why​ minimalize

We all have different thresholds of clutter and for things that are around us. When I look around my small house, I can see where a die-hard minimalist may say, ‘Gee, you have a lot of Easton Press books, or that I still have my Fiesta Ware.’ Even though I have gotten rid of probably 75 % of what we did have ( grand piano and 2 couches and a futon) plus more, there is still a comfortable amount of stuff that I like.

I love my Needles and Pine Tepco dishes that are in the Heywood Wakefield. Even though I use White dishes daily, I do use the Tepco and I use the Fiesta Ware. But I have them where I can appreciate them visually and they fit on the shelves they are on.

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That’s a big minimalist thing and I do use that concept of how much ‘real estate’ or space do I have for those items. If they were boxed away, I would get rid of them. But they are out on my shelves and fit the space. If you need to start your minimalist journey, I’d recommend the container concept. There’s only so much room on a shelf or in a drawer for items. So that is your parameter. You can only put what fits and that doesn’t mean cramming things in sideways.

So why bother decluttering and minimizing your stuff. From my own personal experience, my house stays cleaner as there is less stuff to dust and overall less stuff to deal. My stress levels are quite low( mostly) when things are tidy and uncluttered. I read a great article on some blog about when we’re stressed we want to declutter and I can say that is what I did.  I found the more I released the less stressed I was. My home felt better to be in. As an introvert, I spend a lot of my time home especially since I no longer work at the library. So

  • cleaner house
  • less stuff to deal with
  • lower stress levels
  • more time for other things like reading, cooking, walking etc

 

There’s less noise in my head when I have more white space around me both literally and figuratively. I think there’s even more, I can declutter down the road but for now, it is a nice balance.

 

 

Minimalism, Creating routines

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Thoreau says it all in this quote, I think.

We need to think about what we buy, what we consume and what we do with it all after we no longer need it. Plus, how many hours did you work to get that new whatever. It’s certainly food for thought.

But today in my minimalism series, I want to address routines. So you’ve decluttered, purged, donated, thrown away, and organized whats left. Now comes keeping it going by creating routines. Daily, weekly, monthly.

When I started my minimalism journey it was Flylady that helped me get going. I was starting a new chemotherapy after remission of 4 years. The chemo was fairly easy to tolerate 21 days on 7 days off. But the steroids were tough, so I found FlyLady and started implementing the 15-minute rule and followed her weekly zones.

There are 5 zones and every 5 weeks you go thru your whole house. Since decluttering and purging, tidying and housework are a breeze. My biggest zone, and by that I mean the most time consuming, is the kitchen.  I can do all the other rooms in about 10 minutes.  I also do the weekly home blessing which includes washing mirrors and dusting.

She also has an evening and morning routine.  I do the morning one based on what I need. For instance, I do 1X of laundry a day, I swish and swipe the bathroom in the morning, I make sure the counters are clean and the sink as well. Of course, I make the bed daily. I think the evening one would be especially important if you have kids going to school and need to plan lunches etc.

I think it’s important to create your own routine based on what your life looks like. If I had young children, I’m sure it would be different, working professionals will look different too. Start with the basics

  • make your bed
  • tidy the living room or any room that needs picking up
  • 1X laundry a day, done from start to finish
  • clean sink
  • wipe bathroom down
  • empty dishwasher
  • plan dinner

I plan dinner with a weekly rotation but I plan specifically in the morning what I ‘m doing for dinner.

Keep at it. It took a while to get my routine down and it will you too.  Do the most important things first and then schedule 15 minutes for the rest and see how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes.

There are tons of Pinterest ideas for routines to check as well.

 

 

 

Minimalism, create white space

9a1fb140b9232e6ec8deba592897d9cb.jpgAhhh, to have the things out of the house. It’s very freeing and leaves open lots of possibilities.

It’s best to follow, though, the one in one out rule once you’ve done a good purge. So, if you buy a new T-shirt and the old one goes out. Same with everything, although, one caveat might be if you are buying something you need and don’t have one like it to discard. In that event, just find another item not related to donate.  Of course, I don’t follow this to the letter at all. For Christmas, we all received(from Santa) 2 Easton Press books. Since I’ve decluttered almost all my other books, I didn’t feel the need to reduce the books.  They are beautiful classics that are leather bound and gold gilded. I bought a lot on eBay before Christmas for an amazing price of 80.00 for 7 books.  Very sweet deal.

Creating white space is leaving some spaces unfilled. Perhaps a shelf only with a few items. I try and keep one open shelf or at least 1/2 of a shelf open. It’s much easier on the eyes not for it to be packed.img_0363

Also, creating white space allows you to open up to new possibilities and ideas. Rearrange your furniture or think of a creative solution to small space living(or medium, or large) but something new.   The possibilities are endless really when we have decluttered down to the essential, purged all the unnecessary things that we hold on to, white space let’s us be creative.

Plus, it’s really fun!!

Try to empty a shelf, a cabinet shelf, or a drawer.  Let it be a  space for light to come in.

 

 

Minimalism, get rid of the STUFF!!!

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I love this quote. It’s so true!!

Just yesterday we dropped a load at Goodwill Express and then the pet donation thrift store and pet bookstore. They had been in the back of my VW for at least a month. I had hemmed and hawed at dropping off my practically new Dansko shoes( I paid $110 for), and an old family book that was printed in 1850.  I had only worn the shoes 3-4 times and just didn’t fit my feet right. The book was an old book of quotations. Like I’m going to read that. So, I let them go for someone else to enjoy.

