Well, hello! I thought I would put fingers to iPad after a long hiatus because I’ve been thinking about my “saver” roots after watching an interesting documentary on Netflix called “Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things.”
I’ve been enjoying it on the treadmill at night. The premise is that we have one shot at this life, as far as we know, and spending it acquiring, tending, and shopping for things is not a very satisfying way to spend our days here. The show also brings in some KonMari ideas… it’s not that one needs to have nothing, but what we do have should bring joy and function to our daily lives.
The movie is relevant to me because I seem to have less and less time to tend to our house and belongings, so having less and being able to find things seems appealing. I would love to know that my closet and my daughter’s only contains clothes we will wear and enjoy wearing.
We both went through our closets this weekend … nothing as extensive as Marie Kondo’s method of touching everything you own … but it feels good to pass along what we can and to be able to find what we need. Trust me, more work is needed! I choose to look at this as ‘baby steps when I can’ rather than a massive project tearing apart the house. My work schedule and kid schedule just doesn’t allow for something like that right now.
Today I need to jot down what we are taking to Goodwill for tax purposes (one of my least favorite jobs!) and I will drop them off tomorrow when I run DD to dance class.
Have you seen this documentary? Do any parts of minimalism feel relevant to you?
This week those who follow Flylady are in “Zone 2” which is the kitchen, so I do a little extra in this room to detail clean and remove clutter. As I move through the zones in the coming weeks I am thinking about our rummage sale in June. It gives me motivation to “let it go”!
Yesterday I tackled one really big problem area. . . a cabinet where I don’t even like to put things away that are clean for fear of AVALANCHE.
This is definitely a ‘run before something slides out’ situation!
Just try to put clean baking pans in there!
I took everything out, washed items that needed a clean-up, and I found the main problem with this cabinet is what is known as the root of all evil… Not money, but plastic containers with no lids!
I cleared out wayward plastic containers, put a few things in my Goodwill/Rummage sale box, wiped down the cabinet, and about 15 minutes later… good to go.
I have two things in there that probably should go… a broiler pan, which I have never used because it sounds like it would make a huge mess in the oven, and a pizza stone. The pizza stone was given to me by someone who didn’t want theirs, which is always a clue that you may be taking on something you won’t use. I’ll think about those two items between now and the next time we come back to Zone 2.
I’ve been hard at work the past weeks using the bits of time before I go to work to declutter small areas. One thing that has been bothering me about clutter is that is steals my mental energy. Clutter, in my life, is items that a decision should be made about but that I have not taken action on. Clutter might be a t-shirt that fits funny or shrunk, but I barely wore it! Or maybe if I keep it another year it will fit my daughter… Meanwhile, every time I get dressed it is there saying “You bought me are you EVER going to wear me?”
Gifts are also an area that can become clutter. If the gift is something I haven’t really enjoyed, it just waits there for me to enjoy it to the level the giver intended. One recent influence on me is the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. In the book she encourages us by saying the power of a gift is in the action of giving, not the item itself. “Presents are not things but a means for conveying someone’s feelings,” she writes. No one would want the gift they gave you to make you feel guilty or unhappy for decades!
One item that I came across is the massive COMPLETE book of Shakespeare’s works, given to me by a friend who went to teach in Japan 25 YEARS AGO! It has been sitting in my laundry room for years. I often thought it might be “worth something” until I looked on abebooks.com and alibris.com and found them selling for $6.00 – 12.00! I am grateful my friend thought I was the kind of scholar that would crack open a 2,300 page book, but I decided to donate it to my local library’s “Friends of the Library” book sale. The library gives me so much joy in my life and I hope they can use the money from the sale of the book to make the library a joyful part of someone else’s life.
For more on Marie Kendo see this article.
Happy New Year!
I have been blessed to be home for the past two weeks. Today Mr Saver and our daughter took down the Christmas tree–hooray! Meanwhile, I was in our daughter’s room trying to do some cleaning. I’m talking underneath dressers and beds kind of cleaning. She has been working on her room a little every day, but there is a force in there that resists it ever looking much improved.
This force is… creativity.
As I was digging out home-made American Girl iPhones and tiny school folders for dolls from underneath the dresser, it hit me… I have a Flybaby in training. Flylady is the home organizing system created by Marla Cilley. Flybabies are her creative souls who weren’t “Born Organized” as she says.
I present Exhibit “A” at right: A container used to store Barbies has been turned into an “American Girl Washing Machine.” Creative right? Guess where the Barbies are?
Thing is, I’m no different. I can find myself getting Inspired on Pinterest while the dishwasher just needs to be started. Or I am thinking about our next birthday party idea while the mail sits unopened. We’re just too creative to want to pay attention to the boring details!
Why the butterfly above? Marla says that butterflies flit from thing to thing, spreading beauty wherever they go. Good analogy? Yes, but I know that butterfly has a basket of laundry wrinkling in the dryer for sure. You can read her butterfly essay here.
This weekend I am working on getting our routines back in place so we can keep the creativity flowing but yet be able to enjoy the space and nice things we have.