If you did do any or all of the experiments with less, how did "less" make you feel? Did your drawers, cupboards or walls feel a little bit less chaotic? Was it easier to clean? Did simple methods make you feel a little bit more in touch with your meals? Did you feel less pressure to use neglected tools? Did you employ any new habits? Were there any benefits? Did you start thinking differently about anything? Have you come closer to recognizing your personal "enough"?
It might be helpful to write our answers down. The act of writing can anchor these thoughts in our minds. Ask the others living in your space for their feedback. Sometimes we get surprising answers. Sometimes I find that I've been anticipating people's annoyance...only to find out that they like the change + have positive reasons that I haven't even crossed my mind! (yay!)
When taking a look at the set aside items, few different categories of things might arise:
Seasonal pieces ::
You get to decide if you want to keep a Halloween-only, candy bowl or a just-for-Christmas platter. If simplifying interests or becomes a necessity, think multifunctionality. One beautiful, cream platter can work for all the holidays + may be a beautiful piece to collect incoming + outgoing mail on ordinary days. The same basket that holds a collection of mittens + hats could corral the Halloween candy for a few hours each year. Holiday decorating can be done with pumpkins, pine boughs + popcorn garlands that can be composted when the festivities are over.
Sentimental pieces ::
Consider limits. I'm keeping my maternal grandma's plates + bowls. These were the only ones that survived from her wedding china. I have a quilt that my paternal grandma pieced + my mom finished. We use it as our picnic blanket. I have my mom's sewing basket, which I keep sewing bits in too. Along with some photos + letters, these items are useful, beautiful + have meaning to me.
(It might also be helpful to go back to the original posts :: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 :: to revisit some of the considerations when deciding what to include in our "enough".)
Excess pieces ::
Get them used. Let's do our best to get our excess items into the hands of those who will appreciate them. If others want an item to stay in the family, entrust it to them. My goal is kindness when offering items to others. I let them know that I'm letting go of some things + if any of those things might be useful to them...great. If not...great. I just thought I'd offer.
I try to be mindful of not letting these things become another's burden. If someone has a problem letting things go or has already communicated feelings of overwhelm or guilt in regards to "stuff", I might not ask them if they wanted more things. I think that is kindness too. Offer things to an agency that works with adolescents aging out of foster care, refugees, abused mamas, formerly incarcerated or homeless folks. Sell things or offer them on a free website.
Hopefully these experiments with less have left you feeling more of something positive! Hopefully they've helped you recognize your "enough" in the kitchen! Take note + celebrate!