Jump Off the Ladder: Into Day Two

You know what I didn’t do this morning? I didn’t clean my kitchen. As per my usual morning routine, I woke up, stumbled to the sink, looked at my 17 clean cooking tools, and shuffled away again. Instead of spending time on dishes, I got in my daily workout.

Breakfast was pretty straightforward. Without our blender, Jack ate yogurt with berries, and I had oatmeal with honey and walnuts. Used my spoon to mix my coffee, then rinsed and ate my oatmeal with it. Easy-peasy. I washed my one spoon and one bowl in about 20 seconds.

Then came lunchtime. I sauteed zucchini and green bell peppers in my pot, which worked beautifully. I baked sweet potato fries in the oven by laying a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack. For stirring and flipping, I used the fork with which I would later eat. No problem. But then I wanted rice to go with it. Fortunately, I had minute rice in my pantry, but unfortunately my single pot was otherwise occupied. My kettle came to the rescue. I boiled water, and combined it with the rice in my bowl. Covered the whole thing with my plate to let it steam. Ta-da! Just like making ramen in college. I had to eyeball the rice-to-water ratio, so while it came out tasting yummy, I did make too much. Without access to storage containers, I opted to throw the leftovers in a Ziploc for the fridge. I’m fairly OCD, and can’t stand dishes that aren’t perfectly clean, so soap-scrub-rinse for everything I used took 2 minutes, 12 seconds. (Yes, I did time it. OCD, remember?)

Dinner was mac & cheese (yay for Annie’s!). Because I didn’t have a pasta strainer, I scooped the cooked pasta out of the pot and into the mixing bowl with my spoon. Took a minute, but it worked just as well! Dinnerware bowl, fork, spoon, pot, and mixing bowl make this the most resource-heavy meal so far. 2 minute wash time. I’m getting the hang of this.

So all in all, I have to declare my first full day of Jump Off the Ladder a success! Well, at one point my fork did a back flip off my plate, causing it to snow rice all over the floor. But that’s hardly the challenge’s fault. 😉

What I miss:

A baking sheet – Aluminum foil works well, but it’s not very sustainable.

Storage containers – Same idea. Ziplocs are great for storage, but they aren’t exactly environmentally friendly.

What I don’t miss:

My dishwasher – Washing each dish by hand when they’ve all piled up is a pain. Taking a second to wash each one as you use it is a breeze! And I know I’m saving water. This is a habit I wish I’d formed much, much earlier in life.

Here’s what you said about your first day:

Justlynne: “Went to the store PICKED up the lucky Charms! Then put them back… Got Special K instead! LOL!”

Leslie: “Yesterday & today weren’t so hard. I have a HUGE pile of baskets that are leaving this house soon. Now it comes down to which ones are the truly functional baskets that I use often.”

Alyssa: “Day 1 was successful. We had a BBQ at work for lunch and Tristan and I are about to cook up some fish, buttered kale, and roasted radishes. I did however realize that we are going on vacation this weekend so I’m going to have to find a workaround for not having a kitchen!”

And here’s the updated participant table (if I missed anyone, leave me a comment and I’ll update asap!) Congrats to everyone who made it through day one. Leave me a comment here or on Facebook about how it went!

Amanda tshirtsandtwine.com 17 kitchen items: use, wash, repeat.
Alyssa myminimalistwedding.wordpress.com No restaurants
Carrie littleblogoflettinggo.com Clean out pantry & fridge; only buy what will get used
Lynne justlynne.wordpress.com No Lucky Charms cereal
Abby forceofhappiness.wordpress.com House up for sale & ready for viewing
Jessica shadowedinmoonlight.wordpress.com No video games or Pokemon
Leslie Clean out and sell Longaberger basket collection
Amy rogerswrites.com Early dinner prep every day
Knapsack Spirit knapsackspirit.wordpress.com No unsustainable consumables

19 thoughts on “Jump Off the Ladder: Into Day Two

  1. I feel I am living this one with you. With only 3 days until I head off to Turkey everything has been packed up or given away. As I know what my menu is for the next 3 days my kitchen utensils consist of 2 saucepans, a bowl, a mug, a table spoon and fork!

  2. I started scaling down my kitchen tools last night. Still a long way to go but progress was made.

    BTW Are you really OCD or is that just a moniker you use?

    • Hey, any progress is good progress!

      I do actually have OCD. I have ADHD as well, which makes two disorders that were never meant to play well together! Writing goes a long way to help me to organize and process my thoughts, though.

      • Me too. Diagnosed 2 years ago after living with it for 10+ years. I did 15 months of ERP which has been great for me. Although, my OCD would more or less come and go during those 10 years with 3-4 major episodes. While I haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD I suspect at times it may be present. It’s always nice to chat with other Obsessives.

