Paring Down Part 1 – 111 dishes down to 45!! wow!

I really want to title this sequence, “What were we thinking?” Because as we sorted through just two cabinets we went from 111 dishes to just 45! We frequently found ourselves saying, “Why do we have this? Did we need so many of these? Have we even used this? It may have been given to us, but why did we keep it? Did we really think this purchase through?” For example, although we had 22 plates, 10 of them were blue plastic lunch trays. They were given to us, two years ago. We thought we would use them for the children who visit. Number of actual times these used: 0!

10 plastic lunch trays, never used.
10 plastic lunch trays, never used.

This first in many exercises in paring down was a real eye opener.  We started in the kitchen because it is neutral territory, not just Steve’s things, not just my things, but our things. It was obvious to us that we had more than what we needed, so it was an easy start to gain some momentum. The things we removed went into a rubber maid tub and will be stored away to see how we survive with out all these extra. So far, we love that our cabinets are neater, it’s easier to find what we need and there are less dishes to wash! We feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in having a nicer place, even though it’s just two cabinets, we know it’s just the start! So, in this particular instance, I think we’ll do just fine, but when it comes around to other stuff like games and books, it might be harder. Many tears will be shed as we say good bye to some of our favorite companions.

Here are the before pictures!

NOTE: I’m still learning the software, I’m not sure why the pictures/text look one way while writing and different when I publish the post. Hence the pictures are all skewed. If you have any advice please let me know.

Cup/glass cabinet
Cup/glass cabinet before: 3 thermal mugs, 19mugs (6 stored else where), 31 glasses (10 stored elsewhere in the house), 4 shake cups.
Plate/bowl cabinet before
Plate/bowl cabinet before: 22plates, 21 bowls (some small ones also used for Japanese style tea/soup) 14 peripheral items including 5 wine glasses, 2 tea presses, some not pictured, like the carafes, apple peeler, etc.

I would also like to add, we are pretty frugal people. We did not go on spending sprees in buying these items, the majority were given to us by people who know we love tea, coffee and entertaining. So to those who helped us amass this treasure trove of items, Thank You for your love and kindness! Please know we love you and appreciate you! However, there will not be room for all our precious gifts in the tiny home, so we must choose only those that bring us  happiness.

Here are the after photos:

The glasses and mugs now fit on the same shelf! The water bottles (we use a lot because we don't buy bottled water) and other things that were on top of the fridge, can now fit on the top shelf!
The glasses and mugs now fit on the same shelf! The water bottles (we use a lot because we don’t buy bottled water) and other things that were on top of the fridge, can now fit on the top shelf! We kept 9 glasses, 7 mugs, 1 shake cup, 4 metal water bottles and 3 plastic ones, 2 baby cups and one 2oz shot glass.
Plate/bowl cabinet after
Plate/bowl cabinet after, we kept 7 plates, 11 bowls (many used for tea and soup), 2 carafes (one tea, one coffee) 2 tea presses, a tea pitcher and an apple peeler.

You will notice that I had space left to put some things from on top of my fridge in this cabinet, like my coffee and tea carafes, tea pitcher and apple peeler!! We decided to hold on to these things as tea and coffee are such passions of ours! That’s what living the tiny life is all about, focusing on the things that bring you joy!

We kept quite a few of the very small bowls. Steve likes to make tea in them. Maybe after some time he will be willing to let a couple more go, but for now this is where we are comfortable.

Here are some other photos that give more details:

bowls/cups 21
BEFORE: bowls/cups 21
bowls/cups 11
AFTER: bowls/cups 11
21 glasses
BEFORE: 21 glasses
10 glasses that were stored
BEFORE: 10 glasses that were stored
the glasses we kept 9 total
AFTER: the glasses we kept 9 total

At the time of this post we broke one of the green glasses and had to pull one out from the storage. If we were living in the tiny house, I think we would have just done with out or perhaps picked up a new one at Goodwill or The Depot (local thrift store).

water bottles and misc
BEFORE: 14 water bottles and misc
remaining amount of water bottles and misc
AFTER: 10 remaining amount of water bottles and misc

We decided to keep most of the refillable/reusable bottles because we do use them daily. Steve uses the metal ones for his lunch and I use the plastic ones when I have a day out. We do not buy water bottles, instead we have a Brita water filter on our faucet. The water in our town tastes like chlorine, it’s like drinking pool water! The Brita does a good job and we feel that the space these take up are worth the money saved.

peripheral items 14
BEFORE: peripheral items 14
10 remain
AFTER: 10 remain

How about you? Thoughts, Experiences?

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