The journey of minimalism!

My daughter found this picture on one of her CDs and I was honestly like ” WHAAAATTTT”!!

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The cats are cute, and the Waldorf stuffs ok but the rest?? What in the world was I thinking or better yet, NOT thinking of?

The cats,, Ollie and Finwe, are just maybe a year old or less so this would be maybe 2005??? I was diagnosed in June 2005, so I know nothing minimalist wasn’t happening then or even 2006 after my Stem Cell Transplant. My recollection is that it was when I relapsed in 2010. It gained speed and momentum by 2012.

I think it was at that point I started feeling closed in and all the clutter was too much. Except for the 2 cats, all that was gotten rid of. Even all the Waldorf play silks. I gave them to some Waldorf family. The desk is gone, and the TV under the silk. I use the wishbone chair as my office chair. It’s a Heywood Wakefield.

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Here’s what it looks like today. You can see my Pinecone ware, a few Catherine Holm pieces. Both, of which if I found reasonably priced today, I would buy.IMG_0480.JPG

This is one of new ‘friends’. It’s just the sweetest fern. Keeping with a minimalist style I ‘m trying to add plants as the decor.  I just love this little plant. I’m not sure if it’ll be happy there as there is not a lot of indirect light.

So one of my strongest suggestions is to take photos of your spaces. I’m truly amazed how I see it differently if I take a photo.

Another is to really remove tchotchkes.  You really don’t need every shelf filled to the brim with useless crap. What I try to do is keep most shelves only half full. In our one teak bookcase that holds our Easton press, there are 3 shelves that are full, no spaces. But as a rule, I try and actually keep one empty shelf.

Another thing that helped so much was getting over ” well, I paid a lot for that Waldorf silk or that Waldorf doll”. It’s past its usefulness. LET IT GO!!  I gave away lots of quite valuable things to friends and thrift shops. Sterling silver, vintage cloths, vintage toys, and so much that I just didn’t have space for and I didn’t want stuffed in bins.  I can’t even remember the number of van loads I took to thrift stores. But it is and was so freeing.

Your space is meant to be calm and healing. With excess furniture, things, dishes ( my weakness), you just can’t find that balance.

I recently redid where I was keeping DVDs that we still want but don’t watch but once a year. The original Star Trek Series, Next Generation, Narnia, Forsythe Saga, and more.  I put the Star Trek in a small bin and put in the laundry room on a shelf. Then the others I removed from 2 drawers and repacked into 2 cute little crates I found at the Goodwill. They’re in a cabinet in the Heywood.

Right now one of my projects is working on photos. I’ve thrown away tons of repeats and just fuzzy or boring ones. But we still have a lot of our younger years that I’d like to get organized. That will take a while. I have scanned some but that really takes time.

One more thing, just start somewhere, then just keep going. It will and does get easier. Plus things are easier to clean and tidying up goes so much quicker.

 

Addendum:

 

So my daughter checked the date and it was Nov/Dec 2013.

This was the worst time in my life( up to that point) as this was when I had the compression fracture which was caused by the myeloma. It was misdiagnosed and then discovered 1 1/2 years later. So that happened around Thanksgiving of 2003. The reason at least superficially was that I had been lifting boxes. You see, I had just been to my first big estate sale and bought an almost complete collection of Life magazines. It was 40 boxes weighing at least 50 lbs a piece.  So I lugged them to my van , then to the barn, then to the studio. It was the next day was when I felt a pop. But it wasn’t till the next morning when I literally couldn’t get up. Why do you ask did I not go to the Er. That’s a good question but answerable. We never hardly ever went to doctors. We used herbs, natural remedies, blah, blah blah. So, when I did go to the NP and she said it was just a sprain, I should have been more proactive.  Hindsight is 20/20.

So that’s the back story….

 

 

Friday stuff

I have nothing planned for today. So a nice day for puttering around and maybe do a few odds and ends that I’d like to work on. I saw this really cute plant ladder idea on Pinterest and thought what a neat idea. so I’m going to corral B into getting some 1×6 pine and make me one.  I realized I don’t really have any open wall space tough. So looked around and saw if I took my Star Trek poster down, that opens up a whole 3 ft space on in the dog space /my office space.  I think I’ll try that, and if it doesn’t work I’ll see where else it could go. I like the idea of corraling a lot of plants in one visual space.

Yesterday was a gym day and then I went to the Koffee Klatch to catch up with the library ladies. It was nice.

I was re-reading some minimalist blogs about minimalizing as if you are staging your house to sell. Well, I started looking around and saw a ton of things I would put away if I was selling.  But realistically I still want this stuff so I could see the dilemma. Visually, I think removing some of those things could help so I may ‘rearrange’ some things.

Tonight is a homemade pizza. Probably mushroom, black olives, cheese and a sprinkling of onion. I was going to make a BBq chicken one too, but I have only one pizza dough to use and I don’t want o make a whole other batch today.

