I’ve recently discovered that a positive change is a step in the right direction, no matter how small.

The idea of a zero-waste, minimalist lifestyle has captivated me recently. As I’ve delved deeper into figuring out how to reduce my personal waste, I’ve simultaneously started to see all the excess in my house as waste.

Take my kitchen for example. It’s a tight space with few cabinets, all of which are bursting. So much so that when I came home with a free pint glass from my favorite brewery earlier this month, it threw the entire kitchen out of whack. I ended up stacking the extra glass on top of my plates, which is not only inconvenient but a recipe for broken glass.

I could think of nothing but this problem for days. Finally, I dug through all my cabinets to find the various glassware I’ve collected over the years and counted nearly 60. Drinking. Glasses. In. My. Tiny. Kitchen.

That number simply dumbfounded me.

Cue a decluttering episode, and I’m now at 35 glasses. I kept an assortment of water glasses, pint glasses, rocks glasses, wine glasses, holiday-themed glasses, mugs, and water bottles. Plus, many mason jars (I’m too scared to count) that I use for canning, but could double as drinking glasses in a crunch.

Progress, but still far from perfect. I’m struggling to reconcile the need for diverse glasses; after all, there is a reason water glasses are different from wine glasses are different from mugs, right? What happens if I have a small winter gathering and everyone wants hot cider? I have to have mugs so no one burns their hands. Or what if I’m weirdly attached to a set of four holiday-themed glasses and I can’t bear to part with them quite yet?

Finding the right balance is hard and will be different for everyone. For me, right now it looks like a kitchen with three dozen glasses, but I’m seeking progress, not perfection.

About the Author: Gabrielle is an aspiring minimalist, striving for a simple, low waste, sustainable lifestyle. She currently spends much of her time reading popular science books and playing with her foster cats.

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