Living simply in the wild

Simplify: Your Kitchen cupboards and drawers

So i was thinking…dangerous i know…With the word “simply” in our blog name we probably should talk about that a little. The fact is that we are living very simple right now. Selling most of our belongings,and moving with what only fit in the back of a pickup truck we’ve learned pretty quickly to simplify. Let’s clear up the definition on ‘simple’. I don’t intend for simple to mean ‘easy’. Although sometimes it does equate to that. Basically i’m using the word ‘simple’ as a choice of lifestyle. A choice to live without all the unnecessary things in life. Does this sometimes make for more work in certain areas? Absolutely. But it can also mean less stress. Just think if you didn’t have that storage closet jammed full of ‘stuff’, you wouldn’t be stressed about needing to clear it out and go through it eventually. More work doesn’t always equal more stress. So every now and again i’m going to share a tip or an idea or something that we are doing to live a little more simple. Keep in mind we will be moving every 6-12months so i’ll be learning things constantly.

Let’s start in the most used room of the house. The Kitchen!

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We love to cook (by we i mean David…i’m learning to love it) and we eat at home 98% of the time. So through the years we built up quite the stash of cooking utensils. We have gone through and condensed. Instead of 7 pots and pans we now have 3 (small, med, large). That’s really all you need. We do have an array of skillets because we cook in them a lot but realistically we could get rid of a few, and probably will down the line. Sometimes it takes a few weeks or months before you decide to actually part with something, and thats totally fine.

Currently in our kitchen we have:

5 plates, bowls, silverwear, cups

Set of mixing bowls

2 Spatulas, 1 ladle, 2 tongs

2 cutting boards

Hand mixer

3 Pyrex square baking dishes (9×13, 9×9, bread dish. Full exposure here…i didn’t measure)

2 Good cutting knives

2 cookie sheets

Some asian cooking essentials (rice basket, mortar/pestle etc…)

And a few other odd and ends, but those are the basics and really what you use most. Anything else you either do the hard way or improvise.

I’m not sure what our home will look like or how big it will be in our next assignement so if we keep the essntials for cooking and baking we should be just fine. We can spread out in a larger kitchen or fill up a smaller one.

One key to not feeling cluttered is to keep flat surfaces clean and uncluttered. Try not to let things collect on the table. Keep a cute glass or a vase on the table and that’s it. Some fresh flowers or berries are such a nice touch. Or some yummy, unhealthy, treats work just as well.

Keep your counter space for things you use most often. We use our coffee grinder and small coffee maker daily to that stays out. The toaster we are borrowing stays in 1 of the 2 cupboards till we use it. We have a cutting board and wooden spoons out for easy access. I do keep some decor out only because i don’t want a completely bare counter. I still like it to feel cozy and used.
Yes, we get by with one set of dishes. Yes, this does mean i’m stuck doing dishes by hand after each meal. But if you think about it that’s not always a bad thing. You know the feeling of loading and unloading a full dishwasher? Yup, i never feel that. Staying on top of them is key, but when you know you can’t just grab another plate or cup you really learn to stay on top of the dishes. Are there times where i have both sinks full of dishes? Absolutely. I’m not that cool. Some nights i even go-to bed with the sink full *gasp*. I can live with myself and sleep like a baby with the dishes piled high. I just know i’ll have to do them before breakfast.

 

Going through your kitchen and simplifying the items you use may seem overwhelming but just take it one drawer or cupboard at a time. Open up your utensil drawer…do you have 4 ladles? 3 spatulas? That one thing that you’re not even sure what it does or its purpose? Toss it in a box in the corner of the room.

The next time you open up another drawer or cupboard do the same thing. When the box is full go put it in your car. This is an important step! Don’t drag it downstairs, don’t shove it in a closet. If it is in your car it will be a lot easier to drop it off at your nearest homeless shelter, goodwill, or donation drop box. Keep filling those boxes till you feel lighter. Am i going to make you feel bad if you don’t get rid of your grandmas dishes she gave you that you have tucked away and have never used? Not at all. Simplifying your life is totally your call. If throwing out a few spoons and a plate or two makes you feel accomplished then be proud! Don’t part with things you know you’ll regret. If your having trouble deciding if you should get rid of something or not…give it a little time. Put it back for a few days then decide. This is not ‘do or die’, don’t make it pressure you. I went through most my cupboards 4 times getting rid of things and then got rid of more stuff when actually packing to move. You’ll start to become less attached to items then longer you wait and contemplate. If you think there might be a slight chance you may use an item once in the next year and it won’t cost an arm and a leg to replace, you might be better off tossing the item and improvising or replacing at a later date. Truth is there are a lot of families out there that don’t have the means to go buy a set of plates, or a good set of knives. If you have more then you’ll ever use why not bless those who don’t have the means, I promise you it will be appreciated by someone, even if you think its worthless, old and used. Fill that box with love and with the intention of blessing another. Your reward will be well worth it.

-If you have a tip, suggestion, or another way you simplify your kitchen dishes/items i’d love to hear it! We are constantly changing and learning.

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