Monthly Archives: February 2012

A peak into my kitchen continued…

Yesterday I gave you some kitchen tips and tricks. Today is more about using your time in the kitchen more efficiently, so I thought I would introduce you to my coffee/tea nook, and my banana bread/baking nook.

Take a look:

In the first picture you are viewing my kitchen countertop. I leave those items out because I use them every day. From 6 am until 10 am the sugar, coffee, and tea are being used by someone in the household. Leaving this out helps because:

1 Easy Access: I reach for tea more than once a day, and to have to bend over and pull it out each time would be annoying and inefficient. 

2. Aesthetics/Neatness: The jars add ambience and character and warmth to my kitchen (at least I think so!),  and they also prevent instant coffee jars, tea boxes, and sugar from being left out sloppily.

Underneath the first picture is the cabinet that is located exactly underneath the countertop space you just viewed. I leave the bulk sugar, coffee, tea, etc. down there because I use it all so much. My food cabinets are all located on the other side of my kitchen, near the dining table- way too far to go every single time I want to brew a pot of coffee or grab a cup of tea! Remember make things easy and efficient.

On the same note, I also created a banana bread/baking nook, because I found myself getting lazy to make cakes when it involved going to the other side of the kitchen, collecting all of my ingredients, dragging them back to the counter…you get the picture…I decided that if I could find a small shelf closer to my sink and oven, to store ONLY the ingredients I need for baking my staple items, it would encourage me to do a lot more. Here it is:

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Aim 1: Day 3: Progress Report…

So I got sidetracked by my kitchen and I neglected to tell you what I disposed of yesterday.

1. School Projects: At least 10 if not more. This got me thinking. What does everyone who has children do with their children’s school projects. I feel badly to throw them out, but I can’t possibly save every little thing. My sister-in-law once told me she saves the ones that have photos on them, which I agree with, but even those? I thought about taking pictures of the projects and loading those pictures onto my computer, maybe making an album out of each years projects, but not sure…ANY IDEAS?

2. Car Garbage: So I wrote about procrastination the day before yesterday and I guess, without thinking, this affected me, because yesterday I pretty much took care of every errand that has been on my mental “I should do” list since last week. In the 30 minutes I had until my son was to arrive home from school, I ran to get a car wash. I threw away water bottles, half- broken toys, gum wrappers, candy scraps, and to top it off I was so appalled by the mess in my trunk that I finally dropped off some clothes I had been meaning to pass on to family members!

What a great day!

By the way, I noticed that I exceeded my goal of 3 items every day so far without even trying hard. How are you doing with this? If you are new to my blog (I am new also btw!), just comment by clicking on the chat icon to the right of the title of this post. Also if you are new AIM is ADVENTURE IN MINIMALISM. You can check out the intro to this AIM by clicking on the AIM’s category on the right.

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A peak into my kitchen…it started here…

My desire to simplify and minimize started in my kitchen. I found myself constantly running to the store and never knowing what I have or don’t have. I decided to create a system. Creating the system itself was hard work but maintaining it is, and should be, easy.

Here’s a look at my refrigerator and freezer. Note the following:

1. Defined Areas: Foods are compartmentalized with clearly designated areas for each type. Liquids always on top, cheeses together, condiments together, produce in drawers, jams and nut butters, etc. When I am rushing to make a last-minute PB&J, I want to be able to look in one place and find it all!

2. Fruits and vegetables: All produce is cut and ready to eat/prepare. On Mondays, I order the produce. As much as possible, I try to have all melons cut and placed in clear glass lock containers. Because it is appealing and accessible people are more likely to grab this instead of junk food. Vegetables are thoroughly washed and dried so that I can clearly see what I have, and use any of it at a moments notice. This cuts down a lot of prep time during the week. It also ensures that I use what I buy because who really wants to waste all of the hard work that went into cleaning and prepping them?!

3. Expiration Dates: Foods are lined up by expiration dates. Oldest milk first, etc. preventing waste, because I try never to allow things to expire.

