We spent all day Saturday . . really . . all day . . cleaning. There’s just too much stuff in this house. To some degree, the “stuff” controls me. That’s not good. I was thinking about becoming a minimalist. Really! I’m tired of every cabinet and drawer bulging at the seams. I’m tired of trying to cram more stuff under the beds.
I came across this blog post on Becoming a Minimalist. That post got me to another blog post, The Best of Slow Your Home. There are quite a few things on that list that I already do but there are many things I need to do more.
While reading about the Bird to Bird book, I was reminded of when Chad was in school and he had to write. He so disliked writing and any time he had a writing assignment, I knew there was going to be trouble. He was paralyzed at the thought of writing. If the teacher said “Write a three page report”, he struggled to get one page done. All he could think about was getting those three pages written.
One summer, I think it was the summer between middle school and high school, we had spent a week in Georgia at a cabin in the woods. We did a little “exercise” in writing. We decided that we would both write a story about our trip to Georgia and we didn’t set any minimum page count. Chad wrote something like “We went to Georgia. We fished and caught a few fish. We came home.”
I wrote page after page of how we planned our vacation, how we found cabins on line, we contacted folks to see who would allow pets. We decided on a cabin. I made out the menu plan. We drove to Georgia. I talked about the stops along the way, about a funny incident that happened. I talked about getting to the cabin and checking the kitchen to see what kinds of pots and pans we had. I wrote about our trip to the grocery store.
When we compared stories, Chad was shocked to see how our stories differed. It helped him realize how he could more or less make an outline by hitting the high points and then go back and fill in more details, which often results in more ideas forming, which add to the story.
That’s how my cleaning and “living with less” is going to have to evolve. I’ll start small. I’ll expand on the high points. I hope I will eventually have way less “stuff” in the house.
No, I’m not getting rid of fabric and yarn that I will use. I’m not getting rid of food I have stored. We will use that. I’m not sorry I bought a new love seat and moved my sofa to the sewing room. I’m not sorry I bought the new stove and have the second stove set up in the shop. Some things need to be done. Some things need to be purchased. I will continue to do those things but I am getting rid of clutter. I am getting rid of things I no longer need in order to live a good life.
When we bought the house in MO with the lime green kitchen, I found several really cute lime green and white polka dotted candles. Big pillar candles. I never lit them . . just kept them sitting around looking pretty. I still have them. They match nothing in my house but they remind me how happy I was with my lime green kitchen. Those candles have now been placed in the buck with my emergency supply of candles. They no longer sit around and collect dust. They will be used. I will not mourn the loss of my lime green and white polka dotted candles.
It’s a start. I have a long way to go. I may be successful or I may fail at my decluttering, minimalist efforts. I will not know unless I try and . . I am trying!