Is minimalism gone as a trend??

There are quite a few Youtubers doing vlogs about this right now. Has the trend of minimalism died down or is it over? Most agree that it’s not but with a few caveats. During the pandemic with lots of people working from home the decluttering bug really hit many people. Everyone was trying to make their homes more comfortable and enjoyable. Just look at what happened to Ikea’s stock. There are items that I’ve been trying to get for almost 2 years. ( the shoe cabinet).

Trends do come and go and minimalism has definitely been over done by youtubers and bloggers. Yet, having been on this journey almost 10 years now, I think it is an evolving concept. Certainly, I started out needing to create space in my very small house. I shudder to think about the stuff I had jammed into an under 900 sq ft house. Actually our official house square footage with the county is under 700 sq feet. But since we’ve closed in two porches we have added space. Both had concrete patios so we built on that. Still it’s a small house and it was packed. When I started Flylady in 2012 (approx), it was to get a schedule down with homemaking and declutter. But what has emerged is a deeper understanding of what works for me and what I need around me.

Some of this was triggered by relapsing in 2010, 4 years after my transplant. I think I felt out of control and needed to control something so I started with the Flylady zones. Honestly, it was a life saver for me. There’s quite a bit with FL I don’t use or particularly like but the zone cleaning has been a lifesaver and to this day I still do it weekly. Especially, at first, the 15 minute timed sessions. I did this with all the zones until I had cleared out most things.

As all the bloggers and youtubers agreed that minimalism is not just a one way thing. There’s no ‘right ‘way to be a minimalist. My house does not look empty of things but I have only what I use, love or need. And that is always changing. I know there’s more to release, because it is no longer needed/wanted, but, it’s not huge amounts. For instance, I found in the bin under the bed the Beatrix Potter dishes that were both my daughters and sons. They don’t want them( I asked) so off to Cancer Thrift they will go. I checked Ebay and they sell for maybe $20 so not worth selling and when someone finds them in the Cancer Thrift, be excited.

Simple Sunday

Another beautiful October day. The clouds are rolling in and we expect rain. As a matter of fact, it looks like the storm door is definitely going to open by Wednesday. We are covering things and finishing up some outside work.

We went down to Ikea to pick up some heavy curtains for the bedroom as the windows do let in some cold even though they are double paned. That was supposed to be a project this year of replacing them but we ended up replacing one sunroom window and then the laundry room got a makeover. Maybe next year.

I plan to write out some goals and projects for next year and prioritize them. We know we need one more tree down that is nearest the driveway and is making taking the RV out challenging since it leans in toward the driveway. This is another 100 ft Ponderosa so probably $3000. Then we are planning to switch the wood stove to propane as we feel that B probably isn’t going to want to keep cutting firewood. Those 2 projects are probably the big ones.

Simplifying the woodstove will make a big difference. We love wood fires but it is a lot of work and we need to look to the future when getting wood, bringing it in the house, stacking, etc will be another chore we’d rather not do.

I’m tired from going to Ikea so I think dinner will be a simple tofu scramble with some Kirkland tomato bisque soup. That’s about all I can do.

This is looking out at the driveway. The second tree in is the one we need down. the first one is a leaner but it’s leaning away from the driveway so if it goes it will go in that direction. The last one is a crooked tree that the original owner cut the top to put an antenna on top thus the split. If that goes it will just fall in the woods. Trees are beautiful until they are a threat. 😦 The golden bamboo is the bamboo I went and dig up at a fellow Waldorf school parent’s house back in 1997.

Simple Sunday on Monday…

I got my flu shot on Friday and exactly 12 hours later( right around midnight) got hit with some side effects. Achey, headache ,general malaise so I didn’t swim on Saturday. Yesterday I did feel somewhat better. The shot was the extra strength for over 65 yo so maybe that’s why. Then for some strange reason my left foot starting up again and it was very painful to walk. Remember in 2016 when I just finished the 5 years of “Just Keep Walking Project” and I had gotten hairline fractures on the top of my foot from the repetitive motion. It’s like that. But what’s weird is in Tahoe we were walking over 3 miles a day and I had no problem. I used a bunch of arnica on it yesterday and this morning it feels somewhat better. Geez, getting old is not fun when you’ve got these issues popping up.

