Right-Sizing Mixing Bowls – Day 12

4 PurposeWelcome back to day #12, it’s time to tackle the mixing bowls and lids in your collection and downsize to your favorites that fit your purpose in this season of your life.  I show you my favorites plus my favorite way to roast potatoes.

BTW, I recently read that people who keep a bowl of fresh fruit and vegetables on the kitchen counter eat more fruit and vegetables, and less processed food.  I’m good with that.  And they are beautiful – that’s a bonus!

Roasted Potatoes with Smoked Paprika

Potatoes cut into even cubes (I love using various potatoes including sweet potatoes)

3 tablespoons good quality EVOO

2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

Toss to coat and roast on a baking sheet for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve hot.

Tackle those mixing bowls and lids today and use #KitchenSimplicity to show me your before and after photographs.  I can’t wait to see your progress!  And thanks so much for watching, I really appreciate it!29c45-1a2bcarmen

 

Right-Sizing Coffee & Tea – Day 11

Because we didn’t have room in our tiny house for a coffee maker, we got creative.  The results are in the video.  Here is Tiny House Coffee & Tea.  PLUS, my Austrian makes a special guest appearance showing how he makes his coffee.

2 SimplicityOur culture makes a habit of making simple things complicated, and marketing tries to convince this that this complexity is to simplify things for us.  Going tiny for Xaver and I has meant making complicated things simple again, and we enjoy this very much.  That sometimes means going old-school and doing things the way our grandparents did them.

At the beginning as you contemplate your shiny coffee gear and think about downsizing – this might seem like a sacrifice.  I want to invite you to go back to the earlier post about choosing your favorite things in your kitchen.  If you coffee or tea system is your favorite thing, then the task becomes how to make space in your now smaller kitchen for this production.  We’ve found that one of the keys to enjoying a tiny space and making it feel less sacrificial is to enjoy our favorite simple luxuries along the way.  This includes sometimes having a little Amarula in my tea, or drinking it from a luxuriously beautiful china tea cup and stirring it with a silver spoon.  This interplay of simplicity and beauty brings us much satisfaction.  It is from this satisfaction that I can challenge you to look at different habits and consider thoughtfully the choices that are right for you and your family in light of your own tiny house.

Spend some time today with your coffee and tea equipment and ingredients.  Add a few things to your donation box and think of ways to make the process more earth friendly.  You can do it.

Have fun with the process, I’m not here to pressure you into anything, I simply offer you an alternative that comes from our years of living in 125 square feet. 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Pots & Pans – Day 10

11 SaucepansThis is one of the most rewarding parts of the kitchen to tackle because you can make a big difference pretty quickly.  Take out all of your pots and pans, and go over them with these principles in mind.  Then clean out the cabinet, and add items to your donation boxes.  You’re getting quite a collection of things to donate, aren’t you?!  Post a photo with #KitchenSimplicity and/or tag me so I get to see your progress.

As for storing these items, I’ve found that the best way for storing bulky weirdly shaped items like this is to hang them on the wall.  They take up a lot of space in a kitchen cabinet and this is a trick I learned from the Pros.  In the Tiny House Foodie kitchen the pans are hanging from a bathroom towel rack, and the lids are hanging on a curtain rod.  Of course there are options that were actually intended for pots and pans as well but use your creativity to personalize your tiny house kitchen.  Take a look around and see what you have handy and consider hanging your Right-Sized collection of pots and pans.  Items like a cast iron skillet may be a little too heavy to hang, and I keep my dutch oven on the range most of the time.

It’s time to come out of the woodwork and let me know you are following along with this video series.  Use the #KitchenSimplicity hashtag, or tweet to me @tinyhousefoodie.  I am looking forward to meeting you and hearing how this process is for you.   Thanks for watching and following along, I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Cutting Boards & Knives – Day 9

10 knivesToday we tackle your collection of knives and cutting boards to choose our favorites and downsize the rest.  I’m a retired chef and restaurant owner, so you know I appreciate a fine knife… however… my recommendations on this may surprise you.

