Friday, October 5, 2018

Daily Declutter

I have backed off my wonderful "only shop once a week" plan. My son is taking classes at the local community college, and he doesn't drive yet -- so I have two hours to kill, not close to home, not far from shops. The puppy and I hit a couple of shops and didn't buy anything except a Christmas present for my husband. So despite wasting a couple of hours shopping, at least I didn't bring anything home!

I posted several items to ebay -- two of which have received some interest! I am looking forward to those items moving on to new, useful, lives. The things that were posted before are off to the charity shop, and hopefully someone there will appreciate them.

I continue to move slowly. When my son gets his driver's license, things should speed up on the homefront. In the mean time, I am helping my family achieve their goals, which is my ultimate aim. I can declutter later (I'm sure I will declutter later regardless!) Focusing on them, and their activities, will keep me from feeling frustrated that the house remains more cluttered than I would like. But to get more accomplished, I'd have to give up things I want more -- like an afternoon walk by the river.

I just need to keep reminding myself why I don't get more done more quickly -- because I'm busy doing other things!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Daily Declutter

I have been decluttering bits and dabs, but I haven't had computer access. (My son has been using the computer to do homework. As if.) The bits I have been doing feel productive, so even though I haven't had much said, I feel like I'm doing something.

I (bravely) moved most of the things I had on ebay to the declutter pile. I wasn't getting any interest, they weren't high value items, and I can use the space for other things. Like the new items I have pulled to sell. I even posted the first item last night! I have a collectible cup and a couple of bundles of silk yarn. I bought a lot of yarn for the wool in the lot, and I am unlikely to use the silk -- so it can go be useful somewhere else.

I got rid of some picture frames I haven't used in multiple years. Why do I even have those! I gave away some Sculpey clay, brand new, that I bought for a party and never used. Someone else will have fun with that, and I can decrease the size of my craft stash with that one simple deduction. I'd love to reduce all my crafts down to a small plastic box (or vintage train case!) for crafts and another one for paints. (I also threw away a dried up bottle of paint, but I don't feel virtuous for that. It should be obvious. Should.)

I haven't removed any large items. I haven't even removed a lot from the house (a good bit has been from the storage shed). But I am reducing the overall load of stuff I own. Things are moving the right direction (I spent three hours at the mall, waiting for my daughter to attend a party, and I wasn't even tempted to buy anything). I am making progress!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Daily Declutter

The clutter has crept back over the weekend! I did send off one item I sold on ebay -- ebay tempted my to repost my other items, but I will be strong next time! Things aren't being looked at, so I suspect they will just continue to take up space in my barn. I can clear that out this week and move on.

I cleared out the cupboard where I keep jars, appliances and serving bowls (yes, I know there is no overlap in use there. It's a giant, three-door cupboard and I keep things I don't use in the middle of cooking over there.) Jars without lids, lids without jars, jars I don't use and a popsicle maker that I haven't used in several summers all went on the chopping block. I also found a lot of dish towels. I'm having difficulty getting rid of them, because they're useful. And stained, so no one else will want them. If I can soak the stains out I'll put some away for the kids when they move out, and the rest I'll just use up until they get torn or worn through. All in one cupboard! Now I can un-stack my serving bowls so they won't get chipped as much, and they'll be easier to use.

Little steps.

However, there are piles on the counter, and piles on the shelf by the front door. Shopping bags have collected on the shelf. (I probably should declutter the shopping bags as well!) I don't have many responsibilities outside the house today, so I'm optimistic that the ordinary decluttering will get accomplished and make a difference in the house quickly. I think I even have time to put the dishtowels in to soak!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Minimalism and Scheduling

I spent the entire day (well, most of the day) working in the garage, sanding and painting furniture for the shop. Not glamorous. The painted child's table is cute, but I haven't really made progress with my living space.

I read a friend's blog, and she mentioned reducing her commitments as part of minimalism. I really like including that aspect of minimalism. Minimalism isn't just about the physical things; it's about reducing the surplus from your life so you can enjoy your life.

