I really like the idea of minimalist living. So, I'm reading this e-book I borrowed called Simple Living - 30 Days To Less Stuff And More Life, by Lorilee Lippincott. Each chapter is about two or three pages and has an assignment to complete that is supposed to take 30-60 minutes, and sometimes there is an extra credit assignment or three.
This was going to by my June project: one chapter & assignment per day. Well, that didn't work, because I was waiting for my oldest daughter to come home from college to help me. Hep me, hep me. And then I procrastinated some more.
But, if I don't return it before July ends, then I won't get to borrow a book for July. The Kindle Lending Library doesn't roll over, you get a book a month. You can keep it as long as you want, but like I said if I don't return it in July, then I won't get a July book.
ANYWAY, there was this quote that really hit home for me in Chapter 15 - Dead Plants. First some background, the chapter begins by talking about literally getting rid of any dead plants you have around the house, "It is okay if you don't have a green thumb - forgive yourself, get rid of it, get over it, and move on." Then, she goes on to say, "As I got to thinking about plants, I realized they represent so many parts of our life. There are so many things we think we should love but in reality don't. These things take up space, are left undone, create feelings of guilt when we see them, and are a liability to our lives instead of an asset," and she lists some examples. I love her examples, but I'm trying not to quote the whole chapter.
This is the quote that really hit home:
"I really want to be an earthy, green, perfect wife and mother who gardens organically, preserves for winter, and cooks everything from scratch to save money and keep out the chemicals. I also want to be the model homeschool mother with new exciting things to do every day. I should have a spotless house and obedient kids and be active at church an in the community and more. It doesn't all fit. Not even half of it fits. I know there are women out there who can make more of it fit than I can, and I am learning to be okay with that."
And here is a little more explanation:
"These 'dead plants' we are looking at today are things in our life that we don't have to do. They are things we think we should do. Big difference. In the need-love-clutter mix, they qualify as clutter. Because you started a project, because you have all the pieces, and because you used to love it aren't good reasons to hang on to it."
Okay, I'll list a couple of examples: "tools, because you think you should be handy; sewing machine, because you think you should be able to sew (at least the simple things, right?), canning jars, because you think you should can..."
Actually, I'm saving canning jars to give back to my Mom to reuse when she comes back to the Northern continent. I'm okay with not canning.
I do wish I had a garden, or at least an herb garden. That's a 'should,' that I really don't have time for right now, because I have too many other hobbies that I love.
So, anyway, her advise for it is:
"For some people, this assignment is really hard, so it's mostly about thinking these things through. If there are 'dead plants' you can get rid of today, you are doing great! Some of these might need to roll around in your head for a while before you feel okay about moving them out. Start the process, start thinking, keep your mind open as you wander the house or as your to-do list grows. What are the needs and loves, and what are the 'shoulds'?"
She has a blog you can check out. This is a good place to start:
Start Decluttering With These 5 Simple Steps
I spent about half the day today cleaning and de-cluttering in my garage. I only went through boxes on a couple of shelves and cleared off the top of the washer & fryer, but I filled two boxes for give-away. Yay!