Structuring for minimalism | Open-Shelf Kitchen

When my day job first decided to make the move to a paperless office, they didn't make a big announcement.  They just started reducing places to store paper.  Filing cabinets went away. Shelves were minimized. Drawing storage faded.  It was highly effective because the change in the physical structure influenced behavior.

I decided to use that practice in my own quest to minimize possessions.  This weekend, John and I removed cabinet doors and painted shelves in our kitchen.

I like the aesthetic of open shelf kitchens.  There is something homey about walking into one—as if they invite you to make a meal because all of the tools are in sight. But they require the stuff on those shelves to be pared down to the essential.  You don't get the option of overfilling, having multiples or stashing something in a corner.

To begin, I only opened up one of the cabinets—keeping the doors handy in the garage—so that I could test drive the concept before committing fully.  In the process, I donated a set of dishes and some random tools that don't get enough use to justify keeping them. As it turned out, I liked it so much that opened all of the rest. (Though to be fair the doors are in the attic so if it ever becomes a huge pain we can simply put them back on.  The idea is to make things simpler. Not more complex.)

I continue to find that there is power in equipping my space with only what is useful for the life I'm living right now. Nothing kept that "might be used someday" or was "highly useful in the past". As if air space in my structure creates more space in other areas too. This year has been an interesting process. One I didn't anticipate when I selected "restore" as a theme.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall