How to Incorporate Minimalism into a  Home Renovation 

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Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

As we grow, our homes grow with us, and it can be challenging to keep up with home improvements due to the natural hustle and bustle of life. Over time, rooms can become cluttered, outdated, and dingy due to daily wear and tear. So, if you’ve found yourself in need of an overhaul in your home, look no further. Utilizing minimalism as a design style can provide you with added benefits of peace of mind, as well as a clutter-free, and inviting space. Here are some simple ways to incorporate minimalism into your next renovation that will leave your home feeling more relaxed and cozy. 

Clean Up the Kitchen

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Photo by Rustic Vegan on Unsplash

Seeing as the kitchen is the most utilized room in a home, it becomes easily susceptible to clutter and disorganization. It’s common to find a junk drawer, duplicate cookware items, and an overloaded pantry in many kitchens. If any of those sound familiar to you, it probably means that your kitchen isn’t as functional as it could be for you and your family. Thankfully, a minor and minimalistic kitchen remodel can do the trick. 

$$$: Reorganize Your Storage

If you find that your storage space just isn’t cutting it, you can incorporate new cabinetry in your kitchen to not only give it a face lift but make it functional to fulfill your minimalist design. Installing new cabinets in a kitchen can cost about $2,000 to $8,000 on average, but can vary based on the size of your space and the material you choose. Plus, you can customize cabinets to maximize storage by including a lazy-susan or double pull-out shelving. New cabinets will provide you with the opportunity to have clutter-free counter tops and more room to organize your belongings.

$$: Paint the Walls

When completing a remodel, color can make a significant difference in a living space. Neutrals—such as taupe, beige, and camel—can be used as accent colors to minimize any bulky furniture pieces like large tables or islands. You can also mix in black, white, or wood finishes to tie the space together and complete the simple and spacious design. Don’t underestimate the power a fresh coat of paint can have on the illusion of space—especially if you’re trying to keep it simple.

$: Declutter Excess Items

Once you’ve installed your new storage space and/or redecorated in your kitchen, take the time to purge any additional kitchen tools, expired items, or basic items you may have forgotten about. Be sure to give each piece you keep a designated area to prevent future disorganization. If you find yourself with duplicate items that are unused and in good condition, consider donating them to prevent waste. 

Keep in mind, though, that if you aren’t able to easily replace duplicate items, it’s okay to hold onto them in storage. If they’re contributing to a clutter problem in the kitchen, set them aside in a designated storage area in the event something breaks and needs a replacement.

Revamp the Living Room

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Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

Your living room should be a cozy space where you can kick back and relax. But when items start to accumulate on the tables and entertainment center, it can be easy to feel uneasy since clutter can leave us feeling stressed and anxious. So once you’ve taken the time to purge the room and reorganize the essentials, simple renovations can refresh your living room into a minimalist hideaway.

$$$: Build New Storage

Consider installing built-ins to give your decor pieces a place to shine. This can be a fun DIY project for you and your favorite handyman to tackle together and will be a great way to utilize all the square footage your room has to offer. Built-ins will help with limiting the amount of space for knick-knacks and will prevent you from over decorating or creating chaos in your area.

$$-$$$: Swap Furniture

Furniture can also make or break the look and feel of your living room. Keep in mind that minimalism focuses on quality over quantity; you don’t have to add more items to create depth in a room. Instead, try incorporating functional pieces such as a sectional couch matched with smaller accent tables, and accent with natural textiles. 

For cost savings and reduced environmental footprint, shop local resale shops like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore to find furniture at a much more affordable price. My living room is furnished with secondhand items and it’s just as comfy and cozy as something bought new.

$$: Revamp Floors

Another great way to add to your open-feel is to install new flooring. Light-colored wood or large tiles are perfect options to add to your minimalist style. These options will create the look and feel of a bigger room and can be accented with a colorful area rug. Be sure when choosing a rug, to assess the size options, as you want to be sure to show off as much of your flooring as possible. The larger the rug, the smaller the room will feel. 

Spruce Up the Bathroom

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Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

The bathroom is another room in the home that can quickly become cluttered and disorganized, seeing as it’s usually our go-to room while getting ready each day. If you have the means to do so, replacing your bathroom vanity can provide you with more storage, as well as free-up any counter space that’s been taken over by brushes, cosmetics, etc. 

$$-$$$: Replace Your Vanity & Storage

Design options are endless, so assess your bathroom to help you choose a bathroom vanity that suits all your needs. Should you decide to install a larger vanity that offers more counter space, be sure only to keep out what is necessary. 