I made a new recipe last night ,Chicken Katsu. I saw it in the NYT and it looked good. Basically you pound chicken thin then coat with panko and fry. I guess what makes it katsu is the sauce which is described as Japanese BBQ sauce. I made chicken ones and tofu ones. The tofu ones were delicious. I did coleslaw on the side with a ginger dressing and some organic jasmine rice. Quite yummy.

This week I have a dental cleaning and that’s it for appts. I plan on swimming Tuesday and Thursday. With it being dark earlier till DLS, I may start to go just a tad later. Usually I’m there in the pool by 7:15am, so I might try to make it 7:30 or so.

IT WAS A MIRACLE!!!! AH walker was NOT there this morning. It’s the first time in about 20 months he hasn’t been there. I do have to say though he is staying out of our way and moving to his right when he passes us with his dog. We are just walking as usual and not trying to walk single file when he passes. So I do give him credit for that. But he’s still not using his flashlight in the dark and does pass us sometimes with us being surprised. The other day I saw he had his flashlight on over by the pond but when he came around the pond and saw our light he turned his off. ( passive aggressive anyone?) Oh well, he is not bothering us by walking into us anymore. Especially since now there are other people around and he’s more accountable then. All good, I’d say.

The laundry room has been almost completed. The shelves still need to go up and the one wall still needs some wood but it’s some tricky cuts at angles so I’m not sure when my son will get to it. At least the door is now back on and the new window in. It looks quite nice. I’ll try and get some photos up.

Also this week I need to take another car load to the thrift store. Honestly, I think decluttering just never ends and I do feel it’s like peeling layers of an onion. What used to seem important enough to keep is now headed to the Goodwill. I just keep going thru things and finding that I don’t need it anyone or my style has changed and it doesn’t fit it. Case in point, I have a number of very cool( to me) vintage 50’s lamps that I bought many years ago at an estate sale. One has a nice wood base and is curvy. But I took it out of the front room last year because I moved a different lamp there so it was out in the barn. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the almost 10 years of decluttering and minimizing is don’t just store something thinking ‘someday’ you’ll want that again. Most likely you won’t. In addition if you get rid of it and find 5 years later you really want that item again, I’m sure ebay will have something that will be similar.

Even though I’ve simplified our house and barn( aka as the large storage area for my son’s things now), I don’t think I’ve reached that final point of being ‘done’. Maybe that doesn’t ever happen and that’s just life.

Flylady is the kitchen zone. Most of my kitchen is streamlined and there’s not any decluttering but it is the biggest zone I have to clean that takes over an hour. Probably due to the stove, stove hood etc. Plus wiping down my jars takes time too. Since I don’t have a built in pantry, the Far Niente wine boxes I use that are under my stainless steel island work perfectly fine. My kitchen, even though it does need to be redone, works just fine for now.

Five on Friday

So far I only got one swim in this week and I’ll go tomorrow.

We had to go back to the Honda dealer to resign the papers as they had put something wrong in the contract. On the way home we both noticed the AC wasn’t cold so later I called and now we have to go back down today. Thus, no swimming today and bumped till tomorrow. I’m thinking they’re going to just do a freon recharge but I don’t think that’s the problem as they probably did that when it was on the lot. so it’s under warranty but still a PITA. Why is it always something???

Barclay also goes today to infusion for his IGIV. His immunoglobulins have been steady but being on the Jakafi ( Gvs H drug) his numbers have declined. So on top of the truck drop off there’s that. Fortunately, my daughter will go get him at 4pm. It is a long infusion.

Our weather has been lovely cool fall like. There’s still smoke drifting over from the Caldor fire but we’ve mostly had clear skies. Today looks more smoky though.

