(This is my 100th post! I can't believe I've written 100 things already! I have a lot of words, as one of my favorite authors, Jan Hatmaker, says.)
I have a couple of personality quirks that make my minimalism look different than the pictures on Pinterest. I like color. Especially green and red. I also like making things, and I like upcycling things into new things. I don't like throwing things away into the landfill. It just seems so...wasteful... to throw things away after all the energy that went into making something.
So I tend to collect bits and bobs of little things to make into new things. I usually have a can or jar of used candle bits that I intend to make into something else. I've dipped pine cones to make firestarters for gifts, and I've poured wax into old egg cartons to make firestarters for us. I have a bunch of candle bits now that I intend to use to make new candles to give as gifts.
In the past, I would often collect the candle bits, and scent oil, and containers, and I would let them sit around until sometime in December. Then, when I need a gift for teachers, or my sister-in-law's parents, or someone like that, I'd mumble under my breath while I tried to scramble together a gift before tonight. And the materials I'd collected would sit, collecting dust, until I got fed up and threw them in the recycling.
Instead of making a mess that I have to declutter later, this year I am trying something different: do it now. I'm picking up candle wicking this week during my shopping trip, and I will finish these gifts now. I will not have seven different containers that might look cute as candles. I will use what I have today, and I will be done. Then I will stick them in the box of completed Christmas gifts, and I will be thrilled this December.
I mended my daughter's overalls this morning. The straps were too long, so I added a couple extra button holes. Today, the day after she gave them to me. Done. I got the sewing machine out, sewed four button holes, and returned the machine. In less than a half and hour. Rather than leaving the clothes to glare at me, next to my seat in the living room (where mending occurs) for three weeks, I have cleared away a piece of potential clutter, and I feel pretty good about myself!
I know this advice sounds like the sort of advice your mom gave you when you were a teenager, but there's probably a reason for that. If I get my task done now, I don't have the physical or mental clutter sitting around, clogging up my energy and environment. I feel like I keep discovering the same concept over and over, but I also feel I am improving.