Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci
Simplicity. It will look different to each of us, but I am asking you to consider it in your home. It is one of those quiet ideas that can really open up your ability to have time for all the things we want to do. Why? Because everything you own takes up your time. It may be that you have to move it over in order to wipe the counter, or dust it, or take it out and put it away for certain seasons – whatever the upkeep for that item is, it costs you time. It may be just a few seconds or minutes each day, but that time adds up quickly. Now, if that is a delightful activity for you, then by all means continue; but if you would rather spend your time doing something like reading, hiking, painting, or some other activity, it might be time to consider simplifying your space. Today, we start in the kitchen.
Now, many of us bemoan our kitchens. They don’t have enough cabinet space, or counter space, or room to move about. That may be true, but I invite you to consider that you may be trying to store too many things. This struck me right between the eyes when I began reading great books to my kids and I realized that most of the mothers had no cabinets at all. Often, it seemed they had just a table, an armoire, or a hoosier in addition to a pantry, a cellar, and a stove. Most of these books also told the story of families much larger than my own, and so I wondered what I had stuffed into my cabinets that perhaps I didn’t really need.
Well, it turned out that many modern conveniences are tools that do only one job, and that often didn’t cut it for mothers of previous ages. I began to look at my kitchen differently and I purged a lot of things. Then, I realized that many of the items I was hesitant to part with were things I used for special occasions. They were absolutely useful to me when I held a dinner for many, but on the average day they were just taking up space. Those items I decided to move to a shelf in the basement so I didn’t have to constantly move them out of my way in my cabinets.
Here is how my cabinet clean out went:
I am thrilled with the results. Everything is easy to see and easier to reach. Things were donated, but more things were simply moved out of the way until they are needed. Those things now live in what I affectionately call The Butler’s Pantry in my basement. It is far from what many would consider true minimalism, but it suits our family perfectly.
If you are looking for some more kitchen inspiration as you simplify, check out this article. I love the use of space and the fact that it is a family of eight makes it all the more inspiring!
For another example that is much less minimalist and a kitchen that serves a family of 10, check this out. Auntie Leila has some good ideas for a hard working kitchen.
Lastly, tackle that junk drawer if you have one. I always feel so much better knowing that everything in there is useful and has a home. I used a kitchen utensil organizer and some boxes from IKEA that I had on hand. Labels are helpful in keeping this organized so everyone knows where things should go.
When you simplify, take a photo and tag it #delightfulhome2017 and maybe we’ll post them here with a fun photo round up! We’d love to see your progress!