Barclay and my son have the laundry room torn apart and hopefully will get new flooring this weekend and some new sheetrock. This is not your average house laundry room as it is attached to the back off the house with only outside access. It works for us for now. There wouldn’t be a place in the house to put a washer/ dryer unless we built a ‘real addition’. Oh well, that’s what we have.

Bonus: I got my Covid booster so very excited about that. A sore arm but that’s it!

Simple Sunday

Because of the smoke and unhealthy air quality the pool has been closed both Friday and Saturday. It’s smart they do that when it’s so bad you can’t see 100 yds. Well, since all the die hard swimmers will be enmasse on Monday, I’ll wait and go on Tuesday and it’ll still probably be busy. That’s okay, I’m swimming because #1. I love it and always have, #2 it’s good for me, and #3 just because.

Yes, I just checked and it’s closed this morning but there isn’t lap swimming till 11:30 am and then it’s only an hour and a half so I haven’t tried to do a Sunday.

My son is still undecided about the Van but I think I will talk with him and just say, it’s really served it’s time but if he wants then we will have to sign title to him. Then he will need to do insurance etc, repairs. I’m not sure he really wants to take that on.

This week is two flylady zones, the LR and the entry ways. This should only take 15 minutes each.

I made one more jar of pickled jalapenos for the fridge( so that makes 3 jars in there). I looked up doing it in a water bath and it looks easy so I may do a few of those. We opened the one 3/4 full jalapeno jelly jar and Wow!!! It is delicious!!! I may do that this morning but I’ll see how I feel. The biggest part is deseeding and deveining the peppers. Then cutting them up and waiting for the sugar and vinegar to come to a full boil. So somewhat more involved.

I was experimenting making corn tortillas yesterday. I did one batch with a tablespoon of oil and one with just the hot water. I think the one with the oil was slightly better. I pressed but still didn’t get quite as thin as I’d like. Any tortillas makers out there with hints?? I remember the nurse at UCD who was hispanic, made tortillas every day for her kids and she said just keep trying till you get the feel for the right consistency. I ordered some Bobs Red mill masa harina so I’ll try that when it comes.

I got an email from Recreation.gov saying that Nevada Beach was now closed thru the 16th. That is part of our reservation window. So we either need to cancel or modify. I’m going to wait till next week to modify and maybe something will improve. It’s really for the best they keep people out because people are stupid and do stupid things.

I am the family curator.

I’m the one who goes thru 99% of our stuff to declutter and get rid of. Of course, I check with other family members about whether they want something or not. Other things that are in the realm of kitchen, misc, etc I often just put in the thrift store bag and be done with it.

Right now I’m back at getting rid of my Life magazines. I want to have just 2 bins of the best of Life. Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King assassination, Selma, moon walk, etc, you get the picture. I pulled 6 out to give to the cancer thrift. They are somewhat collectible.: 2 Beatles ones, Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder and a few others. i have to decide what to keep and what to let go of.

My son has been getting rid of old comics. For a while we were collecting all kinds from Superman to Justice League. But most just sit in a bin so what’s the point?

Most stuff isn’t worth my time to put on Ebay. Last week I had on a 1950’s slinky, and barkcloth from the 50s too. Lots of lookers but not one bid so I’m giving them to the thrift store instead of trying to relist. The barkcloth is a cool mid century pattern but not in colors I use anymore. Lots of yellows.

I think it’s a balance of what’s really worth keeping and what is just stuff lying around( or in closets, bins, storage areas, garages??

I was reading a really good article over at Food52 about visual clutter and that even when you’ve decluttered and things are pared down it might not be the amount of stuff but the effect of the visual stuff still left.. The person writing the article removed her container of utensils on her counter and put them in a drawer and she said she felt instantly more calm. So,it’s not so much about the amount of stuff( if you’ve decluttered) but the effect of the visual clutter on you of what’s left.

The article is written by Laura Fenton. She also says let FUNCTION be your guide. In other words , as she says, if all the shoes end up in your entryway instead of closets, then put a basket or something to hold the shoes in that area thus serving the function of the shoe dilema.

She has written a book that I think I will order from Amazon as I have liked all the articles she has written.

