August 18, 2011

in the generous life

© Baloncici | Dreamstime.comRecently my husband did a lovely series of posts on minimalism (cool site). We’ve talked about it over the years and from time to time work through our things to reduce what we have (especially as we have moved house).  I love the lightness, the lack of clutter.  It makes my life easier.  I have to work less (less stuff to clean and take care of) and emotionally it’s less stressful.  A simpler room is just calmer and actually more useful because you can find what you are looking for.

Maybe Less IS More
Are You the Owner or the Owned?
The True Cost of Things

I would encourage y’all to think about cutting back and simplifying.  I’m not suggesting that you get rid of things that are useful or that have meaning to you.  I’m just suggesting that you get rid of the stuff you really don’t need so that you have the time and energy for more important things.  Cleaning a room with 200 things takes a lot longer than cleaning a room that has 25 things.  I think organization is key as well because sometimes you just need to have bits (like having an organizer for sheet music if you’re a music teacher).  Organizers can make clutter less clutter-y.

one of my favorite books – Clutter’s Last Stand
also Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life

I’ve also learned to use items to limit my clutter.  I have a few bookcases in my home (office, bedroom, living room, craft room).  The size of the bookcases limits the size of my book collection.  When a bookcase starts to overflow, I cull out the books that I’m not going to read again.  I’m also beginning to collect those books that are reference to me on my Kindle.  You can get e-book readers for your phone or computer that are free or low cost (and Kindle books are cheaper than hard copy).

My craft room has books and tools and materials for future projects (which I really do try to limit to that which is humanly possible).  I don’t tend to keep materials from leftover projects (except buttons) and again I use the size of drawers and bookcases to limit the amount of stuff that I have.  Once in a while I think, “oh, crumb, I could of used that bit I got rid of,” but it happens so rarely that it’s OK with me.  The lack of clutter is worth it.  I can find my tools and my workspace is usually clear and ready for work projects.

If this tip seems a bit overwhelming, a good starting place is just to go over all horizontal surfaces (you could start with one room or one surface) and clear them or seriously minimize what you have there. For some reason this has a calming effect on any room.  Yes, your family will dump on the clear spots, but in time, your whole house will be simpler and you can create some drop off spots.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.  Hans Hofmann

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Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie August 18, 2011 at 3:13 am

Great Post – that is my goal this year, to simplify my home and our family life. It is true, limit the space and set limits and it will help with clutter. So glad to read that I’m not the only one who saves leftover things from projects. I’ve also learned to only buy supplies for one project at a time – not 10 – because it is highly unlikely I will ever get to those 10 before I find something else I want to do. I pick one, finish it and than move on.


Heidi August 20, 2011 at 12:05 am

I still got boxes and boxes of books and my shelf is already full. I’m planning to buy one big shelf and a Kindle so I could save some space!


The Generous Wife August 23, 2011 at 8:16 am

I do love my Kindle. We travel a bit and it’s nice not to have my carry on weigh more than I do.


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