 

Simple Sunday​

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It is a lovely day. Sunny and pleasant. Not really warm but that’s okay.

This morning I made almond butter in my new Cuisinart. The first batch didn’t work too well as the almonds were stale, I think. I picked up another pound and then toasted them first then put them in the food processor. Viola!!! almond butter.  It does take a while to get to the final stage but I will do it again because it’s nice to just make a mall amount. We never get thru a whole jar so that’s kinda neat.

Then I made polenta. Some for dinner I’ll grill and then some for later in the week. I have brown rice cooking with some added wild rice.  Then I think I’ll just grill some tofu on the side.

I went to the gym and did an okay workout. I’m not feeling too inspired but I imagine it will pass.

This week is the Kitchen zone in Flylady so I’ll do that tomorrow morning.  Some stuff I already did ( wiped all the stainless steel appliances) but I’ll probably have to do it again.

Next week we’re heading to New Brighton State beach to camp. The weather looks ok. there is supposed to be some showers Sunday but the rest of the week looks nice.  Our favorite bakery ‘Gayles’ is there so that’s a win-win. Plus I’m looking forward to Lodge cooking again.

We are already into April and this year I’ve had almost nothing to drop off at Goodwill. I guess my balance with minimalism is darn good at this point. I just bought a new gooseneck electric teapot and the old one will go to Goodwill but really there’s not much left to declutter.  Perhaps down the road with different needs or criteria, it will change.

Things do change and each season in life brings new things.

 

 

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.

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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.

 

 

Meanderings

Our weather continues to be quite cold. It’s sunny but once you step outside the wind is really cold. It looks like this all week. It makes it hard to go outside and do anything.

I had a good gym workout although my ankle is still bothering me some so i only did 15 minutes on the treadmill. I may go tomorrow and just do some weights.

Then I had some catch-up chores to do in town. The store, bank, another store and then home. I still need to hit Home Depot for a few misc. like a weird little bulb for a light.

We came home to house very tidy and the bathroom zone is done, so there’s not much in the cleaning dept but I will vacuum and dust tomorrow. Plus I need to get a few pots to repot some of my plant friends. Most are doing great where they are but one spider plant is trying to regroup in a new spot. Some plants are in good places now but come summer the sun comes into the house differently.  So those plants will need to be moved as it will be too sunny.

There are a few house plants I’d like to add but they’re more unusual so I may need to go to the nursery for them.

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Having been a minimalist for 5 years now, I’m only recently adding plants to my decor. I think after we painted the whole house( except my daughter’s room) Simply White by Benjamin Moore, the green really makes the room pop.

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I’d highly recommend house plants to your minimal decor for a number of reasons. The best is that they purify the air. Plus, they really add a wonderful dimension to a room.

Dinner is a mushroom frittata with goat cheese and roasted potatoes.

 

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.

 

 

Minimalism, get rid of the STUFF!!!

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I love this quote. It’s so true!!

Just yesterday we dropped a load at Goodwill Express and then the pet donation thrift store and pet bookstore. They had been in the back of my VW for at least a month. I had hemmed and hawed at dropping off my practically new Dansko shoes( I paid $110 for), and an old family book that was printed in 1850.  I had only worn the shoes 3-4 times and just didn’t fit my feet right. The book was an old book of quotations. Like I’m going to read that. So, I let them go for someone else to enjoy.

But, to backtrack here for a moment.

There are many ways to begin the minimalism journey, but number one is decluttering stuff.  There are so many approaches to this. KonMari, minimalist game, FlyLady,  Peter Walsh, and probably lots more. I actually have used all the popular ones at different times. It helps to keep getting fresh perspectives and to keep digging thru levels of stuff.

Generally, it’s a good idea to start decluttering with the easy stuff. Clothes are pretty unemotional, books are also fairly easy to discard, maybe moving on to kitchen stuff and pieces of furniture that don’t serve you anymore. Throw away broken stuff and stuff that can’t be repaired.

With each load you take to the thrift store or the dump, you will feel lighter. It is an amazing process.

You must though, do it. You have to put it in your car and take it. Best right away!!

When I was getting rid of lots and lots of stuff including many of my vintage collections, I happened to have a co-worker who loved that stuff and actually had a fairly big house so it fit in. She received an old 1900’s trunk, vintage fans, dishes, etc. It made me so happy to pass them on to someone who would enjoy them.  If you can do that, it’s great. If not, just remember once it’s out of your space, take it to the appropriate drop-off.

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This too is so true. So many of the things I let go, truly did matter to me before. And then somehow, they just didn’t and I needed the space more. The emptiness and openness was and is so healing.

So,  DECLUTTER in whatever way suits you. It may be 15 minutes a day. It may be on weekends. Just do it.

Then GET RID OF IT!

Creating a more minimalist environment will help you have more time to do things you enjoy because with less stuff there is less maintenance and upkeep.