4. OXO Containers/Labels: If you look in my freezer you will see that I have plenty of plastic OXO storage containers, some labeled. I put staple items in these, as they are easy to see, and prevent freezer burn. I can easily grab what I need without rummaging through bags and boxes of frozen items. If I buy items like walnuts in bulk for use in my famous healthy banana bread (more on that one later), I store them in these OXO’s for long life as well. And guess what? Such clear and easy accessibility has  inspired me to offer walnuts to my picky eater, and he loooves them.

5. Prepared Meals: We all know those days when cooking just isn’t happening, or when our picky eater decides he isn’t eating what was served that night. My savior has been freezing leftovers in individual serving plastic containers for last-minute meals. It minimizes waste (how many times do you throw away last nights dinner because no one is in the mood for leftovers?), and prevents me from offering fast/junk food alternatives.


6. Boxed/Packaged Items: Does anyone really want to open a freezer and stare at a half-closed box of frozen waffles or veggie burgers? I personally dislike it. I always keep sloppy looking items on the door.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD SOME OF YOUR IDEAS! IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE A COMMENT, CLICK ON THAT LITTLE CHAT ICON TO THE RIGHT OF THE TITLE OF THIS POST. I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU!

Some more pics:

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AIM 1: Day 2: Progress Report…

So today I was so busy, I ran out of the house for an early appointment, and did not quite have the time to settle things around the house before arriving home to two children, both wanting my attention…BUT in keeping with my accountability theory, I remembered that I have people to answer to. I had to pick something quick and easy, so I cleared out a cookbook holder that I use for paperwork as quickly as possible. I managed to throw out 12 items! This spot has been bothering me every day for about a month, and I kept saying I’ll get it to it. All of that procrastination and all it took was 2 minutes of my time to finally complete the task!

“Doing just a little bit during the time we have available puts you that much further ahead than if you took no action at all.” ~Byron Pulsifer

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AIM 1: Day 1: Progress Report…

So I started the dumping!
   
 
Day 1: I went through piles and shelves of children’s books, and I actually threw away about 10 of them. These books were poor quality books not suited for any child, which is why I decided against donating them.

Lessons Learned:

1. Even if I own 200 children’s books, I use the same 10 over and over, because the other 190 are not accessible! This was a great activity because book reading became exciting again, not only for me, but for my son as well.

2. De-cluttering gets messy. If you can’t handle a mess, only engage in de-cluttering when you have ample time to clean up your mess, or keep it simple and small. For example: narrow your de-cluttering to your magazine pile, your wallet, your kitchen drawer etc.

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Welcome/AIM 1

Welcome to Gone Minimalist!

My intentions are not to inform you about what minimalism is, nor do I want to be a minimalist myself. My goal is to CLEAR UP and free up. If I can free up some of my mental space (my brain) and my physical space (my home and possessions etc.), I can INCREASE my overall productivity and efficiency. If my mind is less cluttered, and I have more time on my hands, I can become more mindful on a whole, participating in my life with a whole heart, enjoying the moment, rather than going through the motions…

I can go on and on, but what is most important is that you understand that my blog is intended to be an informal forum for anyone interested in simplifying, minimizing, organizing etc.

Each week I will assign myself some small tasks which I will call “adventures in minimalism,” with the goal of simplifying some part of my life. I believe that by blogging I will hold myself accountable for the adventures I assign to myself. I also want you to adventure along with me. Let me know how you’re doing and whether you agree, disagree, or think you have a better idea.

ADVENTURE IN MINIMALISM DAY 1!

Are you ready?

AIM 1. GARBAGE DAY! Every day for one week throw away or donate 2 items from your home. The item could be as insignificant as a safety-pin or a store receipt, and as big as a sofa. It doesn’t matter! Make it easy for yourself. The idea is to get yourself into the de-cluttering mode. This exercise also makes you aware of your belongings, you’ll discover things you forgot you had! Just see where it takes you!

I will be posting as I go along. I look forward to hearing your comments, because I know you will be thrilled when you complete this AIM.

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