If you feel that you need more storage than what your vanity provides, opt for sleek bathroom cabinets to store all of your toiletries. To take your bathroom design to the next level, look into mirrors that provide additional storage and lighting to make your room as functional as possible.

$: New Fixtures

During your remodel, you can also consider updating the fixtures throughout your bathroom. Replacing your faucet, showerhead, and light fixtures with modern black pieces will tie the room together for a clean design. Fixtures can be found at a bargain at your local DIY store or Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

$: Declutter the Vanity

If you can’t afford a remodel or you’re in a rental space where you can’t make big changes to the space, take some time to re-organize and declutter the space. Be intentional with the items that you plan to keep on the counter top. If you find yourself knocking things over and getting frustrated, you’ll enjoy the peace from a less cluttered counter. But if you’re someone who needs to have all their stuff at arm’s reach, find a way to make it work for you within the existing space. Minimalism is personal.

Ultimately, the key to incorporating minimalism into any home improvement project is to make meaningful renovations by being mindful of your needs. Through the use of functional furniture and decor, as well as carefully selected design styles, you will be sure to have a finished remodel that the minimalist in you will love.

 

3 Ways meal planning improves your life

Scenario 1: You get home from work and look around in the pantry and fridge to decide on dinner. You find a box of pasta and a jar of sauce. There’s even some spinach in the fridge you decide to add to your sauce. And you know you have italian sausages in the fridge from the last time you went to the store. You also plan to make a salad.

While you’re boiling the pasta, you dig out the sausages only to find that they have gone off and smell terrible. Oh no!

Scenario 2: You get home from work and look around in the pantry and fridge to decide on dinner. You see plenty of food but nothing looks like it goes together and you’re too tired to think about it. You throw your hands up in the air and order takeout.

After three days of this, you realize all your fresh produce has started to turn bad in the fridge and is no longer usable. Oh no!

Solution: Meal planning can help you prevent these and other kitchen problems.

I started meal planning in the past few months, and it has really helped me in 3 main areas:

  1. Budget
  2. Health
  3. Sanity

Meal planning for your budget

If you plan out meals and snacks for the week, you have a different frame of mind when you approach your food. You know that there is a plan, so you don’t just mindlessly snack and haphazardly throw a meal together. The plan helps you budget for your groceries and stick to the budget. It is so easy to wander aimlessly through the store and buy whatever looks good at that moment. But that method of shopping is not conducive to a strict budget or to balanced meals throughout the week.

I am a strong believer in the cash envelope method of budgeting, so all of our family’s grocery money goes into an envelope. When I am done spending, I’m done buying groceries for the month, so I really need to make it last. A detailed plan allows me to spend our grocery money in the best and wisest way.

When you plan your meals to help your budget:

  • Review your grocery store’s sales – plan meals involving foods you can get at a bargain
  • Comparison shop – this takes a little more time, but comparison shopping between a few stores can cut down on spending (especially if different stores have different items on sale)
  • Buy in bulk – shopping trips with multiple “staple” items may seem more expensive, but if you stock up on things in one trip you should just have to do a lower-cost maintenance trip the next week. These could be items like oats, rice, beans, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, potatoes, ketchup (yes, in my house ketchup is a staple food and I have made a vow to always have a supply in the house), or even freezable items like meat and cheese if they are on sale. Buying in bulk saves money in the long run and allows you more freedom with your week-to-week ingredients budget.
  • Do the math – Take your phone or a calculator with you and be a grocery nerd. Calculate out the cost per pound of pre-packaged items vs. buying from the deli or meat case. Compare sale prices to bulk prices. I recently opted to buy chicken breasts and legs separately instead of a whole chicken because the sale prices came out cheaper to buy them already butchered – and the whole chicken is usually the most frugal option! It always saves money to cost compare.

I also strategize and review my grocery budget before I even leave the house. Step #1: Meal plan. Step #2: Groceries we need to make the meal plan happen.

I break my grocery list into the following categories:

  • Produce (fruits and veggies)
  • Bulk (rice, beans, seeds, nuts, flour, sugar, refills of water)
  • Dairy (milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese)
  • Meat (Beef, pork, bacon, sausages, chicken, lunch meat)
  • Frozen (waffles, veggies, occasional ice cream)
  • Grocery (crackers, bread, tortillas, condiments, baking stuff)

Then I estimate the cost of each item, add up the total budget, and adjust as needed, removing items if necessary to get to my target budget range.

