The week ahead…

We had a quiet Memorial Day.

My brother died in Viet Nam in 1968 so I thought about him. He was a talented artist. What a waste. He also couldn’t get a deferment even though he had a heart problem and at that time was working full time to support my mother. I guess Donald Trump got the deferment for his bone spurs. I guess he had enough millions to pay off a judge. Well, I guess that tells you something about my brother being killed in Viet Nam and  Donald Trump whining about a bone spur.

It was cloudy to start but then eventually the sun came out. We BBQ some burgers and I made some coleslaw. My daughter made us some strawberry shortcakes for dessert later.  We generally don’t eat dessert so this was a nice treat.

I didn’t drive to Sacramento and missed seeing B. But I’m going down today and all the rest of the week except Friday. I think my daughter will go on Friday unless her new job starts. Her library interview is next week and this job she is doing is only temporary thru June.

Everything is lining up for us to have the RV. I just ordered some camp chairs as I don’t want to use the owner’s ones for risk of them being stolen or damaged. We needed new ones anyway.

Flylady zone this week was the living room. That’s an easy one for me as it is almost where I want it with functionality and minimalized. I try and do one thing in each zone that’s new or improved. So this time I moved the Ikea cart out and put it in my office area. It holds our wine bottles( which have been reduced to one Chianti, that we don’t drink very often) and we kept our silverware in Ball jars there too. So, I’m going to try it and see if we NEED it back or can the space just be open( white space). I guess we shall see. Right now in my office space, it has a plant on top and that’s it so, that probably isn’t very efficient either.

I’m planning on going to Sac Co-op this morning for veggies and olives from their olive bar. But it kinda depends on my mood as I get closer. Nothing is critical that I need so we’ll see. (How’s that for being indecisive??)

Dinner is chicken enchiladas!

Some things Minimalism has taught me

A little departure from Fugal/Five things Friday. Although I may do a separate post on that.

But I was making the bed when it struck me how by becoming more minimalist what it has taught me about myself.

  • I know that lots of visual busyness makes me anxious and I need mostly monotones.
  • I know I need white space around me to function better. Since our house is very small there aren’t a lot of open places, but there are a few where I just have a plant.
  • From even in my 30’s I knew not to ever over schedule or I felt out of control. Even when my children were in school I didn’t over schedule play dates, activities, etc.
  • As I’ve decluttered, my house works well for us even though it is quite small.
  • For the most part, I know where everything is or where to find it although on occasion I can’t quite remember where I put something. ( I’m looking at you brown envelopes I can’t find)….oops, just found them right where they should be…Ha ha…
  • I need a decluttered space with clear surfaces
  • I do need a structure(like Flylady) to focus on what the daily chores need to be.
  • I function way better without decision fatigue which is why I have a very specific wardrobe and a very limited one. I don’t want to worry about what to wear. I don’t own a dress, skirt or anything dressy.
  • Over the years, since discovering less is more, I feel more joy and contentment. Plus since I ‘ve never like to shop it made it easier.

well, as you can see, minimalism really helps to define or really refine who you are.

Tidying up and refreshing old cabinets

IMG_0543 This was the first coat of paint.

I needed a project and wanted to do something different in our kitchen. So I decided to have B take off the cabinet doors on one side and then I would paint them and put my OXO there and my jars.

Well to start, when he took them off I was appalled at the mess and then I freaked out thinking this will never work. But by morning( he did it the evening before, I felt ok with going ahead. So I removed everything and wiped it all down. I had leftover white gloss paint so I got right into a first coat. I knew I would need more paint so I would get that later for a second coat.

IMG_0540I think this is the second.

IMG_0538This is the third. Here’s the other side.

IMG_0541Next, I’m going to do those shelves you can barely see on the right. The pine is nice but stained.

I’m completely wiped out by the painting and the rearranging. I managed to pull together a large box of thrift store things though so that’s good.

Our big project next year will be to pull out the counter and sink and replace. The layout of the kitchen doesn’t really allow for a different configuration as there’s a door on the left wall and then the opening to the front room on the other. So basically we’re stuck with where things are unless we hired a contractor which we can’t afford to do so it’ll be upgraded but nothing moved.

IMG_1624 (1).jpgI really love how it came out even though I am exhausted:(

 

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.

IMG_1235.jpg

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.

 

 

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.