Zero Waste Wednesday: Getting the Kitchen Under Control

At times reducing waste and minimalism seem to be at odds with each other.

We want to have fewer things. But we don’t want anything to be disposable. So that leads to more storage containers and, thus, more things.

If I were counting possessions and aiming for 100, I would not worry about reducing waste.

But true minimalism is not about counting possessions, it’s about living deliberately. It’s about having just enough reusable containers.

And I had way more than just enough. It was time to go through my cupboards. Would you like to see my progress?

First, the medicine and spice cupboard. I have natural remedies on the left and standard medicines on the right. Hopefully, as we work to eat less poison and focus more on wellness, I will need less on both sides. The spices look cluttered, but that’s because I’m not using half of the space. I can never reach or see anything in the back of that shelf, so I slid them all forward. I’m going to keep track of which spices I use over the course of a month and pare down even more. I hate the top shelf since I can not reach it, so I just used it for things that we rarely use.

Before moving on to the next cupboard, we cleaned out the junk drawers! We had two, as well as a black box that collected junk. These are definitely our “hot spots!” Now, we’ve got one drawer for kitchen utensils ONLY and another for “awesome meal” supplies. I will look through these as part of my daily routine, and immediately remove anything that doesn’t belong there.

This cupboard is strictly for homebrewing supplies. Brewing our own beer, wine, and kombucha not only reduces waste, it also saves us money!

This cupboard used to be a disaster. The top shelf held our cleaning chemicals, which I moved to the cupboard over the washing machine. I went through my “mommy file” and eliminated any paperwork from Beanie’s school that I didn’t need anymore. I also purged out my Home Management Guide. I decided to keep my lunch-packing supplies here as well. On the bottom shelf, I got rid of one of our ceramic mugs. We really don’t need both ceramic mugs and travel mugs, but one mug says “#1 Dad” and has pictures of Beanie on it, so we’ll keep it.

Our lower middle cupboard is just for the garbage and bags, and I did nothing there.

This cupboard is now for food and FULL containers. It usually gets packed full, so I’ve decided to grocery shop once a week, rather than every other week. This should reduce the stockpiling.

I keep the empty containers down below. I listed all the items that I might buy in bulk and only kept that many containers. We also keep our washcloths, which we use instead of paper towels, down here.

How do you organize your low-waste kitchen?

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