Decluttering and redoing the front entry and office.

So, we had to buy a new front door after this happened.IMG_0830

Out front door was a French door with 2 panels on either side. So this winter, the inside of the dual panes started to get condensation. The door was 20 years old. But then last week I heard a pop and snap and one of the panels completely cracked. A project we were putting off till who knows when now had to be done pronto. That meant rebuilding a new door frame and the wall next to it as the other door had 3 doors and this new one would just be single.

I found a nice inexpensive Craftsman style door and we went down to Lowes to pick it up. Then B pulled the old door out and rebuilt the frame. So it looks quite nice. The plywood on the other side isn’t done yet but will be soon. then we will have to put up shake shingles to match the house and then paint.

But we also pulled everything out of the room and including his desk and realized the desk was just IMG_0844too dark and big to put back in. I have it listed for Free on a local group site.

So, of course, one thing leads to another and we’ve emptied the room and will put back only what is useful and beautiful. We decided to go down to Ikea as they had a certain desk on the family discount ending today.  We looked at it and decided it was too big too so we picked a smaller one, a BIlly book shelf and a filing cabinet.

But then we decided that since everything was out and we had a package of unused flooring to get more of the same and redo the floor. We’re not pulling up the vinyl tiles as it will help be an insulator as this original was just a porch.  So more projects. Everything is all over the place ( which is like craziness for me), but I will endure. By the weekend, all will be back to normal( I hope).

We decluttered another huge load from the barn 2 bookcases, lots of little stuff and a rug.  so that is good and now, the barn is looking so good with the extra shelves for my son’s (crap) of stuff…. I’m sure it’s useful in his eyes.

that’s it for now.  Dinner is Taco Tuesday. Black bean quesadillas.

 

A simple life.

I think it’s very important to purge things from your life that complicate it.  Are you always SOOO busy?  It’s easy not to be, just say NO! You don’t have to do all that extra stuff. Your kids don’t need to do 12 activities a week. You don’t need to be over scheduled. You can decide what you want in your life or not.

Even if you are working full-time, you can still decide what you need and want to do with your life. You can simplify meals, have a morning and evening routine, declutter so there’s less to take care of and slow down.

  • I think in our crazy world we need to step back and put into focus what is important.

  • Family time is important.

  • Time for yourself is important.

  • Time for your relationship is important.

One thing I learned from having cancer, is to slow down, do what only was essential. When you’re on chemo, you just don’t have the energy to do everything you used to. It’s a great lesson in some things just aren’t that important and they can either wait to be done or just nixed.  Now that on still on my drug-free time( chemo that is), I still prioritize what I want to do each day.  I never take on more than I want to in a day. I usually list what I need to do in the morning and then if I can’t finish that, I just look at whether I want to do it tomorrow or not.

Try and be less busy, it’s good for you and probably your family too.

image   Take time to enjoy nature.

More thoughts on Simplified eating

img_0165 My home made bread.

Simple Foods

I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about what it is I’m trying to do with Simple Eating. So far I’ve come up with

  • Eating the same foods for meals simplifies meal time and allows me to have what I need on hand. For instance, breakfast. We have chickens, therefore lots of eggs. My go to breakfast is: 1 egg either fried or scrambled and since I make my own bread, a slice of toast. I also make my own granola, granola with yogurt is a go to. I was making my own yogurt but then buying the organic at Costco for 6.49 seemed like a  no-brainer. Making yogurt is pretty easy  to make so that maybe something to try.
  • so, decide what breakfast works for you and that you have ingredients available. Perhaps you do smoothies. Then be sure that’s what you do almost daily and it simplifies the process.
    image

    Our girls lay pretty colored eggs!

    Having what you need on hand makes the difference in a stressful morning or a calm one.

    Bulk buying

  • Buying in bulk such as black beans, pintos, rice, cheese, coffee, meat, butter, let’s me put meals together easily. If you don’t want to make your own beans, buying the organic cans at Costco is a great option too. I keep canned beans as well since once in awhile it’s nice to open black beans and then just cook up some rice.

