Why I Love My Cupboards (Almost) Bare Comments

You don’t have to be a Spartan to appreciate the value of owning fewer things.

  • By Emma Johnson
  • September 11, 2013

I get a big kick out of opening the refrigerator door and seeing not much more than a half-stick of butter, an apple and an almost-gone gallon of milk.

Yes, it can be comforting to have a refrigerator stocked with fresh produce, an assortment of dairy products and the meat and seafood I love to roast and sear. But having a full fridge also casts a shadow on my life. Each time I go for a yogurt or grab some grapes, I see hundreds of dollars’ worth of perishable goods which—” should they go to waste—” will cost me guilt in addition to the money I’ve already spent on the food. A refrigerator, or house, full of unused stuff is akin to a business with inventory collecting dust. Both represent money poorly spent.

This is why I get a rush when the drawers and closets of my home are spartan. Little waste. Great value in my purchases. I felt a special tingle recently when I threw out a favorite peacock-blue T-shirt so full of holes that it couldn’t even be repurposed as a rag. I got more than my $30 dollars’ worth out of that top.

I hate waste. At my core, I believe the root of happiness is gratitude, and waste is the ultimate expression of ingratitude. I plan and take time and care to ensure that I make good use of what I own. My (almost) bare-cupboard campaign comes from a desire to express thankfulness for my ability to afford good food and nice things.

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