Apr 10 2011

kitchen utensils [minimalist challenge item #52]

[item] Kitchen utensils, melon scoop, pizza cutter, ladle, apple corer, and martini strainer thing

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 14 years on the oldest

[last used] 5+ years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Given to a family in need

[info] I have lots of extra utensils I never use.  I don’t know why.

Apr 9 2011

bin of paint supplies [minimalist challenge item #51]

[item] Bin of various painting supplies

[purchase info] Purchased mostly from Home Depot

[time in my possession] From 2 years to 8 years

[last used] 3 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Says given to a painter, but he never came back.  It will go on freecycle or to a thrift store

[info] I’ve had this stuff for a while, and knowing that I paint a lot, I thought about keeping it.  I don’t need any of it and a lot of it is duplicates.

Apr 8 2011

4 kitchen thermometers [minimalist challenge item #50]

[item] Lot of 4 kitchen thermometers

[purchase info] Purchased new from housewares stores or coffee shops

[time in my possession] Approximately 13 years

[last used] Over 5 years

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] I had a ‘bouquet’ of these in a small vase of coffee beans.  This is a true picture of excess, as I can only use one at a time.  I kept my 2 favorites, one in use, one in the dishwasher if it’s dirty.  Why did I feel the need to have 6 of these???  My senselessness on display here.  :(

Apr 7 2011

salad serving set [minimalist challenge item #49]

[item] Orange polka dot salad serving utensils

[purchase info] Received as a housewarming gift

[time in my possession] Approximately 4 years

[last used] 1.5 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Given to a family in need

[info] I have 2 sets of these and I’m downsizing to one.  This was a bit of a tough choice, as I received them as a gift.  I really like them, but I just have to keep going with the downsizing.

Apr 6 2011

pan grips [minimalist challenge item #48]

[item] 2 leather Calphalon pan grips

[purchase info] Purchased new from a department store

[time in my possession] Approximately 12 years

[last used] 3 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] I bought these with my old pans years ago, but I don’t use them anymore.  I just use my regular hot pads.  These are kitchen fluff and not necessary.

Apr 5 2011

function over form [day 313]

When you own a lot of stuff, especially anything with electronic parts, you’re going to have some maintenance to do.  Some will be planned, some will not.  Here’s a few things I’ve been thinking about buying if I could.

Car fuses.

I blew a fuse in my car.  It’s the fuse to the interior dome lights, but worse than that, it’s also the fuse to my garage door opener.  I don’t have any extra fuses so I’m living without these things.  It’s not so bad, as it’s teaching me to appreciate the small things in life.  I’ve never appreciated that machine that opens my garage door.  Now I use the back door instead of the garage door.  It’s less electricity, and the only time it’s a real hassle is if it’s raining or we’re bringing home groceries.

A water filter.

I would buy a water filter for my Softub.  Although yesterday, I moved the tub into its new location on the patio and now the GFCI plug isn’t working.  Gor $75 I can buy a new one, however the Softub tech isn’t even sure that’s the problem.  I’m going to take it apart and see for myself, but then what are the chances of finding a used part like that?  I’m guessing slim to none.  Not sure what I’m going to do if I can’t get it working.  I definitely will not be selling it, as I use it a lot.

A grill.

Yes, I finally got tired of fighting with my temperamental Brinkmann grill and I sold it on craigslist.  What?  You want to know what I got for it?  $60 cash.  It retailed new for $1,100, I paid $69.99 approximately 2 years ago.  In that time, the burners were replaced and the gas valve with tubing was replaced.  Even with the replacement parts, it was always a mystery as why it would work some of the time, but not all of the time.  I just got tired of fighting with it.  And yes, I sold it “as is” with a full disclosure of the issues I had with it.

As I was researching new grills (planing to buy one used), I came across this really cool looking grill.  It’s a Fuego Element, it’s designer a previous Apple product designer.  After some research, it seems as though this sexy looking grill is just not the easiest to use.  The top gets hot and it’s not attached so you have to place the hot lid somewhere when cooking.  The cast iron grates need care to prevent them from rusting.  In my efforts to downsize, this grill is super-appealing in its size.  But do I want the maintenance?

I looked at many other grills, I’ve read consumer reports on them, but I’m still unsure of my next grill purchase.  I used my old one a lot and got my money’s worth, but I want something smaller and simple.  I’m also looking at a Minden grill.  This is unique, as you can add features to it later like a side burner and ice chest.  The reviews are good, but it’s so new, there aren’t any used ones available.

I’m still deciding what to do about all of these situations.  The no shopping is making it a hassle for the small things, like the fuses, but it’s provoking some creativity in finding solutions for the big things.  I’ll keep you posted on the outcome of these situations.  I’m prioritizing function over form, but that’s easier said than done sometimes.

Apr 5 2011

pineapple oven mitts [minimalist challenge item #47]

[item] Pineapple oven mitts

[purchase info] Purchased new at Ross

[time in my possession] Approximately 6 years

[last used] 6 months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Given to a family in need

[info] I have more of these than I can use at one time.  Not needed.  Cute pineapples, but not functional at all.  The floppy tops get into the food and they don’t protect well from the heat.

Apr 4 2011

silicone hot pads [minimalist challenge item #46]

[item] 2 red silicone hot pads

[purchase info] Given to me by a friend that had 2 sets of them

[time in my possession] Approximately 8 years

[last used] Over a year

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Given to a family starting over

[info] I like my old, crappy looking Calphalon cloth hot pads.  I like that these are easy to clean, but I don’t like using them.

Apr 3 2011

knives [minimalist challenge item #45]

[item] 6 different kitchen knives

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 10 years

[last used] 3 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Given to a family in need

[info] I have plenty of knives.  I can only use one at a time, so why do I have so many?  The world may never know.

Apr 2 2011

pencil sharpener [minimalist challenge item #44]

[item] Purple pencil sharpener

[purchase info] I have no idea

[time in my possession] Years, many years

[last used] Again, no idea

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] Yes, I’m making a big deal out of a 50¢ pencil sharpener.  Give me a break, I listed a $4,000 computer at the beginning of this challenge.  I have several of these in all types and sizes.  I don’t know where half of them came from and I don’t know why I’ve kept so many of them.  I have at least 5 more to get rid of… somewhere…