       Right equipment

  • Having the right kitchen equipment makes some of this easier. A crockpot is essential. You can throw together chicken, veggies, sauce and then 6 hours later it’s done. I do all my beans in the crockpot. I put in @ 2 cups of beans, rinse, and then cook on high for 7-8 hours. The last hour I add garlic cloves and salt. Next is a rice maker.  This is a must if you eat rice once a week. I use to make rice using the Tassajara recipe book. It was fun until you forgot about it and it burnt. With a rice maker, it is fool proof.

 

        Menus

  • Having a menu is essential even if it is just variations of what you do every week.  such as Taco Tuesday can be tacos, but also bean and rice bowls or pizza night might be homemade but once in awhile it’s take- out. So plan for the week wth your menu.
  • Have a theme for each night for dinner ie; the taco Tuesday etc.
  • cook once and then use leftovers. I try and do roast chicken once a week or week and a half. Then I make up menus based on leftovers. Chicken tacos, chicken soup in the winter, chicken salad.

Planning ahead to shop also allows you to figure out what you need and if you buy what in season that makes meal planning easier too.

I think also, simple food eating has a lot to do with what season you are in your life too. Do you have young kids, retired, teenagers? That will certainly make a difference in how you try and simplify meal planning.

 

KonMari, an update.

I recently watched a youtube of Marie Kondo ,the originator of the Kon Mari method of tidying. I was impressed. I’m not a novice at decluttering or minimalizing. I’ve been at it for at least 4 years now. But i was struck by something she said and decided to revisit her method. I’ve read both her books and did  enjoy them but didnt do the take everything out thing. Since I’ve decluttered so much in the past I decided to try this. I started with my clothes. Now, I have a very small wardrobe. I wear basically the same thing everyday. i have black, white, navy, and jeans. I have less than 40 items  and 3 pairs of shoes. So, I still took everything out. Touched each thing and was able to get rid of at least half of what I had. I was impressed. I had some jeans I was hanging on to in case I lost some weight. Out they went. If I lose weight I will get something then.  I dont count in my workout sweats or jackets.  I have 2 of each. So I was impressed.

The next day I did books. Now I also have very few books anymore. We have @ 4 dozen Easton press. These are collector items and they are for both my daughter and my son. They are very beautiful and a good investment. I didnt take these off the shelf and touch because I knew all were staying. But I did take all the rest which wasn’t that much but still I managed to fill a grocery bag. Most were Todd Borg’s Tahoe mystery series and those will get donated to the Truckee Library.  Plus 2 new books I got from blogging for books. I could still have gotten rid of some old family books that are pretty old ,1850’s  They didnt really spark joy but I was undecided so i kept them for now. Again, I was quite surprised with the holding each item and feeling for the spark of joy.

Next the area to do is papers. Again, I have declutteded so much I had a small bin to go thru and then 1/2 drawer in a file cabinet. I still threw out ( we will burn them) 2 huge bags. I was impressed. Old mortgage papers , bills etc. I put back less than 1/2 of what I had.

Now I’m going thru the Komono stuff. That’s lots of areas such as bathroom, pantry. Our bathroom is very minimalistic so not much but I did throw out a few things and cleaned the cabinet drawers.  I also took all the food out of our open shelving (restaurant stainless steel shelves) and went thru everything threw out a bunch and put a bunch in the food bank bag and then reorganized it. It looks better. I also keep canned goods in our bedroom closet and reorganized that. Not anything really to throw out per se.

So, here’s the thing,  I think if you’re just starting out with decluttering, I would recommend you start with the 4 bag system. Toss, Keep, donate, and not sure. i think this would get you thru the first layer of decluttering and would be a good start and would show immediate improvement in your home. Clear off counters and surfaces too. Then after a few sessions of this start Kon Mari. I think,my opinion only, Kon Mari could be overwhelming at first. But then again millions have done it and like it. Whether or not they finished ,who knows.

Next up is more kitchen cabinets but I’ll do one side then the other since it is hard on my back to take everything out from all cabinets at once. Even with what I’ve done ,my back has been sore.

I’ll get some pictures on when I upload them from my phone.

A journey towards minimalism.

