I've been MIA the last few weeks for various reasons and although I was away from the internet I was doing my best to Minimalize the house. However, sometimes, well to be honest - most times, I was just making it more messy.

To get myself back on track I decided to tackle an area that I personally have no taste for: The kitchen. I hate cooking and I hate shopping for food but the kitchen (and bathroom) are my favorite places to clean. Why? Because you can physically clean almost everything with only a few items! You can wipe down the cabinets, the stove, the fridge, the plates, the dishes, the floor with either one or two products (grease cleaner, dawn, and a wet rag) - in short, everything has the potential to be cleaned. Unlike the living room - where you have to take out the carpet cleaner to do the sofa, or you have to use a duster AND a broom, and sometimes a vacuum - where it's just not that efficient. Therefore, I'd much prefer doing the kitchen/bathroom than anywhere else.


This is my kitchen, and as you can tell - it is TINY. If there are two of us in there for more than 5 secs mean words start to spell out of our mouths. Actually, this is a picture pre-Minimalism. I've done a lot since then, but that isn't this entry for now. Today I'm only pointing out my refrigerator.

I would like you to take note of the outside. Cards, magnets, photos, etc. there's crap. A lot of people use their fridge as placeholders for certain things - including memories - but in minimalism what's the point? I have a picture of my mother and I, one of me as a baby, a funny note from Tim's aunt, a birthday card from my grandmother, and even an envelope addressed to my dad that I use to remember his address. I should only focus on the things that matter and DECLUTTER my lifestyle.

Some of you may not have a problem with things on the fridge but I do. Do you see the cabinet above on the right side that is ajar? That's the cabinet that holds the microwave. I'm 5'2 and there is no way I can reach that. So, next to the fridge (you can't see it in this picture but you can see it in the others) is my step ladder to get to the microwave. However, every time I set it up I always knock things off the fridge.

So, on the outside I removed the things (with a lot of cheerleading from Tim) that were "clutterfull."
  • The pictures came off - I don't need to see a pic of me as a baby all the time or my mom.
  • I put my dad's address in an email to myself so I can easily search for it
  • I took off the extra magnets - unnecessary since I'm not going to put anything under them
I did however:
  • Leave the salt and pepper shakers
  • Left the timer (though it is the thing that falls the most!)
  • The inspirational card is there because I love it and it really does give me hope
  • And an extra magnet in case something DOES have to be put on the fridge. I chose the one from the Safari because it was a great experience. I had others like "Vote for Pedro" and one from a Chinese restaurant but those don't really mean as much to me and I have the Chinese restaurant on my phone (speed dial too, isn't that sad?)

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of what my fridge looked like before I threw a bunch of stuff out. Unlike people who have a family of four (or more!) we keep relatively few items in our fridge. Most of it is chicken, things for tacos, jelly, condiments, etc. I actually only threw out things that met the following criteria:

  • Old/expired
  • Accidentally left open or was sealed improperly and became super bad (and smelly!)

The result: I left the bare essentials in my fridge. These are mostly condiments and drinks or things to make drinks (of the alcoholic nature). The beer and soda are often not there but are in this case because we had people over last night who drink soda and beer.

Also, another thing I did was bring everything forward. I'm really short so reaching things in the back is no problem, but Tim is really tall so sometimes it is a hassle. I also think that buying things to leave in the fridge lead to snacking habits and bad health (like, individual cans of soda). In order to prevent this "snacking" habit, we will walk to the store to buy food for dinner and hand make lunch and breakfast.

The Freezer

Like with the fridge, I've been trying to stop eating "frozen" foods and opt for healthier more homemade foods. I kept the frozen chicken because it's still good though I much prefer non-frozen chicken (we usually stick it into the fridge after we buy it to eat a few days later). We have very few foods that can be heated quickly to eat. The pizza bites were for the company yesterday, the steak for the philly's because they ARE the easiest option, the chicken as an immediate snack/lunch for Tim and the lone tv dinner for me (in case we are in a rush)The freezepops are for Tim's younger siblings or friends who come over and want a snack.

I think refrigerators are one of the places where things get cluttered most in homes. It's so easy to store things there for later times (especially condiments). We've been trying to eat healthier this year, so learning how to STOP buying junky foods has become a type of experiment. This is made easier by the fact that we only live 3 blocks from a grocery store, so a trip only takes 10 minutes to walk one way (2 minutes to bike and drive).

And I know some go "Well, we have more than two people in our house!" Trust me, I know how crazy it can be! Tim used to live with four other roommates and even though the house had two fridges they were CONSTANTLY filled up! Oftentimes roommates let food rot in there, or that your stuff will be pushed to the far back so it wasn't accessible. This type of lifestyle was very expensive to maintain (because one often forgot what food they had!).

An option IS to limit your reliance on frozen items. Instead of getting the bag of sodium-filled frozen pre-made chicken (like we have), maybe you should get real chicken and prepare to make a bunch and have some for left-overs. Or, instead of buying groceries for a whole week (or two weeks for some people, like we used to), go to a grocery store at a less busy time and buy for only a few days. Some people adhere to lists, or like to go to the grocery store only when they are hungry and completely out of food, or that they buy products they have coupons for - neither of these work for us so I won't sit here and suggest that you do that. So, our best thing is to eat what we like, buy foods we like in moderate amounts, and spend less time and money tossing things out. :)

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