I know, personally, that if I just go to the store and throw things in the cart willy nilly, I will over-spend and probably bring home random items that don’t make sense to the plan. The plan will save the budget.

Meal planning for your health

When you plan out your meals, you can ensure a healthy balance of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat). I am a person that doesn’t enjoy many vegetables so I have to actively and purposely PLAN for my vegetables. I make it a goal to eat 3 servings of vegetables per day, on top of my morning shake that’s already full of vegetables. Meal planning also ensures that you are set up to create nutritious and healthy meals instead of just grabbing something weird from the back of your freezer that expired in 2007 and throwing it in the oven. Don’t eat mystery meals – planning allows you to cook healthy meals with less hassle.

When planning your meals, consider:

  • Vegetable servings: Try to get a couple different vegetables in with dinner. Bonus points for different colors! Corn doesn’t count, it’s a grain. Don’t just rely on potatoes all the time. Think about broccoli, carrots, greens, mushrooms, onions, peppers, squash, and more. Search for new recipes. Sign up for a CSA to get a share of fresh vegetables in the summer and fall, then plan your meals around them!
  • Protein sources: Be creative and resourceful with cuts of meat that can be re-used for other meals later. Recently, we purchased a pork shoulder roast. We made roast pork with roasted vegetables one night and pork carnitas with the leftovers. You can do the same with chicken – make baked chicken and use the leftovers for chicken salad, quesadillas, or soup. The possibilities are endless. You can also have an omelet bar for dinner one night and allow family members to pick their toppings like mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese, crumbled bacon, and more. For a meat-free option, check out recipes for tofu, tempeh, beans, or protein-rich vegetables that can be the focus of the meal.
  • Healthy fat: Cooking with coconut oil is much healthier than refined oils such as soybean or canola. “Vegetable oil” is inflammatory and can do considerable harm to your body over time. Avoid hydrogenated and trans fats as well. To be honest, I cook most of my food items in bacon grease or butter. I also use coconut oil, and we use olive oil for salad dressings or low temperature cooking. Olive shouldn’t be used in high temperatures. I also strongly encourage the consumption of avocado and full-fat dairy if you eat dairy. Just remember: When you see the words “Low cal” or “Low fat” as marketing terms, replace them in your head with “Chemical shitstorm.”
  • Carbohydrates: I generally limit myself to about four servings of carbohydrates per day, things like rice, waffles, tortillas, corn, etc. These are simpler foods that break down into sugars in the body. Too much sugar is a bad plan for your health – it is the number one culprit for weight gain and inability to lose weight. I limit my sugar intake as well (including fruit) because sugar is a dangerous food for me. It can spark cycles of cravings for carbohydrates that are contrary to my goals. Carbs give us quick energy but meal planning helps you to plan out better quality meals so you don’t need a quick fix.

Meal planning also means packing your lunch, which will save you from take-out at your desk during the week. Fast food and restaurant portions are not doing you any favors. Pack your lunch for your health and your budget.

Meal planning for sanity

Before meal planning, we often opted for takeout simply because I was too exhausted to care about cooking. Having a plan is instrumental in reducing the stress of preparing a meal for the day (or the next day’s lunch). Now, when I get home from work, I wash my lunch containers and re-pack my lunch for the next day. I eat the same thing. Every day. Boring? Not really. Predictable, but it’s all food I enjoy so I don’t yet feel the need to change it. I plan out the food that will go in my lunch each day and buy it at the beginning of the week. I could go so far as to pre-pack five lunches on Sunday but I haven’t gone that far yet. Plus I don’t want to buy that many food containers to pack.

Meal planning for dinner allows for prep work to be done ahead of time. Say you’re going to make tacos on Monday and spaghetti on Tuesday. Maybe hamburgers are Thursday. You buy two pounds of ground beef at the store on Sunday, form half of it into patties, and freeze them. Brown the rest in a pan. You now have taco meat for Monday and sauce meat for Tuesday, and you won’t have to cook that hamburger during the week.

