For the last few months I have been getting reacquainted with a concept that has always interested me: Minimalism. As I started to focus this year on being more intentional and present, I have begun to notice certain things more. That is the downside to becoming more aware…it is a lot harder to ignore stuff. Meditation has been a key tool for me in this process. After meditating for several weeks everyday, I noticed something strange. We had more money in our checking account and I rarely, if ever, thought about purchasing anything unless it was groceries or basic needs. Don’t get me wrong I am not a shop till you drop kind of girl, but it did make me realize I am also not a terribly conscious consumer. It turns out growing internal contentment and cultivating gratitude turns your focus to what you already have and away from focusing on what you think you want. Who knew?
Along with this new found frugality came this desire to learn more about having a richer, calmer, and more stress free life by removing the obstacles to that goal. In pursuit of this I have done some research. I am still that Type A girl at heart, only now my pursuits are turned in a more Zen direction. I have been reading and listening to podcasts. One of my favorites The Minimalists has really helped me to understand how “individual” minimalism is. They also recommend a revolutionary idea of setting priorities and making changes based upon that. I have been giving that a lot of thought. I decided to narrow down some priorities: my marriage relationship, my cats, my family, health and fitness, reading and writing, and inner peace. Voila! we have this blog as part of my process and to fulfill one of my priorities. A place to subject you, the unsuspecting reader, to my ramblings. Thanks for being part of the solution. With increase knowledge comes the double edged sword. You can’t unknow what you now know. That is how I ended up spending Saturday doing my first intentional minimalism exercise in my kitchen.
Let me start by saying I love to cook. I love my kitchen. If you had asked me three months ago do you like kitchen gadgets? I would have said “not really.” Without meaning to, I would have been lying through my teeth. After realizing a key tenant of minimalism is getting rid of stuff to make your life easier I could not stop noticing how many things in my kitchen were only a source of frustration and not joy. I had little gadgets crowding several drawers for so long, I just thought looking for things for 10 minutes was part of cooking. “I am sure that spatula is in here someplace?” I had 2 crock pots! Did I mention it is just my husband and I. I had a blender we have had for a decade; I have used it once. Why did I keep it? Everyone needs a blender! Unless you never blend anything. Suffice to say after about an hour and 4 boxes I now have a much more functional kitchen. I have not had one thing fall on top of me or on my foot all week. I have cut my cooking time down by at least 25%. I realized doing things like this with purpose and intention, keeping my priorities in mind I can make similar choices in other areas. I live with a maximalist so I may not be living what looks like a traditional minimalist lifestyle, but I will be more purposefully selective. You got to start somewhere.