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.

 

 

Meanderings

Our weather continues to be quite cold. It’s sunny but once you step outside the wind is really cold. It looks like this all week. It makes it hard to go outside and do anything.

I had a good gym workout although my ankle is still bothering me some so i only did 15 minutes on the treadmill. I may go tomorrow and just do some weights.

Then I had some catch-up chores to do in town. The store, bank, another store and then home. I still need to hit Home Depot for a few misc. like a weird little bulb for a light.

We came home to house very tidy and the bathroom zone is done, so there’s not much in the cleaning dept but I will vacuum and dust tomorrow. Plus I need to get a few pots to repot some of my plant friends. Most are doing great where they are but one spider plant is trying to regroup in a new spot. Some plants are in good places now but come summer the sun comes into the house differently.  So those plants will need to be moved as it will be too sunny.

There are a few house plants I’d like to add but they’re more unusual so I may need to go to the nursery for them.

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Having been a minimalist for 5 years now, I’m only recently adding plants to my decor. I think after we painted the whole house( except my daughter’s room) Simply White by Benjamin Moore, the green really makes the room pop.

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I’d highly recommend house plants to your minimal decor for a number of reasons. The best is that they purify the air. Plus, they really add a wonderful dimension to a room.

Dinner is a mushroom frittata with goat cheese and roasted potatoes.

 

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

 

 

 

 

Almost Friday(ha,ha) and minimalism continues

Well, I think we’re all caught up with stuff from camping. The 5 millionth load of laundry is done. The dishes from the tent trailer have been thru the dishwasher. The house chores are caught up too. This week was Flylady’s Living room zone which is a snap for me as there’s very little to do in our front room. I was the inside windows. Dust everything and then I washed the bottom of the couch cushions since someone kept putting their feet on them. Since it’s a white Ikea couch, it’s really easy to keep clean and I love, love the white couch. Never thought I would but I do.  Since there’s really no clutter in this space it’s quite easy. I did go thru the Heywood cabinet and decided to get rid of the last Franciscan desert rose big bowl and platter. I ‘m going to take them to the Cancer Thrift store this morning. I

I did go thru the Heywood cabinet and decided to get rid of the last Franciscan desert rose big bowl and platter. I ‘m going to take them to the Cancer Thrift store this morning. I haven’t used them in years so what the heck am I keeping them for,. We don’t entertain or have people over to eat so what’s the purpose of a large bowl and platter. I also decluttered the fondue pot. I do use this once a year at Christmas but I’m thinking I can use something else to put fondue cheese in.   I also have a giant Art book to go as well. We used this a lot when home schooling but that’s a long time ago and it’s a giant book that’s just in the way. Honestly, it amazes me the layers you go thru when minimalizing.  I’m not sure even using the KonMarie method you could get thru the different layers of emotional issues with things in one swoop.  I’ve been at this over 5 years and still learning new things and as a result get rid of things that I didn’t before for what ever reason.

My suggestion is to just keep looking at your space and reevaluate what’s useful and what is stuff just hanging around. And does it serve a need in your life NOW.

On a side note, my daughter just finished a 30 day challenge of 10 things a day to declutter. This is just out of her tiny room so she did absolutely great.

Today is a gym day and then I’m going to the Koffee klatch to see who shows up. I guess there’s some library stuff to go over. I’m making up 2 gift baskets for the bake and book sale so I’ll get that done soon.

Dinner is crock pot summer minestrone with our zucchini, other squash, green beans, and carrots. Oh, and our tomatoes are the base.  I might make some biscuits on the side too.

Ongoing de-cluttering

So, I took down the 2 bins of Waldorf books and toys that were my children’s and pulled out some stuff to sell on craigs list. I reduced the amount I’m keeping( for now ) to one bin. So that’s a big win.  One of my goals is to keep reducing things so that there’s one bin less than when I started.  I’ve done pretty well and even my Life magazines are down to another full bin’s worth. So progress.

The barn storage is looking fabulous. B hung 2 more bikes and it looks better in the back room. I really need to get rid of my one bike which is a specialized mountain bike. I’m kinda attached to it but I haven’t used it since I got the Schwinn cruiser. So, I may pull it out and look at it. So other than seasonal Christmas which is @ 4 small bins, the Life magazines at 5 bins, one of the memorabilia, and one of my children’s art and main lesson books from Waldorf, that’s it. So pretty excellent.  I’ve already got a big pile ready for my son to sell when he does the flea market.

I have a bag I’m slowly filling with little things to get rid of. A couple of scarves I don’t want anymore, little odds and ends but honestly it adds up.

I’m also looking at getting rid of the 2 mission style chairs and just use the Poang. And then maybe get another Poang when we go to Ikea next. I like the mission chairs because there solid, but the covers are really stained( even after washing) and the foam is kinda uneven.  I thought about recovering them but the backs of the chairs are a fabric so it would look kinda odd. Better to just be done with it. Maybe by the end of summer. We hardly watch any shows in the summer since we usually sit out till 8 or so.  Of course, I’d love to find a couple of Danish style arm chairs but that’s probably not going to happen at least in my price range.

I just read an ebook called Discardia. It’s about getting rid of things but more the understanding behind creating a more simple home and life. I enjoyed it. I think it was 2.99, so affordable.

It is so true, that once your house becomes less cluttered and simplified there’s more space and openness.  For myself, less visual clutter helps me enjoy my home more. It’s all a work in progress. Right?

I’d love to have our entry be simpler but it’s a work in progress. B has his work area to the left of the door and then to right are 2 white buckets that hold dog food. We are going to have to replace the door this summer as the dual pane are moisture filled so that’s not good. Plus it looks funky.  So the door will be set to the right more(it’ll need to be reframed) and will give more space when it opens. We’re going to go to Habitat for Humanity outlet store to try and find a front door.