But, to backtrack here for a moment.

There are many ways to begin the minimalism journey, but number one is decluttering stuff.  There are so many approaches to this. KonMari, minimalist game, FlyLady,  Peter Walsh, and probably lots more. I actually have used all the popular ones at different times. It helps to keep getting fresh perspectives and to keep digging thru levels of stuff.

Generally, it’s a good idea to start decluttering with the easy stuff. Clothes are pretty unemotional, books are also fairly easy to discard, maybe moving on to kitchen stuff and pieces of furniture that don’t serve you anymore. Throw away broken stuff and stuff that can’t be repaired.

With each load you take to the thrift store or the dump, you will feel lighter. It is an amazing process.

You must though, do it. You have to put it in your car and take it. Best right away!!

When I was getting rid of lots and lots of stuff including many of my vintage collections, I happened to have a co-worker who loved that stuff and actually had a fairly big house so it fit in. She received an old 1900’s trunk, vintage fans, dishes, etc. It made me so happy to pass them on to someone who would enjoy them.  If you can do that, it’s great. If not, just remember once it’s out of your space, take it to the appropriate drop-off.

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This too is so true. So many of the things I let go, truly did matter to me before. And then somehow, they just didn’t and I needed the space more. The emptiness and openness was and is so healing.

So,  DECLUTTER in whatever way suits you. It may be 15 minutes a day. It may be on weekends. Just do it.

Then GET RID OF IT!

Creating a more minimalist environment will help you have more time to do things you enjoy because with less stuff there is less maintenance and upkeep.

 

 

 

Minimalism, inch by inch…

I always loved the song, ‘ Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow’…  When we were Quakers, we would often sing this song before meeting.It reminds me of what minimalism is. Doing a little at a time, inch by inch to get to that place where simplicity lives.

Minimalism is a journey into simplifying life. To get to the place of “lagom”. That’s the Swedish word for ‘just enough’, not too little, not too much.

When I started on my minimalist journey, I decluttered for many many months. Then I eased off and then started again. There have been many rounds of removing the non-essential.

Sometimes it has been a very small thing that has been decluttered or something that I’ve looked at but didn’t feel ready to let it go. So it really has been inch by inch, so to speak.

I thought I’d start a mini minimalism series, mostly, because I like talking about it.

So, today is the first.

There are many ways to begin decluttering, but I think the most important is to just start somewhere.  I liked to have a visual win for when I first started decluttering. So perhaps for you that might be a counter in the kitchen or the top of your dresser. Look around and even take pictures with your phone( I have found this enormously helpful), and then tackle the area that irritates you the most.

Gaining control over your space is partly what I love about minimalism and simplifying. Your home is your space, create the space you want.  This has been a real motivator for me.  I always wanted a white couch, and eventually, I got one. Of course, it’s an Ikea, so affordable. Plus I happen to love white as it is very easy on the eyes and I love that there are many shades of white.  Maybe you love blue or green. It doesn’t matter, what matters is you creating the space you are comfortable in. Decluttering non-essential things from your home is the first step.

Go for it. Do 15 minutes a day like FlyLady suggests. It is amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes.21317537_2008716379361964_2892595769604685335_n

 

 

 

 

Things to do….

I just got back from getting the blood work for the fasting tests. That’s cholesterol and glucose. Plus they require the nicotine test.  I’m not sure what my Cholesterol is. I vaguely remember a few years ago it being border- line but then ( I think) after that, the good one was really good. I think that’s when I started walking every day. So it’ll be interesting to see what it is. Then next week are my regular labs, light chains, SPEP, they’re CMP, and BMP. Maybe those are the same, not sure. There’s 4 tests I do so.?

Then next week I see the oncologist as well. B is taking me so I don’t have to drive to Sacramento. I think we’re going to sell the van as it’s really not being used so it’s more likely something is going to go wrong on it. When I use it every day, I can tell how it’s running. But lately, I’m not using it.  So, It might be time to just pass it on. Plus I told my son he could have the money for his tuition costs. He’s thinking of classes at Sacramento State instead of San Francisco State. If we could do more I would but we need to save as much as we can for the retirement moment.

After videoing the entry way, I saw some things to change.

IMG_1162.jpg This is the before picture. and this is the after

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It seems cleaner looking. what do you think? I think I want to get a white basket for dog stuff. Plus, I think want to rehang the metal dust pan somewhere else too.

Well, I’m off to do laundry and maybe go back to town as I need to go the bank. On the other hand, it can wait till tomorrow too.

A new year

I’ve been busy meal planning this morning and working on checking what’s in the freezer and pantry. Since we’re doing the Frugalwoods uber frugal month, I plan on eating out of the pantry and freezer as much as possible. I’d like to set a food budget of $400 for the month. I started a spreadsheet, thanks to my tech-savvy daughter for setting it up), that I’m separating food, cat food, nonfood. So the $400 will be food only. So I still need to decide on how much for the other stuff.

I’m making a shepherd’s pie for dinner and then a veggie ham that B got. We haven’t tried it so, I’ll post how it is.

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I’m trying something new and taking a video of each room. So far it is a great tool and I redid a few things in the entry way and it looks better. I think seeing it objectively is a such an amazing tool.

This week is the entry way zone and laundry room. So I’ll work on those two areas.  Not a lot to declutter but simpler on the eye by removing a few things and repositioning a few.

This week I have a fasting blood test for insurance and then next week is my regular labs. We’ll see.