I have written about this before but it is an important skill when it comes to living with less stuff. But don’t be deterred by the word improvise. Even though some people may have more skills at this than others, when it comes to everyday improvising I am sure everyone can do it without much thought.
The reason I even bring up the subject is that much of the tools, or gadget if you like, thatÂ we have around out homes perform the same tasks asÂ one another. So at least half of them aren’t even necessary to the smooth running of our homes.
A simple knife for example can, with a little practice, perform the same task as so many other gadgets in the kitchen. “But…”, I hear you say, my gadget does it so much faster. But that might only be because you haven’t performed the taskÂ often enough to improve you skills. Which begs the question “If you aren’t needing the gadgetÂ often then why do you need it at all. And another thing you aren’t taking into account is that gadgets usually take much more effort to clean, cost a lot more to buy, are prone to break down and usually take up much more space.
I’ll give you another example. Do you own a mixing bowl a colander and a salad spinner. Well you don’t need the salad spinner. Â Put the colander in the mixing bowl with the salad leaves in it, fill with water, shake and then drain. Then shake the colander over the sink. Voila clean drip dried salad fixings. And only half the space wasted in your cupboard.
At the moment I am livingÂ in a studio apartment in Berlin. Needless to say there is the bare minimum, in the way of gadgets, in the small kitchen,Â however,Â I have not found that to be a drawback.Â In fact I am being more adventurous than usual with my cooking, trying new recipes and adapting others, that I regularlyÂ use, to what is on hand. I find the challenge, if you could even call it that, entertaining and am more than satisfied with the results. The satisfaction of these small achievements is mentally rewarding.
I have also had to improvise when it comes to doing the laundry, darning a sock, acquiring some foreign language skills and getting around. And am happy with all the results.
If you insist on keeping certain gadgets at least get the most out of them. I use my coffee grinder to also grind nuts and spices, make small quantities of bread crumbs from stale bread, whip small quantities of cream etc. I use my panini press to cook pancakes, bacon, eggs, french toast (both sides at the same time), roti bread when having curries etc. Well, I did use it for all those things until it broke down, and I am not going to bother replacing it unless I can pick one up secondhand.
So my challenge to you is to find a gadget in your home that is, for the most part, just wasting space. Now devise another method of performing the same taskÂ this gadget is meant for, and hone those skills. Do a Google search for a video on how to best achieve this if necessary. I did so when I wanted to learn how best to peal, chop and mince garlic and eliminated the need for a garlic press or buying jars of minced garlic. Fresh is best and presses can be a pain to clean.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when Iâ€™m slow