Foods you can prep in advance:

  • Wash, peel, and chop or shred vegetables for meals
  • Wash and portion snack items like celery, cucumber slices, grapes, berries, etc.
  • Cook meat for the week at one time and freeze or portion for later meals
  • Create crockpot meals, freeze in freezer bags for easy thawing and pouring into a crockpot (talk about sanity saving, this one cooks while you’re at work)
  • Soak and cook bulk rice and beans for the week
  • Shred or slice block cheese for sandwiches, quesadillas, omelets, etc.
  • Make fridge oats by mixing oatmeal, yogurt, milk, and fruit in a jar, placing in the fridge overnight, and having as a cold porridge (these keep in the fridge for a few days, or you can make a bunch and freeze, then thaw overnight)

An additional sanity saver when it comes to prepping meals? Move your sister into your home and let her mad kitchen skills create culinary wonderment for you to enjoy. Seriously, my sister moved in, and it’s awesome. She has improved my diet so much in just a few weeks of living with us – so many wonderful vegetables and tasty Nicaraguan recipes.

Tell me all about your meal planning adventures – do you meal plan? Would you like to?

Tips for a Minimalist Kitchen

I moved into a pre-lived-in house (where my partner was already living). So the kitchen was full of kitchen stuff when I got here. Existing stuff + my stuff = a LOT of stuff! I have been decluttering here and there since I moved in but I’ve also been thinking about doing an overhaul of the kitchen and really getting it to the level I would like it to be. I am planning on trying out the following rules of the kitchen.

CLEANING

  1. Do the dishes every night. I used to do this living alone in my apartment, and it was always nice to start a new day with no dirty dishes in the sink. We do the dishes most nights but I am in the habit of leaving them out overnight to dry – what I’d like to do is dry and put away all of the dishes as well as wash them. Doing the dishes usually takes less than half an hour.
  2. Wipe the counters and stove every night while doing dishes. There’s no reason not to take the extra two minutes to do this. It will prevent food from getting burned onto the stove over time and prevents bread crumbs from taking over the countertop.
  3. Sweep the floor daily. This takes two minutes and prevents cat hair dust bunnies from attacking.
  4. The kitchen table is not a repository for stuff. The kitchen table is not a repository for stuff. The kitchen table is not a repository for stuff.

CLUTTER

  1. Eliminate plastic. It’s hard to completely eliminate plastic, but I want to at least eliminate plastic things that are for use with hot things. There will be no plastic utensils in my soup or plastic containers with leftovers that might get microwaved. Anything hot shall be metal, wood, silicone, or glass.
  2. Evaluate appliances – mercilessly. Appliances can be time-saving helpers. But they can also be super clutter if you aren’t actually using them. I plan to audit our kitchen appliances and get rid of any we don’t actually use. Also, check for repeat appliances – it’s somehow an inevitability to wind up with several slow cookers. If you haven’t used it in a certain amount of time (varies per person – maybe a year, six months, one month, depending on your preferences), it’s time for it to go.
  3. Eliminate everything stored on “top shelves.” My new motto shall be “If I need a ladder to reach it, pretend it doesn’t exist.” Just because you have a shelf doesn’t mean you have to put something on it. The cabinet over the fridge is completely pointless.
  4. Everything has a home. There should be nothing in the kitchen that does not belong there, and nothing anywhere in the kitchen where it doesn’t belong. This is my ultimate challenge, because I am one of those “put it on the table while I clean the living room, put it in the spare bedroom while I clean the kitchen” kind of people when things don’t have a proper home. It’s my goal to eliminate everything that doesn’t have a home.

What are some of your tips for keeping the kitchen clutter free?

 

Ditch it: Teflon

Just in case you didn’t know, teflon is bad news.

It’s been bad news for a long time, but the booming industry is taking its time making cooking ware safer.  In a 2006 article, it was announced that manufacturers had to remove “a harmful chemical” from the goods.  “Although the chemical would still be used to manufacture Teflon and similar products, processes will be developed to ensure that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) would not be released into the environment from finished products or manufacturing plants.”

Furthermore: “PFOA — a key processing agent in making nonstick and stain-resistant materials — has been linked to cancer and birth defects in animals and is in the blood of 95 percent of Americans, including pregnant women. It has also been found in the blood of marine organisms and Arctic polar bears.”

Cancer. Birth defects. And it’s IN YOUR BLOOD.  Yeah, this sounds like a great trade-off for eggs that slide out of the pan with ease and grace.