Take out all your knives, clean and sharpen them all, and put back only the ones you will use on a regular basis.  Package the rest carefully and add them to the donation box, marking them carefully so the volunteers unpacking the box don’t hurt themselves.

Thanks for watching, I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Flatware – Day 8

9 flatwareGood morning, it’s time to take a look at your flatware and choose your favorites, then add the rest to the donation box, and clean out the drawer or containers.  Again, don’t allow marketing to lock you into ideas of formal and casual, or make you feel that you have to keep sets or pieces you don’t use just for the sake of some notion about “value”.  If you have grandmother’s silver, take that out and access the situation.  Choose the pieces you appreciate and enjoy, choose the pieces that feel somehow special and allow the rest to go to the donation box or give to family or friends.  You’ll end up setting a table where each element has meaning and function, and that will be a delight for the senses.

I choose miss-matched silver pieces, some from my family, and some I happened upon at a lovely antique mall where Xaver and I had a great time exploring all the different patterns and choosing the individual items we liked the best.  Using these beautiful knives, forks, and spoons is so special because they are each beautiful, and because of the memories we have of picking them out and enjoying them together in our tiny house.  These beautiful details remind us that living in a tiny house is a purposeful choice, and not a sacrifice.  We are very blessed.

How are you doing on these challenges so far?  Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite parts of the series so far.  And as always, thanks for watching, I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Glassware – Day 7

9 bowlGone are the days of having a special glass for every kind of drink served in your home.  Wow, the marketers really got us on that one, didn’t they?  lol!  In tiny house living we are much more creative and flexible.  Never mind the “right” glass… what’s your favorite glass?  Automatically donate any plastic drink ware and recycle any cracked or chipped glasses and choose your favorite travel mug instead of keeping a cabinet full of them.  Watch the video and then make your selections, moving the rest to the donate box.  Then clean out the kitchen cabinet and return only the ones you intend to keep.  And as always, thanks so much for watching, I really appreciate it.29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Plates and Bowls – Day 6

8 how many platesWelcome back to the Right-Sizing your Kitchen video series.  Today we’ll be talking about how many plates and bowls to keep in your tiny house and honestly it depends on whether or not you have a dishwasher in your tiny house, and it also depends on how much you intend to invite people into your home to share a meal with you.  Practically speaking, we can invite a max of three other folks into our home at one time.  Since we live in 125 square feet with no loft, it is quickly overwhelming to have folks standing around in the limited floor space.  So having a total of 5 folks at our table is do-able in principle, but not entirely practical.  We’ve had four at our table and that is cozy and marvelous.  We’ve found that the intimate space of our home lends itself to deeper and warmer connections between folks around our table, and for that reason we really love having folks in our home.  I talk about hospitality at length in my book, so maybe I’ll leave that there at the moment.  Check out the video and give some thought to the plates and bowls in your home.  How many is right for you?  Which ones are your favorite?  If you plan to go tiny temporarily, then where will you store the items you aren’t using for now?  Move the unwanted items to your boxes for your favorite charity, clean out the kitchen cabinets where those items used to be,  and congratulate yourself for having completed another day in the “Right-Sizing Your Kitchen” video series.  Thanks for watching, I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Taming Trash – Day 5

One thing we quickly learned living in our tiny house of 125 square feet was that TRASH is a BIG deal!  Even a little bit of trash can feel like a lot in a tiny space.  I picked up a book on Zero Waste living (Zero Waste Home) that helped me find strategies to A) keep trashing from entering our home to begin with and B) manage trash more efficiently once it did.

Zero Waste living is based on the usual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” ideas, but also adds “Rot” (compost) and “Refuse” to the list… meaning that we shop in a way that brings less trash in the house and refuse freebies, etc.  Using cloth bags instead of allowing more plastic shopping bags in the house is another example.  Avoiding products that are packaged in plastic, especially single use plastics, and instead choosing recycle-able packaging.  Glass is the best way to store food, so we collected canning jars instead of plastic storage containers.

