Minimize THIS, Part 1: Important Papers & The Kitchen
We have plans to remodel many parts of our home. Yes, I realize this may sound counter-intuitive to my journey in minimizing, but hear me out. Our home is where we spend much of our time. We bought this specific house because of its layout that we felt made it a place where our family could really maximize our time spent together. We also love to entertain (a more mature and professional way of saying we like to party I suppose) friends and family. It adds value to our lives. So, there are certain specific changes to our home that I do want to make because this is our “Forever Home” and we don’t have any plans to leave it. Therefore, we want it to be ours and exactly what we want and purchased it knowing there were changes we would be making.
It is actually the thought of remodeling that made me want to start sorting, organizing, and purging. Let’s take the kitchen, for example. If we want to renovate it, that is going to involve removing all the junk from within. SCARY! Wouldn’t it be nice if, come time to remodel, we only had the necessities in there that would require temporary relocation and then subsequent replacement back into the new space? Aha! See… It’s not about buying more stuff; this is about making our kitchen and family living space more functional and organizing it in such a way that makes the remodel process more efficient. Prioritize, minimize, organize! Plus, we all know what happens when you box up junk you don’t need or use: It ends up staying in said box in the garage/attic/storage unit until Kingdom Come. I want to avoid that.
Back to the “Important Papers.” Being an adult requires some semblance of having your s*** together, so a while back, we had purchased a fire-proof safe for our important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, deeds, passports when not in use, etc. It has been sitting in our family room for weeks and weeks. I think since Christmas to be exact, but who’s counting? (I am.)
I became overwhelmed as I sat in our family room (didn’t help that I surrounded by piles of laundry and watching that darn Joanna Gaines build a dream home) thinking about how in the heck I was even going to start getting this place into order. You know that saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”? The important papers were Bite #1. I went through the old file we used and sorted out old stuff that is now pointless, such as the papers on a car that I haven’t owned in five years, and filtered out the important documents, realizing that I am actually missing one of our social security cards! Yikes! I managed to get about eight “folders” of crap into two folders in the new box. It felt great, and I was instantly proud of what a responsible adult I am.
Then the kitchen knocked my ego down a peg or two.
I started with the infamous Junk Drawer. We all have one, right? Tell me you have one. I know you have one. It’s a drawer in your home (ours has always been in the kitchen) that you have to yank a few times before it actually opens because of all the eclectic items contained within that are blocking it from opening. Sometimes, you might actually be afraid to put your hand into it because nothing is off-limits in The Junk Drawer, and who knows what tetanus-inflicting sharp you might blindly encounter. Full disclosure: I found razor blades, lighters, crayons, glue, a Q-tip, $1.50 in change, five different kinds of tape, and allergy medicine in mine, just to name a few. In fact, go ahead and Google images of “junk drawer” and I guarantee you will see some images and think they sneaked into your house and took a picture of yours. All junk drawers were created equal, apparently.
Then that one drawer turned into the two next to it, then the cabinets above, and then a mini-meltdown later, my very sweet, supportive, patient, and tolerant husband was in on “the fun.” Off to the Dollar Store he went to (eeeeeek! Not buy more stuff, right?!? Well, yeah… read on) get some organizational supplies such as drawer organizers, gallon Zip-Lock bags, and large totes (which will be emptied by the end of all this minimizing and eventually ditched as well. After all, less stuff = no more totes).
Next thing you know, I realize that I own over 30 wine glasses, and that we have way more drinking vessels than a family of four should have. Hell, we have more drinking vessels than the Von Trapp family would need. Out they go! Tote #1 is filled, along with three very full trash bags of pure, undeniable JUNK.
So tell me, what’s in your junk drawer?
Now, go empty it.