I love everything about being a minimalist. I value the focus it has given me in my daily life.I love the simplicity it has brought me and how my life is less stressful. We’ve gotten rid of many many things and the things we have kept are useful and beautiful( almost).  My favorite quote is  by William Morris :imageWe still have areas in our house and barn that need work and I’m glad really ,as it gives me a focus. Minimalism has helped us become more frugal and questioning all our purchases and keeping the budget in line.

Right now I’m recovering our 1950’s Heywood Wakefield dining room chairs. I like the simplicity of the off-white canvas I’m using. It’s really painters drop cloth but heck it works. I’ll post a few pictures soon.

My journey with minimalism has evolved as all things do. I know in the different levels of decluttering I’m less emotionally attached to things and where maybe a year ago I wouldn’t have got rid of something, now it’s easier. I value open space more than things and only really keeping what we use or value.  It’s important to me to have a goal or something I’m focusing on and striving toward minimalism fits me perfect right now.

As all things in life, we change and what we hold dear changes to. But some things do remain constant. My love for my husband, children, family and deeper self-principles. Such as being honest, simplicity( Quaker value), and things that really are the same as when I was 18.  It’s funny how deep inside I think we all retain some of who we were and valued at 18. maybe not but, for me that’s true.  Of course, I’m not the same person as such, I’m older, wiser( ok that’s questionable) but hopefully a little.

Well, if you’re starting out on you own minimalism journey, declutter, make space in you home and life, and simplify. And just keep going. Reprioritise what you value. Stay close to nature or at least get out in the wild once in a while.  Okay, enough.

Daily routines and simplifying

We dropped a small load off at Goodwill and then took some very nice cookbooks to the ASPCA bookstore and those white dishes to their thrift store. I really like taking the nicer stuff to the Pet thrift store. They seem to have a very nice collection and seem to be doing well. I already have a few more things loaded into the van and if I’m up to it , I’ll go thru some more stuff in the barn. I know I’m going to get rid of more Christmas stuff and Life magazines  but when is the question.

My daily routine  started when I did Flylady. It’s still the same for the most part. having a daily routine ,morning for me, but some people do morning and evening,keeps the house and laundry tidy and organized.  If you do a daily routine it really helps  in the flow of the day. I make the bed(of course), empty the dishwasher if it hasn’t been done the night before, take out laundry and wipe the  bathroom with Costco wipes. If I need to prep for dinner such as crockpot Thursday I do that in the morning too. I make sure the counters are clear and things put away.  Also, put things away that might be out of place. Of course, we don’t have young children so it does make it easier.

Minimalizing has been a huge part of how simple my daily routine is since there’s not a lot of things to dust, or put away or maintain. I would completely advise minimalizing your things so as to simplify your life.  It’s certainly a journey and a process. But as I go layers of stuff and layers of my self a lot is revealed and let go of.  It’s interesting how different decluttering books speak to different parts of oneself.  the Don Aslett books are really fun and kinda quirky, but they Do get the message across. You really don’t need 12 rusty screwdrivers.  Or that family heirloom you think one day will be valuable. Then, of course, the Kondo way of does it spark joy.  Then now imageI’m working on the concept of ,if we moved would we take it.  It does force you to look at things differently. Of course, some things we wouldn’t take but still need now. So it’s all a process.

For me, the bottom line is I want a minimalistic home, lots of white space, and  more room.

 

‘The More 0f Less’

‘The More  of Less’ by Joshua Becker

This book by Joshua Becker was just released. He is one of the leading advocates of minimalism and living a simple life. He starts off describing how his journey into minimalism started with emptying his garage. He states up front that he uses Christian and Bible referances.  I wasn’t too sure about this to start  since I’m a non-believer as such, but I didn’t find them over powering to the message of simplifying your life and minimizing. I like he was honest about this and very open to all faiths or non-faith.

The book is well written and I liked his breakdown of how to start decluttering, and then going into a lot of the psychology behind letting go of things and the benefits from living with less.

He gives lots of practical advice.

I think this is an excellent book on minimalism for both beginners and those more advanced in their journey to own less.41pkwq-8CJL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_

 

This book was provided by ‘bloggingforbooks’ in return for my opinion.!!!