I saw something on TV the other day about how some celebrity I’d never heard of is doing her part to save the world by only buying clothes secondhand. I can do that, I thought. I buy most of my clothes at the thrift store already anyway.

Resolution No New Clothes

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If you’ve spent much time in thrift stores (or sorting through donations for nonprofits or following a disaster), you know that our society is absolutely overrun with clothes. It’s a burden. And at my local Goodwill I regularly walk out with Banana Republic, J. Crew, Calvin Klein, and the less fancy but still adorable Loft, Target, Gap, and Old Navy items for $3 a pop. It’s kind of jarring when you think about it that clothes are mass-produced, worn for a short time, then sent to languish on thrift store racks while they are still in good condition. It’s the definition of excess. Thanks to Macklemore thrifting is becoming more popular but it’s still kind of stigmatized and there are still more clothes than we could ever need getting donated to thrift stores every day (as evidenced by the fact that bales of them are shipped overseas). So my resolution for this year of my life is to not buy any more brand new clothes. I can still shop thrift stores and even hit up eBay or consignment shops, but I’ll stick strictly to secondhand until my next birthday. If this goes well maybe I’ll try doing it for Jack next year! Nick is more difficult to shop for because he needs everything in a tall size, but he hates spending money on clothes and hardly ever buys new stuff anyway. I’m still debating about whether shoes count. They definitely wear out more quickly and there are not nearly as many in thrift stores, so I may give myself permission to pick up a new pair now and then. But since Nick got me these** for my birthday I should be good for a while!

**Amazon affiliate link. If you click that link and then subsequently make a purchase I will receive a small portion of the proceeds at no additional cost to you.

After hanging the vintage silver platter over our stove last week something felt a little off. I loved the platter and what it brought to the space, but the area as a whole now felt somewhat cluttered.

silver platter over range

Determined to keep the platter, I tried removing the canisters on the right, but it was now too barren for my tastes.

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So after doing some soul-searching regarding what useful and pretty thing could live on that little scrap of counter, I went in search of a utensil crock and found this $10 candle holder at Marshall’s. I also (temporarily?) removed theĀ gimme some sugar print. I originally planned to keep it there and hang another print above the clock but it’s too much in a small space. I’ll see if I can find another spot for it. Moving the utensils onto the counter freed up a drawer next to the stove for towels and potholders! I’ve never had a good spot for that sort of thing in here so I’m excited to now have them tucked away neatly in such a convenient place. I’m not entirely convinced that the crock is the proper scale and may keep my eyes peeled for something shorter and wider, but I still like it. Maybe a wood cutting board nearby would help add more visual heft without feeling cluttered? I don’t prep food over here but I could use it to stage items that I’m using while cooking.

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With the microwave now squatting in the pantry I had room for the canisters over here. This is a much better place for them, anyway, since there’s a little more room to work with. I also hung our stemware rack and rearranged the shelves in the cabinets above to accommodate all of our glassware. The drawer below now holds extra tea, our corkscrew and bottle opener, and a small collection of koozies (is that the official name for those things? I’ve never heard them called anything else).

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Delicate question: should I add a small rack for my collection of fine wines? Too bourgie? (FYI that is a three dollar bottle of wine)

My kitchen has come a long way so far this year, but the microwave on the counter was still bugging me. I felt like it was one of the last few details that kept the kitchen from feeling really updated, plus it was in the way of where I wanted to hang my stemware rack (wine glass storage = very important).

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After adding some racks to the back of the pantry doors and using some scrap plywood to create a half-shelf to help with food storage I was able to clear out an entire full-size shelf right at eye level for the microwave (well, normal eye level. It’s slightly above my super-short gaze). I’d originally planned to put it on a lower shelf but that was a dumb idea. This is better.

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It’s got plenty of room to vent at the back and sides and the door is able to swing freely without any drama.

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I didn’t want to commit by wiring an outlet there until we’d lived with it for a while to be sure we liked it, so in the meantime it’s powered by an extension cord running to the adjacent laundry room. It’s not the classiest thing ever but worth it to do a trial run. Plus I need to save up a little for an electrician.

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The hardest part is remembering to actually close the pantry doors after we’re done with it so that the nice open counter isn’t cancelled out by open doors cluttering the kitchen. It doesn’t help that the door on the left now completely refuses to close. After snapping these photos I wised up and moved the extension cord to that side so that at least the right door could close, but I’m going to have to do something about this situation. I think that the problem is that I installed one of the hinges too tightly, but who knows. I may replace them all with adjustable hinges, but apparently hinges are more complicated than I thought and I don’t understand enough about them to select the right product (how do I figure out the size of my overlay???). But that’s another post for another day. Also on my to do list is creating some order to that shelf storing Jack’s sippy cups and accoutrements. I’m thinking maybe some bins that are open in the front? And while I’d originally planned to hang the pots and pans on a rack I’m now undecided about that as well. It’s funny how plans change as you go!

Thank y’all so much for all the birthday wishes. I had such a great day on Saturday that when I woke up Sunday morning I asked Nick if it could please be my birthday again. This might just have been the best birthday I’ve had in years!

We bought our house at the very end of March 2010 and moved in a week later. The Monday after we moved was my birthday and I took the day off from work to finish unpacking and organizing. I was so happy! Four years later I still love this house and tomorrow I’ll turn 29. It seems like the older I get the faster time flies, but I’m still grateful to be yet another year older. Fingers crossed that this is a great one!

Do not regret growing older

Have a lovely weekend, my friends, and thanks for reading!