Wednesday, March 14, 2018

30-Day Minimalism Game: Day 14 + the trouble with storage containers

It's now the 14th day of the 30-Day Minimalism Game and I'm really reaching for things to purge. Fortunately I found some things hidden beneath the kitchen sink or I might not have made the count today.

Day 14

For today I got rid of: 1) A small 4x6 guillotine (give away); 2) A pair of kitchen gloves (give away); 3) A wooden spoon (give away); 4 and 5) Two kitchen scrubbers (give away); 6) A spatula (discard/recycle); 7 and 8) Two scrubby sponges (discard/recycle); 9-14) Six pop-up sponges (give away).

This is not my first guillotine. I bought one years ago to crop photos, but when everything was cropped and done and all else was digital I didn't need it so I gave it away. Then more recently I thought it would be perfect to use to crop the add-on pages for my sailing log. But I kept it in a drawer, I'd forget I had it, and would just cut them with a scissor - as I had always done. It may not be as nice looking or as consistently sized, but I use a scissor for many things, and this just took up a lot of space.

The gloves were a bit too small when I got them, but I put them under the sink and forgot them for the past two years, just like all the remaining kitchen cleaning items.

The spoon is one that was a gift, was well used and loved, but I have a second spoon that's just the same size and don't need two, so am giving this one away to someone else who needs another. The spatula is also well used and loved (mostly), but the curved end made it difficult to flip eggs and it was getting a bit manky, so I'd purchased a new one a few years ago, and have not used this one since. As it is a bit too chewed and perma-stained it is being discarded/recycled.

The trouble with storage containers...

Is that they store your stuff so well that you forget you have it.

While most of the storage containers I own are either clear and in plain view - used to store linens, keepsake items, important papers - or are in a bit fancier boxes with labels, I did have a couple of containers beneath the kitchen sink that I forgot all about.

They are grey, and stacked, and were used mostly to keep our trash bags and ziploc baggies at a higher-than-ground level for ease of access. And while I knew I had some stuff contained therein, I thought it was just a few swiffer sweeper wet cloths that came free with the duster. I forgot all about the fact that when I first moved in I bought pretty gloves, and scrubbies, and sponges - none of which I use to do dishes or clean the sink.

Storage containers are great for storing things out of the way that you have to store, to keep them pest- or air- or water-damage-free. But for products that should be used frequently, the storage container system isn't ideal. Even if you have limited space to house these items.

Because for many people, out of sight is often out of mind. And while the possessions I own that possess my thoughts in a burden-y kind of way are never out of mind even if out of sight, there are clearly some items that take up space in my home that are forgettable and should never be put in "hidden" containers, stacked out of the way.

As I strive for minimal this month, I am hoping to reduce the number of containers I own. And while I will always have a few things that need to be kept boxed up for safekeeping, I am hopeful those containers will be filled with items that are either cherished or important.

To be continued...

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