My dry goods pantry now with a little room to spare.
While our ultimate goal is to move into a tiny house or other very small dwelling which we own outright, it can be so overwhelming a goal that it stops me in my tracks. I have moments where I think "How the heck are we going to get through all this stuff and down to what we can fit in a tiny house?" And I end up feeling overwhelmed and worse doing nothing to accomplish our goals. Thus, I've started to think smaller (pun intended) and have set myself a smaller goal which is keeping me inspired and on track. We have three levels to our house: an unfinished full basement, a main floor and a second 1/2 story (just a strip of full height ceiling with the rest sloping down to 3 1/2 foot kick walls.) Which got me to thinking what if I simply start eliminating levels? The basement is the obvious place to start as it's only used for laundry and storage. So, my smaller goal is to move everything out of the basement, absorb the things we need into the other two levels while getting rid of the rest. Now, you might say this is still a very big goal and it is, but I find I can break it down even more by dividing the basement into four categories: my stuff, my son's stuff, my husband's stuff and family stuff. I'm starting with myself first, then will move on to family items and lastly my son's items as I will need his input. My husband will make the decisions about his belongings and I will help as best I can.
Having made lots of room in my closet by downsizing my wardrobe, I found room to store some of my stuff from the basement. I'm a knitter and have a stash of yarn. Now, this stash is small by most knitter's standards, but still on the big side for our future plans. While I have sold off all the impulse purchases, yarn I no longer like and yarn that doesn't coordinate with my wardrobe through Ravelry, Etsy and Craig's List, I'm still left with more than I can store in my compact IKEA organizer in our living room. My closet isn't big enough for the full size Rubbermaid tubs my yarn was in, so I found some smaller containers in the basement (oh yeah we have extra of everything), broke up my stash into these and stacked them under my hanging clothes. It's neat, not overly crowded and much more accessible then it was in the basement - win!
This week I've also did some downsizing in the kitchen with 2 very small goals in mind: make room in the dish cupboard for my teapot and get all the pantry food from downstairs upstairs. For the first I looked over our dishes realizing some that hardly ever get used: our 4 champagne flutes which only come out on special occasions, a set of 6 very shallow bowls I only use for salads and a few small mismatched bowls that don't get used because we have others we like better. These dishes didn't amount to a whole lot, but they made more than enough room for my teapot to get off the counter and into the cupboard. For the pantry I went through our 1 1/2 upper cabinets that make up our dry food storage and took out anything that again we rarely used or that I couldn't remember when I purchased it. I threw out the powdered sugar I only use maybe once a year if I make frosting for a cake as well as cornmeal, millet and quinoa all of which occupied a large glass container (hint: grains make great bird/squirrel food.) I threw out food coloring I used to make play dough with when my son was little (he's now 9 1/2), salad vinegars I never use, panko bread crumbs, shredded coconut etc. etc. I managed to make about a 1/3 of the space available to store the overstock I kept in the basement. While not a lot of room it is sufficient, but I will have to change my shopping habits to buying less at a time to make it sustainable.
It's baby steps for sure these tasks I managed to complete this week, but they left me feeling successful and inspired and that my friends is a good goal in and of itself.