My wife and I had our kitchen updated and remodeled 4 years ago. At that point we had owned the house for about 8 years (but it was 60 years old) and saved diligently to pay for the project in cash without any loans. It was an accomplishment that we were proud of.
At the time we valued the increased the amount of storage that we were able to create. Cabinets lined every wall and we were happy to have places for all of our “stuff”. Stuff that used to be stored in the basement shelving could now be stored upstairs. Nevermind the fact that we rarely used most of said “stuff” like baking supplies or random kitchen gadgets. It was still nice to have plenty of storage in arms reach.
One of the nicest additions to our kitchen was a large food pantry unit. It can fit about 3 months of food in it. It has stationary shelves, pull out shelves and two sets of doors for upper and lower portions. The snack shelf alone is about 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep. That is 12 square feet of potato chips!
One day my youngest son was complaining that there were no snacks and I needed to go to the store. I know that I have recently been buying less food and focusing on only buying as much as I need. Previously I always bought multiples to have extra on hand. When I came to the pantry to see what he was talking about, I was very surprised and had a bit of an epiphany. In actuality there were plenty of snacks in the pantry but since it didn’t fill the space and it “looked” more empty than it actually was, my son’s perception was altered.
It was an eye opening experience for me to recognize how my children were seeing the world at times. They are not seeing the forest for the trees; they were not seeing the snacks for the blank space.
We had a talk about focusing on what we do have over what we don’t have. He is 11 so he doesn’t usually agree with me, but it is my job to continue to teach him about appreciation, gratitude, and perception.