It’s a process, that’s for sure but I think in the end we all want our living spaces to reflect who we are and sometimes we need to just be the one to curate that space.

Friday things

It was a fairly frugal week with money things. I went to Safeway and spent @ $70 on groceries and at Trader Joe’s @ $40. That was just groceries. Wine purchased was $25 approx. I’m not sure what I’ll do next week. Costco is still out there as we need some things there like dishwasher pods, and some other non food things. But I’ll wait and see what’s on the menu, then decide. Actually I need to do an August menu.

I didn’t make the Ikea meatballs, shrimp/potstickers, or cobb salad. We had take out only once for Taco tree tacos. I like this planner I got off etsy. It has nice clean minimal look and could be used for Flylady too. when you look at my menu you can see the themes plainly. Pasta night, taco tuesdays, rice Sundays,pizza Fridays, soups, and BBQ’s. Actually with it being so hot his month I don’t think I fired up the Weber once.

I have most of August’s bills in except the UCD one which they send the notice in the mail around the 15th. Otherwise, everything else is in. Our PGE was a nice surprise at $239 and that’s with running window coolers all thru the month. I’m guess the BIG reason is we’ve been line drying laundry and not using the dryer which is 220 so that must the energy user. I may try to continue the line drying into the fall and maybe winter if I get a drying rack that’s big enough. The only problem is I dislike seeing laundry in the front room on clothes racks. I’ve done it before and it’s just messy looking. But normally our electric bill would be in high $300’s so it does make a difference.

Today, B is going to declutter the Karastan rug up to habitat for humanity. We’re not sure they will take something that old or big but it’s worth trying. If they don’t take it, I’ll try putting it on Craigs list for free.

I always find it fascinating that at one time ,even a few months ago, I would not have imagined getting rid of it but after unrolling it the other day it’s obvious it doesn’t fit in with any of our decor. Most of my front room is Heywood birch, greys and whites. So the karastan is tans, burgundies, navy blue and other colors.

This when we had it in the bedroom. You can see the color scheme. Anyway, I hope someone will love it as much as I did. 🙂

Then I’m going to home depot to pick up some high gloss black paint. I’m going to paint the claw foot tub this weekend. I also ordered the garden gate so B can work on that.

BTW, his MRI did show some nerve stuff going on @ L 3 or 4. He hasn’t talked to the PC yet but the results were in his portal. It isn’t clear as to what’s to be done.

My labs came back in the normal range but it was a 3 point increase from 12.3 to 15.5 . I certainly hope this won’t be the trend as that means there is no remission except this very short period. I’m not going to worry about right now as there’s not much I can do anyway.

Further minimizing…

So, as you know I’ve been going thru more things and getting rid of more things. Sometimes hidden or just in a box or vintage suitcase in my case. I’ve also sold some Waldorf toys.

First off, a few miscellaneous.

So random things in the Heywood, nobody has used. The two candle holders are Hearth and Home and they were cute but they take a small candle and I generally never have them. The glass is probably my son’s but it hasn’t been used so it’s going. ( update, B said it was his from some trip to LOng beach and he didnt care).The hurricane top was because I bought 2 for when power went out and then I bought a spare top. Who knows when I’ll need that so it’s going. The pyrex is going because I have too many.

The Waldorf things include:

Goose girl, oak tree and pond with bridge.

That kangaroo and baby retail for $40.

Both of these sets I sold for $100. Ostheimer toys are all out of stock everywhere and very desirable. But they only took up room in my Heywood drawer so I’m glad that they are going to a good home with young children.

So what have I discovered? Getting rid of things and clearing any space feels great and opens up that space. Even if it’s only one or two things. I love space more than things.

Minimalism is certainly a journey as is decluttering. I think there is a point where it feels just right but I still have things to get rid of. It’s really layers of things and when I get to the next layer, things I didn’t see before, are more visible and I don’t care about them anymore.

