I’m not generally someone who takes things slow. When I’m excited about something, I’m all in. If I were on my own, I’d have probably thrown out half of what I own by now – 4 days into my recent enlightenment.
I have to take a different approach with this though since I’m married and share the majority of my stuff and space with Kristina, my wife.
You see, my wife’s pretty amazing; she not only puts up or encourages my constant ‘experiments’, she’s usually game for trying them with me. This one, however, struck a bit of a nerve. Owning and buying nice things was just such a core part of who we are. We both loved to shop and buy fun things.
I am big into gadgets and gizmos. I use them for a short while and they sit there and gather dust after. She’s big into buying and storing all sorts of nice things that might be useful at some point or that we use once or twice a year. As an example, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have over 10 serving trays and plates.
Anyhow, she’s not such a fan of my ‘minimalist movement’ at this point. She’s trying to keep an open mind, but you can see it’s tough for her.
To her defense, I did come out pretty strong with this, so I realize I need to take this slow, no matter how hard that is for me. I think that as she sees that it’s working well for me, she’ll open up to the idea a bit more. I doubt if we’ll ever really reach the standard of minimalism I’d like to see, but I think we could get down to a nice level of minimalism that works well for the both of us.
Next Areas of Focus : Home Office
After having cleared out my wardrobe, I decided that my office would be a great place to start. I’ve been working in this office daily for about 6 months and it has never felt clean and tidy. I’ve had all sorts of boxes and furniture in here from the day we moved in, really.
I wish I’d have taken a before picture but here’s an after picture:
There is still some work to do, but it’s night and day from what it was before. I feel so much better working here and being in this space now.
Treading into Kristina’s Territory
So, I messed up a bit here. The first thing Kristina told me was not to touch her kitchen; and I agreed. Unfortunately, amidst all of my excitement, I forgot about our agreement and figured I’d surprise her and ‘minimalize’ parts of the kitchen (bad idea). Needless to say she was not happy with her surprise, but she did agree to let it slide and allowed me to keep things as they are for the time being (thank you, hun).
I did only focus on a couple of areas, and really, for the most part just got rid of duplicates (and triplicates).
To give you an idea of how much crap we can cram into a small space, here’s a picture of one of our cupboards emptied out (Fun fact: there were 4 bottles of rice vinegar in the cupboard. We haven’t used rice vinegar in 3 years. Kristina insisted we keep one bottle):
I don’t have an ‘after’ picture because I’m still slightly embarrassed at how much stuff is still in there, but it’s a start!
I’m loving it though. With more space to store things I’m finding it noticeably easier to keep the kitchen clean and put things away. There’s still much more I’d like to do with the kitchen but that’s a battle for another day (or month).
Anyhow, I’m incredibly motivated to keep moving forward on this. I’m already starting to feel like some weight’s been lifted from my shoulders and I can’t wait to see where it takes me!