I have a high schooler who attends classes at the junior college, takes a sport, is very involved in 4H and doesn't drive. And another high schooler who is raising a Guide Dog for the Blind puppy (with meetings). And I volunteer at my church, and run a shop with my mom and sister, and try to make a little money on the side. And I'm married, and I'd like to remain so. It's not a simply schedule, and it's hard to determine where to make cuts in order to simplify our lives and our time together.

Part of me wants to make cuts in our schedule. Drop the sport. Don't get another puppy. But this is out life right now. Kids activities are what helps our kids to grow into the people they want to be. Raising animals, helping people are important activities and I want the kids to be contributing members of society.

For now I keep our Sunday separate. We do occasional petting zoos through 4H, attend church and occasionally put on a shared meal, and visit my parents on various Sundays. But we usually keep Sundays as our day of rest, spending time together, playing games or just reading in the same room. It gives us the rest, and time together.

I will continue to look for ways to cut down our obligations, but I don't want to cut things that are important to someone just to meet the goal of minimalism. Minimalism is the tool to make our lives enjoyable, not a goal in itself. If I don't declutter anything on a given day, it might not be a failure. Perhaps I am just doing the things I intend to do in my life.

Perhaps sanding and painting just give me a lot of time to think.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Daily Declutter

The problem with clutter around my house is that the stuff starts off as useful. Then it slowly outlives its usefulness and it hides out in my house. At least, that's one of the clutter problems.

I cleared out the mugs yesterday. There was some grumbling in the ranks, but we no longer have three mugs that no one uses. They are all too small for our giant cups of tea! I need lots of tea to get me moving in the morning. So the cute-but-useless cups can move on to their next life. (The cup in the shape of a dinosaur moved on to my son's memory box. It actually was put away in there. If he has a special child in his life at some point, my son can share his cup with that child. If he runs out of room in the box, he can decide what is really special after all.)

I also found tour books from past vacations. They won't really be useful to other people at this point (we should have passed them on sooner) but they also won't fill up our bookshelves. Our shelves have become over-full, and display items, pictures and things, had been shoved to the side to make room for books. Just eliminating those few books created enough space to go back to displaying pictures from our trip -- a much better use of space in my opinion.

I also spent the morning taking a standardized test for the first time in many, many years. The testing format is exhausting! I will give my kids a lot more support when they have to test in the future. If for no other reason than because it reminds me how hard testing is, I'm glad I did that yesterday. Even if it did prevent me from getting a whole lot of decluttering accomplished.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Daily Update

I have moved every shop-related container out of the house! I have washed and priced and packaged everything, and I no longer have baskets and boxes and bags lying around! Better yet, they are now at my mom's house, to go into the shop and be useful to someone else.

Just getting that done makes everything else easier. The top layer of clutter is gone.

Menus are planned for the week -- no emergency last-minute runs to the grocery. Nothing fancy this week, but no last-minute time sucks.

I  finished knitting a Christmas gift. Now I can get rid of the leftover yarn, since I never really cared for the way it knits (but it will work for the project).

This week I can start to actually work on the second layer of clutter -- the stuff that makes life more challenging. I'll be clearing out the cups in the cupboard -- my husband says they all fit if we just put forth the effort. I'll clear out the ones no one uses, and save the effort!

Not exactly minimalist, but definitely simplifying: the puppy has developed a schedule, and does his business on command! Less time walking him in circles and fewer rags to wash, so I feel highly rewarded!

Today I have a written test, so I can substitute teach at the kids' school, so I won't get as much decluttered as I might other days. However, forward progress is my goal, not perfection!

Friday, September 21, 2018


Well, yesterday I did not move forward. I almost did, a couple of times, but I didn't complete anything. However, I am writing about it, which would not have happened in the past. I'm trying to keep the writing going, even if I haven't done anything to report.

I went shopping, but I forgot my list. So I'll have to go out again for the items I need but which I forgot (I didn't accomplish the "once a week shopping" which is my goal).

I worked on laundry, but I still have a basket worth to fold and put away.

I didn't do anything with the basket of clothes for the shop. (I keep dealing with things for the shop. I may have found a source of clutter.)

I will remain optimistic that things didn't get any worse yesterday. I put away the groceries I purchased.

And that's about it for today.