In our effort to touch every single item in our house (see our success with our clothing and our books!), we tackled the bathrooms and kitchen this past week. We anticipated these projects being quite simple since we open up all the cabinets in both the kitchen and bathrooms daily. But these projects were beasts! Every hidden corner had hairbands and bag clips! It would have been so easy to just open all the cabinets, say “yup, we’re good” and close them up again. I’m not backing down on my goal to touch every single thing, so I pulled everything out of every cabinet and wiped everything down! (It feels great to know my clean silverware is no longer sitting in a layer of year-old crumbs.) Mr. T and I actually touched and discussed every dish.
A lot more things left the kitchen than I had anticipated. Here are a few:
- The ugly olive platter we got for our wedding. We kept it for ten years because it was engraved with our names. Realization: An ugly plate with our names is still an ugly plate. Trash!
- 8 empty baby food jars. We rarely bought baby food and those jars are so tiny, I felt obligated to keep them. Scarcity principle. Realization: If I need tiny jars, I can buy baby food. The cheapest jar is less than $1 and I haven’t yet found a use for the ones I’ve kept for years. Recycle!
- A million place mats. I love a good place setting, but after Mr. T completely refinished our antique dining set that we LOVE, we haven’t used any place mats. They don’t work right. Donated!
Clearing up space made room for things I really love. Mr. T went all
sentimental on me for a couple of ceramic bowls we made on a date one time at some dumb paint-your-own ceramics place. They were in the back of a cabinet. “You love these? Let’s move them where we can use them!” Then there’s my entire set of china I bought at the Wedgwood seconds factory in England and carried home on the plane in a reusable Marks and Spencer’s grocery bag with a shoulder strap I attached (that stuff was heavy)! I LOVE that stuff. But it was on the top shelf. It got moved on down!
Spices. Oh the spices. Did you know that we had three open oregano jars? We also had two open poultry seasonings, two open almond extracts, and a store brand garlic powder as well as a Costco-sized garlic powder! We consolidated (Florin upon entering the kitchen covered in all sorts of powders: “Why is the kitchen so… Spicy?!”). We made them all visible and accessible. It’s wonderful.
Oh and I also discovered huge amounts of hidden candy. *Ahem.* Moving on.
The bathrooms were not easy either. There was no rhyme or reason to the medicine cabinet (that holds no medicine) or the drawers (that had all sorts of medicines) or under the sink (which also had medicine and towels and shampoos). True to promise, I touched every single thing in that bathroom. I put all the toothbrushes in a gallon ziplock bag, all the toothpastes in another (Yay for free samples from the dentist!). Cough drops were all over the place. One here. Another there. 5 bags with only a couple in them each. Sheesh! And Band-Aids were the same way. We always need band-aids (because despite telling my children that they are not, in fact, magic, they continue to insist every owie needs a band-aid). Now they are in one place and easy for everyone to access (maybe too easy for Lui who has already dumped them out twice).
We also had medicine in about 6 different places in our house. Now they are in one big drawer in the bathroom so we can see them all by opening the drawer!
How many towels do you own? We had about 35. That’s seven per person! Now we have 14 (including beach towels). That created so much space! Also, fold your towels in thirds. It’s a cleaner look and it takes up way less space.
I donated one full load this weekend and feel significantly lighter. (Look! I found a TV last minute in the closet I threw in as well! A tube TV with a DVD player I got for high school graduation… those were a big deal back then!)
I’m not sure if this update was interesting. I hope you’re either patting yourself on the back for being so much better than me (you actually threw away that ugly engraved platter YEARS ago – good for you!) or that you are inspired to take a good hard look at the items you see every single day (the broken sippie cup that frequently falls out of the cabinet – why did I keep that!?). Are there things you look at every single day in your house that have no purpose and bring no joy?