.

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