Major manufacturers had until 2010 to reduce PFOA emissions in the production process and have until 2015 to remove PFOA “trace amounts” from finished products.  Pardon me while I use my outside voice for a second: ON WHAT PLANET IS IT OKAY TO GIVE PEOPLE NINE YEARS TO REMOVE A CARCINOGEN FROM SOMETHING THAT LITERALLY EVERYONE USES? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

Instead of Teflon

Instead of toxic non-stick pans, you can use:

  • Cast iron
  • Stainless steel
  • Glass
  • Ceramic

Do your research and decide what’s best for you.  I WORSHIP my cast iron skillet – I got it at a flea market for $26.  You want to buy OLD and USED if you can.  The older it is, generally the better quality it is, plus it’s already seasoned for you.  I have achieved perfect nonstick perfection a couple times, but then I always end up cooking something that sticks and requires me to re-season it. It’s a labor of love!  I also recently picked up a stainless steel pot at an estate sale for $1.50.  My mom also picked me up a glass loaf pan to replace my nonstick one.  I have one more nonstick pot to replace and then I will be a teflon-free lady!  I cannot wait.

What are your pots and pans made of?

 

Welcome to my home!

I recently declared “I want to do a photo tour of my apartment, once I clean it and purge everything I haven’t used in the last six months.”

Guess what?

Yep. Cleaning marathon.

I spent about eight hours cleaning my apartment, assembling all my to-purge items in a big “organized” pile, rearranging my living room, cutting a LOT of clutter stress, and making everything pretty enough to show the world on my blog.

Here is is!

First, some minor background information: My apartment has two doors – one into the living room, and one into the kitchen.  The kitchen door is there so that when people got food deliveries back in the 1920s when the building was first used, the deliveryman could come right into the kitchen and not through the whole house. I call the living room door the “front door” and the kitchen door the “back door.”

When you walk in the front door, you see this:

liv room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The couch is a Salvation Army store find, covered in a white blanket because I didn’t like the floral print it had.  The rug is three kitchen rugs that I stitched together with embroidery thread.  The coffee table is a footlocker/trunk that I spray-painted white.  My desk area is comprised of an end table that my mom and I painted white this summer, and a storage ottoman I am using as a stool until I procure a desk chair I like.  And there are a couple of my record paintings on the wall and a print of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, my favorite painting.  It used to be hanging in the center of the front wall, but I can’t put nails in the wall so it was up with 3M velcro strips and it proved too heavy.  Sad day.  I’ll paint something for the wall eventually.

liv room 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the corner by my door, featuring a bookshelf – those are all the books I own, a far cry from my initial library — and easel.  The pretty box on the floor holds some records for painting projects.  The wall has various photos and another record painting.

I left out the closet.  It’s not that exciting.  Mostly storage, and my fancy purple pea coat.  To the left of the door is my hallway, and our next stop is:

bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My bedroom, which is finally clean.  I have two end tables (you can sort of see one in the background) which are finally clear of ALL CLUTTER.  My end table only has a book and my phone charger on it.

One way I save space in my bedroom is with my lovely accessory storage system:

bedroom 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hats, necklaces, and earrings are displayed on the wall.  I haven’t worn a lot of the jewelry lately, so some of it will likely end up in The Great Purge of 2013.

Next up is the kitchen!

kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stove – clean.  Sink – clean. Counters – clean. Satellite bowl full of oranges – awesome. Breakfast nook – lovely, and clean! Sign stating, “It’s official – I’ve become my mother” – hilarious, and true.

Some space saving tips for the kitchen:

kitchen 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnetic knife rack under the cabinet.

kitchen 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall-mounted hooks (love those 3M strips) for cutting board and colander.

kitchen 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shoe organizer on the fridge to hold utensils.  One day soon I will get rid of those awful plastic utensils.  Also, that’s Zoe!

Lastly, the bathroom:

bathroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All sparkling clean! And ZERO clutter, since everything fits in the vanity or medicine cabinet. Very soon that soap will be all used up and replaced with a natural alternative! Also, note my cat’s fancy top-entry litter box, full of eco-friendly and cat-friendly paper litter.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tour!

 

Some thoughts on food

As we minimize the clutter in our spaces and minds, shouldn’t we also minimize the clutter in our food?

I’m pretty much over eating anything I can’t pronounce.

I had heard about these “GMOs” that have had people up in arms in recent months and years, but only recently have I done more digging and come up with the conclusion that I’d like to lead an organic lifestyle.  Genetically modified foods and pesticides on conventional produce terrify me.  It may be more expensive to buy some foods organically but for me personally, the peace of mind that I’m not eating a vegetable with pesticides written into its DNA is worth it.