      • Agreed!
        I’m glad ERP made a difference for you. I’ve so far managed to stay away from any kind of medication (I don’t like pharmaceuticals) but we began looking into treatment about a year ago when I was at my worst. For a few months I couldn’t eat in the same room with other people, and I couldn’t even let my husband kiss me on the cheek without having to go wash my face. Fortunately that phase passed on its own. I still struggle with cleanliness and germs, and I wear my hair up 99% of the time because I can’t deal with it being in my peripheral vision, but I don’t feel as desperate about it anymore.
        The ADHD complicates things because what should be a steady garden-hose-like stream of thoughts in my brain often dissolves into a popped water balloon. haha. My OCD doesn’t enjoy those times at all! But c’est la vie. :p

  3. Perfectly Proud! I have yet to catch up on why u r doing this but, I get the just. Here’s some ways we live everyday (no need to post a reason) this is just how we live. NO Dishwasher: see photo in “Reformed Goddess” post, I use rubber gloves hottest water (kill germs OCD lol) NO Baking sheets–Same thing, foil wrap & provided its not destroyed n distressed or meat cooked on the piece, I reuse them, wipe down, fold, store in ziploc (bug OCD, but no bugs here lol). We also have NO ceramic dishes(just happened) havent bought. Just use good quality reuseable plastic (from dollar store lol). These are just are ways we are used to living. I feed 3 & do 1 load of dishes/day. We each have our own set. NO germ sharing that way (germ OCD remember) and it saves on dishes. Visitors have their own set too lol! You’re doing a wonderful job. Good for you and thank you for sharing. I am always open to new ideas and if I find any, I will forward them to you as well! Happy Trails J9;)

    • One of my favorite things about this challenge is getting to hear about other people’s lifestyles. I think advocates of simplicity (and minimalists in general) tend to start to feel alone because of how unpopular our lifestyle choices are. It’s fantastic to get to interact with so many different people and hear how each one shows their minimalist colors!

      As far as the “why” behind Jump Off the Ladder, this is the initial post, if you didn’t see it: http://tshirtsandtwine.com/2013/04/08/jump-off-the-ladder-challenge/
      I had been talking to my husband about my frustration with trying to explain feelings to people when they had never experienced what I have (with regard to downsizing). This experiment is primarily about giving people the opportunity to examine their mindset toward the stuff they own and the money they spend. Even if every single person involved goes back to the way they were before the challenge (thought I don’t think they will) I’ll be happy that they were able to see first-hand that they can live on less!

      • Excellent! And your journey won’t be fruitless even if your incredible efforts changed one day in one persons life–or hopefully, one persons personal opinion! I understand!
        Thank you for the initial post Iget very confused around here! THANK You again!

  4. My 14 year old came home yesterday, and asked about the lucky charms. I told her we did not need the sugar. She said as soon as she gets to the store she was buying some.

  5. OK, I know I’m a little behind, it’s a symptom of being a full time working mother who also home schools… Please forgive me! I think the biggest accomplishment for me will be actually DUMPING the stuff, which I intend to do over the course of today and tomorrow. I have taken a couple “before” pics, which I will now try to figure out how to uplaod to the FB page. This will be fun and horrifying at the same time, wait til you see my crap! 😉

  6. Very nice! The kitchen is one area that is difficult for me to simplify. I have a family of five and having lots of tools in the kitchen is what allows us to eat more nutritious meals and snacks (food dehydrator, baking supplies, etc.). I have to remind myself to pick my battles! For storage, I often reuse glass and plastic containers from the store (pasta sauce, peanut butter, salsa, etc.).

    And from my own experience, as well as others that I know, I think if we decide to embrace simplicity and minimalism, it is nearly impossible to turn back! Because it isn’t just changing one or two things. It is a lifestyle, a way of being and thinking. That said, however, any small changes in consumption and waste definitely make a difference! Radicalism isn’t a pre-requisite 🙂

  7. If I had more people to cook for than just myself and my husband, I’m sure I’d need a much bigger list! I love the idea of reusing washable containers, though. I’ll definitely have to implement that!

    I totally agree that minimalism and simplicity are “slippery slopes,” but in such a good way. There’s so much freedom in getting past the initial mental block of “I can’t.” After the first big change, everything else comes much more naturally.

  8. Your challenge instantly came to mind today as I reached for a scissors from our pile of maybe 6 or 7. How many pairs of scissors does a family of 5 really need? 1 maybe 2. We have always been proud that we do not have a cluttered house, but the “stuff” has certainly crept in during the past 13 years. If we can only manage to downsize one room, which would you suggest?

    • I would suggest you start with whichever room you clean the most often – the one where you feel the most maintenance-related stress. Go for the area where the impact will be felt the most! If you want some ideas to get started, let me know when you’ve picked a room, and I’ll write a post on it. 🙂

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