Minimizing — MY Way

August 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm (Home Projects, Minimalizing My Way) ()

Last year I quietly removed 850 pounds of “stuff” from our home.  Yes, you read that right!!  I stepped on the scale holding bags and and I eyeballed the big stuff.  Jazzy and I made a trip to Goodwill at least 3 times a week for 8 months.  The workers loved her!!

I’m not sure what started me on the journey.  There are lots of stories, blogs, TV programs about “tiny living,” “minimalism” and general living with less.  We’ve lived in our home for 35 years and stuff accumulates without notice!!

I do know that I started in Amanda’s walk-in closet.  I literally took everything out and began.  I was brutal.  I had three piles… THROW   DONATE   KEEP.  If I was unsure of something, I would set it aside and re-visit that particular item.  I had a “landing” area that I moved things to that I was going to throw or donate.  When it became full, I made a trip to Goodwill!

I know that I got rid of 50% of my clothing.  I only kept what I absolutely love.  I cleaned out kitchen cupboards, donating duplicate items (after making sure my children didn’t need said item).  I cannot tell you how many coffee mugs we had!!!  I saved the special ones (2) and only kept the matching ones!!  I cleared the counters of anything that just sat there.  I now have large expanses of counter top that makes it easy to bake/cook without clearing the decks first!

I moved photos from surfaces to walls — coordinating frames for a unified look.

I even worked through my art studio (again), donating fabric that I will never use, beads that I’m not sure why I bought.  I made myself a deal… I would begin to “sew through my stash” and after every 3rd garment, I’d allow myself to buy some fabric only and I mean only IF I would sew using it next!!  I’ve made some beautiful garments in the past three months (another blog post for sure).  I now have a shelf in my fabric cupboard for my jewelry making supplies (which were in boxes in a corner, on the floor, under a table — very hard to reach!!)

Our linen closet had sheet sets for beds we no longer have, quilts that were threadbare (still baffled why they ended up back in the closet) and doilies…  I don’t even use doilies!!  Now, I kept the few that my Grandma Millie had but the rest went to Goodwill.

I had so many different bottles of shampoo, body washes, make up remover, lotions, potions… (you get the idea).  I started at the back and used them up, one at a time!!  I settled on soap that my niece makes and neutrogena rainbath body gel.  I use old fashioned Jergens lotion and no longer care to buy all of the latest and greatest body lotions.

The one thing I do spend effort on is my face.  I am still working out how to keep it in good shape without breaking the bank!  I love R&F but needed to pull back from spending $180.00 every 2 months!!

People asked me why I didn’t try to sell things.  Quite honestly, I didn’t want the hassle.  I also considered donating everything as my “penance” of sorts.

I stopped shopping at QVC and HSN cold turkey.  I only buy something on line 1.  If we really need it.  2.  If I’ve thought about it for 3 days before hitting the “BUY” button.

I also made some changes to how we did our finances.  I went to a “cash system,” which means that, every payday, I take a certain amount from the checking account.  I use that and only that to pay for groceries, toiletries, dining out.  It has made me more mindful of spending because I know that I must use what is in my wallet.  I also changed “auto-payments” to our checking account instead of our credit cards.  That way, when I enter debits weekly into our checkbook, I am aware of what we’ve spent, what we have.

I cannot tell you how much freedom this has afforded me/us.  I no longer peruse shopping sites, wishing to purchase something I really don’t need.  I can honestly say, I am content and blessed with what we have!!   Our home is a dream to clean.  Previously, I was contemplating having someone help me clean because it was getting too much for me.  Now… a piece of cake!!  I now have a special room for me… reading/music/puzzles — it is beautiful and fresh and new!!  It was a “Found” room once I eliminated clutter.

The attic was especially difficult and took one of those eight months!!  I just worked a little at a time.

It has also freed my mind of clutter.  That one I cannot explain except that it has.  My mantra is “it’s my favorite day.”  I approach each day with peace, knowing that I’ve done all I can do to make our house the best home it can be!!  I seem to have more time to pursue what I love to do and battle the MonSter and my wicked neuralgias.

I’ll never be one of those people who have a 33-piece capsule wardrobe with 2 pair of shoes.  But, everything I have, I love and wear!!  I did minimize my make-up drawer.  Not sure why I needed 5 eye shadow compacts when I only wear one color!!

One cautionary note… do not minimize/declutter other’s stuff if they aren’t with the program!!  I was very careful to only work through my/our stuff not darling hubby’s!!!  It is a personal journey, one that each person has to decide to take!!

So… here are a few pictures of our de-cluttered house, minimized MY way!

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A Unique Table runner

February 16, 2016 at 2:40 pm (Creative adventures, Home Projects)

I meant to write this blog post last week but I lost three days… again!!  {{Sigh}} Every time I think I am winning the battle, I get socked with a TN and ON attack.  I am happy that I was only down for three days and not four or five!

Anyway, I found a picture on the internet that peaked my interest.  I like to use a table runner for my kitchen table.  I have various themes… winter, summer, Christmas.  I was putting away my winter runner since Punxsutawney Phil did predict an early spring — yeah right!!  I wasn’t ready to put out my summer-themed runner so I was trying to find ideas.

I cannot claim that this is my original idea.  However, once I looked, there were so many examples, I couldn’t point you to the originator of this idea…  so I will say that it is original to me because of my unique parts 🙂  Cryptic enough??

I found my stash of doilies.

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I ironed and starched said doilies.

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I divided the doilies into shapes…

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Then I put painter’s tape 18″ apart on my table and started to place the doilies.  I knew that the middle doily needed to be the large blue one — my Grandma Millie’s.  There are others from her but they are mixed into the many I’ve purchased at auctions in those $1.00 boxes!

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I played around with placement and then used cotton thread to connect the doilies.  They are done securely but I can take them apart easily should I decide to do something different.

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It took only about two hours from start to finish.  I spent lots of time ironing all of the doilies…  I have enough left over to make a few more!!

The vase is one I “mirrored” myself.  You can see the tutorial here.

 

 

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