On that note, apparently 86% of corn in the US is genetically modified (as of 2010. Forgive me for citing Wikipedia).  Yikes! Corn is in so much of the food we eat, and we don’t even think about it.  Canola and soy are also huge GM crops, and they are also in basically everything.  I can’t even imagine having a corn or soy allergy, but more and more people do as GMOs become more prevalent.

I will be instilling some minimalist virtues into my new eating habits.

  1. One in, one out – Technically this one is going to be reversed.  As I finish a non-organic/GMO/non-pronounceable food item in my kitchen, it will be replaced with a whole-food, organic/non-GMO alternative.
  2. No clutter – Buying fresh produce means less packaging, and it also means I can’t stock up on things because they will expire faster when they’re not full of preservatives.  I will only buy what I plan to eat in the next week or so.
  3. Quality over quantity – I will be paying more for a healthy food option over spending the same amount on several unhealthy food items.  Junk doesn’t have a place in my kitchen or my stomach anymore!

I’m already nearly vegan, so this is just one more way to make my friends and family dread entertaining with me!  Sorry, family. I love you very much.

A perk to this new plan of mine is that I’m seriously turned off by junk food.  If I don’t know what’s in it, I am very wary.  I am not perfect, however, and succumbed to the will of a doughnut in a work meeting recently.  For shame.

One issue I foresee is that of eating out at restaurants.  I’m not sure how I will handle that, besides not eating out at all.  Who knows what they put in their food?  I know Chipotle Mexican Grill sources organic and local ingredients when they can but I am not sure about other restaurants.  There’s probably corn and soy products all over the place!   If anyone has a good source for finding restaurants that use local/organic ingredients let me know in the comments.

Do you follow a particular diet?

Also, here’s a great source for more info on GMOs: http://www.nongmoproject.org/

Paring down the kitchen

I recently acquired a new love in my kitchen, the TofuXpress.  If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or someone who enjoys tofu (but doesn’t enjoy pressing it between two plates and beneath a tower of heavy objects), go check it out. Right now. I’ll wait.

Just look at this beauty. I’m never going to wrap soybean curds in paper towels again!

Per my own minimalist rules… if it doesn’t get used regularly (once weekly), it is a candidate for expulsion.  Also, a popular minimalist policy is the one-in-one-out rule.  I got a new TofuXpress, so I had to rifle through my kitchen to find something to boot out in its place.

Or 42. That seems like a good trade.

I purged:

  • 2 carving knives (I’m an almost-vegan, and have only been using a couple knives regularly, and they will do!)
  • 7 large spoons
  • 4 forks
  • 9 small spoons (I kept four small spoons, four forks, and four butter knives — do the math if you dare – who needs 20 spoons?!)
  • 1 meat thermometer (which is very handy and lovely and not in any way unusable… but I no longer cook meat, so I have no more use for it!
  • 1 pastry cutter (I have lived here a month and did not know I had it)
  • 1 can strainer (a lovely invention, but I have a colander)
  • 4 cups and threaded lip-cover-things to the Magic Bullet blender (keeping the blender and two blender cups but these were superfluous)
  • 2 heart-shaped pancake molds that I used on Valentine’s Day and never again
  • 1 cutting board (I have another, why have two?)
  • 1 spatula (I have another one I like better)
  • 1 plastic spoon (haven’t used it yet, and I have others)
  • 1 cake pan (I am giving up my dream of being a confectionary goddess)
  • 1 plastic pitcher (I have one that goes with my iced tea maker)
  • 1 rice cooker/crock pot (It was a gift that I asked for so this one was sort of hard, but I have only used it once in three years!
  • Rice scoop (with cooker)
  • 1 brand new, in box Martha Stewart enamel fancy schmancy casserole dish (a gift, but in my defense, not one I asked for)
  • 2 potholders (I have another two and who really has more than two hands for hot stuff anyway?)
I still haven’t broken up my Pyrex set… here are the contents of my cabinet.  Maybe you can help suggest what’s the most necessary to keep.  I welcome any advice!

In all its glory. Help me get rid of some of that Pyrex!

I have a 9×13 baking dish, a smaller baking dish, three mixing bowls, a square baking dish, and two circular bowls I use for storing leftovers or packing for lunch.  As an added bonus, check out my nifty knife rack! I used 3M Command velcro strips (for picture hanging, if you listen to the packaging) and put up a magnetic knife rack beneath the cabinet.

What’s in your minimalist kitchen?