Four years ago, I was introduced to the term "minimalism" and proceeded to apply the KonMari* method of decluttering the house one category at a time. I've made three "passes" or "waves," and sent many “carfulls” of stuff to thrift stores. I don’t know how this happened because we only built the house six years ago, we aren't rich and I wouldn't say we are shopaholics. And I'm not done yet!
- spiritually connected,
- emotionally available for my family, and
- physically able to manage chores efficiently so that I can focus on growing food for our family.
Steps to downsizing to a capsule pantry:
- Clear off a large space or bring in an extra table or two (although wardrobe sorting is done on the floor, I didn't think that would work with the pantry because I didn’t want all the food on the floor).
- Take all of the food out of the cupboards. All of the food in the house that isn’t in the fridge or freezer.
- Make three piles: keep, donate/toss and use up. With items I no longer wanted in my inventory, I found recipes to use up the ingredients. I challenged the kids to create a pile of junk food that they thought were not healthy choices. They enjoyed the responsibility and we donated many sauces and beans with more than 8 g of sugar per serving.
- Install an additional shelf if needed. I could have painted the walls at this point.
- Select storage containers. I chose to use Mason jars for storage. I even scrubbed labels off some things like the vinegar. The idea behind this is to remove marketing so that you can make better choices without the influence of colourful letters or psychologically sneaky advertising. I wanted to make decisions based on the ingredients themselves; so far, I really enjoy this. I am more likely to buy in bulk and have zero waste. Also, I'm motivated to grow my own food to fill the jars instead of buying at the store.
The most amazing thing that happens during this process is that when we handle each item we own, it becomes overwhelmingly obvious that we have underestimated how fortunate we are. I was humbled by what we already had and eager to create new dishes rather than thinking I needed to buy groceries. And right now I think we are all trying to avoid buying groceries!
*KonMari decluttering refers to the method popularized by Marie Kondo in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Netflix show, "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo."