28 Jan The Kitchen: The Second Wave
Soon after being introduced to minimalism, I de-cluttered my kitchen. I’m not sure why this room stuck out as needing immediate de-clutterification; perhaps the kitchen was an easy place to begin, since most of the items contained therein are mine. (Well, maybe not the over-sized grilling tools or the Lando Calrissian drinking glass, but still… most of the items were safely within my jurisdiction.) Filled with the zeal of a born-again minimalist, I hauled five boxes of stuff out of my kitchen within two days.
However, I’ve come to realize that minimalists are rarely satisfied with their initial minimizing attempts. We are always looking for ways to use less… and then, even less. Sashaying around my kitchen lately, I’ve noticed even more items I could do without.
Enter the second wave of kitchen clutter removal. This time was more serious. I’d made the easy decisions the first time (Five insulated lunch bags? You’re outta here!). Now I had to make tougher choices. For instance, I looked at the number of pots and pans, and asked myself, “How many burners are on the stove?” (Four.) “So how many pans could you possibly use at once?” (Four.) “Have you ever used all four burners at once?” (No, but I dream about it when I watch Food Network and imagine myself as a gourmet chef.) “You’re not a gourmet chef. You’ve eaten peanut butter-and-jelly two nights in a row.” (True. But it’s delicious.) “Stop getting off track. Why do you have all these pans?” (Umm… they’re shiny?) “Wrong answer.”
I went back-and-forth like that with myself… and, er, myself… for awhile. (I am fully aware that minimalism may be the sole factor in my admittance to a mental hospital one day, and I’m okay with that.)
In the end, I rid my kitchen of these items: one saucepan, one saute pan, one nonstick frying pan that is slowly losing its Teflon, and six cereal bowls that are just too big for cereal (weird, but true… I like my cereal in a petite bowl). (Note: the glass vase is actually from the dining room, but it snuck its way into this picture.)
I left myself with three saucepans, three frying pans, one saute pan, one griddle, two soup pots, and 20 cereal bowls. I know, I know. Twenty cereal bowls are enough to feed Lucky Charms to an intramural lacrosse team, but I love pottery and, to me, the bowls are more than functional. They are beautiful. They are different shapes and colors; some of them are handmade by my own art teacher mama. I thoroughly enjoy seeing and using them. Thus, they get to stay.
Will my kitchen see a Third Wave of de-cluttering? Probably. But for now, I am happy with my pots and pans and bowls. And if you come to visit, I will gladly offer you your choice of cereal or PB&J. After all, like my life as a minimalist, my life as a gourmet chef has to begin somewhere.