Saturday, November 22, 2008
Striving for Simplicity
Living in an early 1800s farmhouse with NO CLOSETS is challenging to say the least. My sister once said to me, "Shannon, you have too much stuff!"….I said to her, okay, go home and take everything that you have in your closets, pretend that you no longer have closets and find a new home for everything…come on, think about this….winter coats, boots, umbrellas, not to mention your vacuum cleaner, mop, mop bucket, should I go on….she hadn’t looked at it that way. What's in your closet or if you are lucky enough, closets?
In a way, she is right, I do have too much stuff. I watch those declutter shows and there are things I have not touched in years, but really, I can't part with everything that fall under their rules. I cant' throw away my pictures and scrapbook materials, just because in the past 6 months I had not had a moment to work on them. Yes, I need to go through things like my Holiday decorations and get rid of the things that I have not put out for 5+ years. And I am striving to get that done.
I did that with my Halloween stuff. I almost feel sad, thinking, these are my children's memories, they loved helping decorate when they were young. I just remind myself, there are better newer things, and its not the end of the world if they don't have that plastic pumpkin happy meal container they loved as a toddler. I need to also get rid of their toys in the attic. I guess because I don't have anything left from my childhood, I feel like I need to hang on to everything.
I have Allen on the bandwagon with me now too. He is on a mission to get that garage cleaned out so that he can set up the pool table and the kids band equipment in there, so they have a place to hang out with their friends, close to home. We have a two car garage that is big enough to house four cars and then some, but never park in there anyway. And when we have parties and it rains (and it ALWAYS does)...we can move the party in there to stay dry!
So we are finally realizing we should let go of things and we can live a happier life. My dining room table has been kept clear for a month now...it used to be the place where we piled the mail, hubby piled his papers, anything we walked in the door with got dumped there. Now that is its clean, I cook more and bake more because it does not drain my energy to look at that clutter pile anymore. We eat at the table now...something we didn't do often before. It was always too much work to clear it off....now anything left on the table is trash, warned everyone. It worked. When dinner is done, it is so easy to sit down to dinner together.
If I am home alone and make something to eat, I sit down at the table alone and enjoy the clutter free room. I am going to keep working and strive to declutter my whole home. My bedroom is going to be a challenge...but it will get there. As long as I can keep the rest of the house clutter free, I can focus on that room.
Living in our small farmhouse is very comforting and warm. I would not trade it for one of those big homes ever. My friend Marlene came over at Halloween for a party and said, Shannon, your home is always warm and welcoming and cozy. It felt really good. (of course, I knew she was coming and that was around the time I finally decluttered that table lol).
That is what I want my house to be remembered by everyone who visits as... warm, cozy and inviting.
If I acquire as much as a stone, it owns me, because then I have to dust it.
Posted by That's my story and I'm sticking to it, at least for now. at 2:01 PM