Case in point. I bought an Instant Pot airfryer about 2 years ago, maybe 18 months. We had lots of fun with it the first 6 months and then slowly nobody wanted to get it out and use it. If we had a choice we used our toaster oven, which we love. ( Breville). So I decided to donate it and now it’s in the pile to get dropped off at Goodwill. That opens up that whole area under the Heywood. I don’t have anything in there at the moment and plan to only put something there if it fits and the space works.

The thing about decluttering is just start and then just keep going. Little by little, inch by inch, row by row….

Friday things…

We’re headed into 4th if July weekend. I-80 has been crazy busy but we pretty much stay home on holiday weekends. I do plan on going to the pool tomorrow but early so I’m hoping most of the traffic will be gone.

We had turkey burgers on the BBQ last night and it was hot out so it made it challenging to cook. They were ok. B had a Beyond burger. Tonight I plan on using the Ooni and make 2 pizzas. i think we’ll just need to move one of the patio umbrellas so there’s more shade.

The kitchen shelves are now up and look good. The brackets are from Signature hardware it you’re looking.

So everything that was on the restaurant shelves is on these shelves and in the Heywood. I do like the drawer for utensils as we only have the one other drawer, so that’s nice. Underneath has my Vitamix, and my big jars(gallon) of flour and rice. Plus, I’m using the cabinet that was in my office area and was empty except for a few items. For now it’s a good alternative to the Ikea pantry.

Oh, the boy kitties are now neutered and so the only one left is the little girl kitty. They don’t have any openings for girls right now so that’ll be something to stay on top of. You have to check their website daily for appts. But everyone(except little Cherry) has shots and fixed. Hurray!!!

Our temperatures are fairly normal here in the mid 90’s. July is always hot and so is August. Hopefully, not too many over 100 degree days. I shudder to think of the electric bill. We have been line drying clothes since it’s too hot to use the dryer. I do put the clothes in the dryer for a fluff cycle but that’s not hot.

Today B is going to do another dump run. I think this is our 6th this year. We had one free one and then the others we’ve paid for. Today it’s a bunch of old carpet that was on the floor of the barn, old fencing and misc. I cleaned out the freezer so there’s a bunch of food stuff to go in a bag. I got tired of looking at 1/4 bags of frozen veggies that have been in there for a year.

Well, that’s a wrap up.

Happy Summer Solstice and Simple Sunday

The heat has been brutal. Today we’re still topping out over 100 degrees. By tomorrow it should at back to the 90’s. The garden is suffering and most of our veggies are not too happy. I’m not sure what we’ll even get. The tomatoes are sad looking. The gopher has gotten most of the pepper plants and I don’t even see a zucchini plant out there. I’m not sure how to plan the garden if we’re going to have such heat, water shortages, and gophers. 😦

Happy Father’s day to Barclay!! The best Dad ever!! So much fun over the years!

Today I will continue with looking at cookbooks. I already have another 4 ready to go. Then the Flylady zone is the bedroom. I’ve moved a few things out of the closet and there is more shelf space in there now.

I still want to rearrange where I put the red Fiestaware. Right now it’s in the teak bookcase on a shelf. I’d like to get it underneath in the cabinet. One empty shelf idea or at least some white space on a shelf.

The kitties are getting bigger and more rambunctious. We have another appt for mamakat but last time she ran out of the cage so I’m not sure what we going to do.

I have my doctor’s appt Wednesday and my labs should be there. I do want to talk to him about a few things like would it be worth getting a Velcade shot once a month? and my sleep pattern is terrible. I have interrupted sleep every night. If I take Ativan then I can get about 4 1/2 hours straight. Then what about my watering eyes? I’m assuming that it will get better. And of course, the neuropathy. It never gets so bad but it still does get worse as the weeks go on. And lastly, what about my IBS and having a rough day usually the day after Velcade on the last round of the month. Oh well, he’ll probably just say that’s chemo. 😦

I’ve ordered the brackets for the kitchen shelving and then we are planning to put up 2×10 shelves. These bracketts are the same I’ve used on the other wall and are quite nice, hand forged and all. I’d still like the ikea pantry but since it’s been a year and a half since they were available ,I’ll just move forward.