What are ways you deal with trash effectively?29c45-1a2bcarmen

Donating & Selling – Day 4

Good morning everyone and welcome to day 4 of the Right-Sizing your Kitchen Video Series.  Today we talk about selling, donating, and giving away the things in your home that no longer serve a purpose.  What is the charity in your area that supports a cause that matters to you?  What kinds of donations do they accept?  What other options do you have that are unique to your area and your values?  How can you use your extra stuff to support these missions in your community?  Prepare a few boxes for the things you no longer need and make a plan now to deliver those items to the charity of your choice.  I’d love to hear how it’s going with you, please leave a comment.  29c45-1a2bcarmen

Detox Your Cleaning Cabinet – Day 3

Monday we started by thinking about our own unique WHY? so that we keep our focus, Tuesday we started by choosing our favorite items in our home.  These are the safe items that won’t be downsized.  Today we tackle the cleaning closet.  Since there are so many toxins in the products we use to clean our homes, and since cleaning, downsizing, and organizing go hand in hand… I thought I’d tackle this difficult topic right up front so that we don’t spend the month of January steeping ourselves in toxic chemicals in the effort to clean and organize our environment.  Download the “Think Dirty” app for your phone or iPad and let’s get started with non-toxic alternatives for your home.  Here are a number of recipes that you might find helpful, of course there are a million more available online.  I look for recipes that are frugal, natural and non-toxic, and don’t take up a lot of space in a tiny house.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Recipes mentioned in the video include:

Simple Clean:

1 cup distilled water (use tap water when you intend to use all the solution in 2 weeks)

1 teaspoon rubbing alcohol (to make the water and oil emulsify – may omit)

15 drops of the essential oil or blend of your choice. *Blend recipes below.

Combine in a spray bottle. Shake sprayer, saturate surface, then wipe with dry clean cloth.

All Purpose Cleaner:

1 cup distilled water

2 T to ¼ cup castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s) depending on how soapy you like it.

15 drops of the essential oil or blend of your choice.  *Blend recipes below.

Combine in a spray bottle.

Shake sprayer gently and wipe with a damp cloth, otherwise the castile soap will leave a soapy residue.

Vinegar Cleaner:

1/2 cup distilled water

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar

½ juiced lemon

15 drops of the essential oil or blend of your choice. *Blend recipes below.

Combine in a spray bottle, keep in the refrigerator because of the lemon juice.

(**Vinegar cleaner and citrus oils not for use on stone counter tops.)

Thieves Household Cleaner:

1 teaspoon (1 cap full) Thieves Household Cleaner + two cups of water in a spray bottle. No additional essential oils required. More recipes using Thieves Household Cleaner to make a variety of specific household cleaners are available at Anoint-Ed.com.  It really is the simplest and best non-toxic household cleaner and can be used for a dusting spray, carpet spot cleaner, toilet cleaner, kitchen counter spray, bathroom cleaning spray, daily shower cleaner, grout cleaner, mold remover, garden pest control, pet odor remover, floor cleaner, air freshening spray, stain spray/stain stick in the laundry, and as a bleach replacement. In short, this spray will banish the ICK from every area of your home including exercise equipment, toys, diaper pail, high chair, baseboards, pet areas, furniture, door knobs, walls, tires, luggage, car tires, and car interior.

My Favorite Essential Oil Blend Recipes:

Try a different combination each time.

Garden Fresh: 5 drops Lemon, 5 drops Peppermint, 5 drops Lavender

Woodsy: 5 drops Eucalyptus, 5 drops Idaho Balsam Fir, 5 drops Cedarwood

Bright: 5 drops Lemon, 7 drops lemongrass, 3 drops Patchouli

Minty Fresh: 5 drops Spearmint, 5 drops Peppermint, 3 drops Frankincense

Festive: 6 drops Orange, 4 drops Cinnamon, 5 drops Frankincense

Assignment: Clean out your cleaning closet, download the “Think Dirty” app and throw away any cleaners that score a 7 or higher.  If you need to order non-toxic alternatives, place your order right away and get a jump on green cleaning in the New Year.  As always, leave me a comment and let me know how you’re doing with this video series.  Thanks for watching, I really appreciate it!29c45-1a2bcarmen