Monday, October 25, 2010

One is Enough

When Ian and I moved in together, we had doubles of most things. Over the past two months, we've given away (or eaten up) most of the doubles. That alone was a big step and cleared out lots of space. Then I started thinking about other things that were duplicated like dishes and clothes.

We went from an overflowing shelf of glasses to a not-quite-so-packed shelf of glasses. We gave away plates we hated. We got rid of the fancy drink glasses and just kept the wine glasses.

While that was a huge step (I come from a family that never gets rid of anything) I'm still feeling overwhelmed by all the dishes.

Before Ian moved in, I used to live with only one set of dishes (plate, glass, fork, spoon, etc) and really loved it. Washing one plate every night felt better than watching 12 pile up in the sink. Spending 3 minutes a night washing dishes wasn't nearly as painful as spending an hour washing a week's worth of dishes.

I asked Ian if we could try living with two of everything, just to see how we like it. He hates doing dishes as much as I do so we're never going to be the "wash your dishes right away" sort of people. At least now when every dish is dirty, it'll only take us 5 minutes to wash them all up.

We're not actually giving the rest away at this point (we do sometimes have my family over for dinner), but this exercise will help us learn just how many things we actually need. Hopefully we'll have another box to send to the goodwill soon.

Just the other day, Courtney Carver challenged us to explore the idea of One is Enough. She proposed a mini mission to give it a try for ourselves. She asks us: is one pen enough? Is one jacket enough? Is one plate, one lipstick, one purse enough? Choose your favorite coffee mug and use only that mug for a week. Is it enough?

I'd love to know if you're living with only one thing or thinking about trying it for a while. What is it? How's it going?

So far, the one set of dishes thing is working great! We're still boxing up the stragglers but I look forward to a super sparse cupboard and sink very, very soon.


  1. I love this idea. And I've often noticed that in all the clutter in my cabinets, there are one or two specific pieces that I always gravitate to, and the rest gets ignored. I could easily do without the others (except when company comes over) and one could definitely be enough.

  2. Just browsing your "other" blog here. Forgot about it! Anyway....about this "living with one"...It's a great concept and great for the 2 of you. But how would this work for entertaining? What if you want to have a party? or another couple over for dinner? or some friends over for coffee and a donut? What do you do if you've gotten rid of all but one (or 2)?

    This "reducing" is such a great idea and I am finding myself seeing something in the house and putting it in a bag for donation. It's hard for me and I'm not really a "hoarder" but most of the stuff I have, I like. May not "need" but I want it. With all the military moves we do, I do "reduce" quite a bit b/c i HATE unpacking a bunch of crap. But it's so hard for me still to part with stuff I may only use once a year. Isn't that so bad!