Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Seeking to Simplify Update

I have still been plugging away and simplifying and having less stuff at our house. I have been able to stick with the plan of getting rid of 25 items and cleaning out 5 spaces each week. I had fallen behind for a bit when we were sick and super busy but I am caught up again now so I thought I would share. 😀

 I did want to share some ideas that have really helped me as I work to decide what we need or don't need in our home.

It started with my clothes....

   I happened upon these videos that said they would help you dress better and like how you look and not cost you a dime. I don't remember how to find them now but I really enjoyed them. The process was simple. Simply take a ribbon or something of that nature, push all your clothes in your closet together so there is a little extra room (please tell me that your closet isn't to full to do that 😊) and tie the ribbon on the rod between your clothes and the open space. Then when you wear something from your closet put it on the empty side (well it will get fuller as time goes by) of the rod. Don't wear those items again until the other side is empty. As you get to the end you may find there are something that you are not going to wear hanging on the rod. They may not fit, they may need mending or you just really don't like them and they look horrible on you. Those items you should either fix so they do work (and then go ahead and wear them) or you should get rid of them. Figure out a way to do the same things with your other clothes. I personally first just made stacks of clothes on top of my dresser of the clothes I had worn but then when there was more of them than the ones left in the drawers I swapped them out. But anyway I systematically went through all of my clothes. The video I watched didn't think it was necessary to do that with socks, underwear, pajamas and things like that but I included those things. I figured if I had socks that I didn't want to wear that they didn't just need to hang around in my drawer forever either.

   The concept of this was that we all have clothes that we like and look good in and we tend to wear those clothes over and over and we truly only use around 20 % of our clothes. That means that clothes we don't even like are taking up tons of room and causing us extra time as we sort through them to decide what we really do want to wear. This challenge also causes you to look at your clothes in a different way and try new outfit combinations. It can be pretty fun. My sister and sister-in-law thought it was fun to check out what I was wearing as I went through this challenge especially as it neared the end and I didn't have many clothing choices. I think they were a little disappointed that I didn't have more interesting combinations than I did.

   After you do get rid of clothes and perhaps you are thinking about adding new clothes to your collection do it only after very careful consideration of what style, colors, fabric types that you actually like and wear. Don't just buy something because it is on sale or on a whim. By the way I didn't get rid of nearly 80% of my clothes but I also forced myself out of my comfort zone a bit with new combinations and it was fun. It definitely did cause me to get rid of quite a few things however and also just to realize what an abundance of clothes that I had. When you go through all of it like that you tend to realize that you really don't need anything new - you already have more than you need.

   After I had been through the clothes challenge I figured this concept would work well with other things too....

BOOKS. So the girls and I are currently working to read through all the books in our house. Since that is well over a thousand (over 2 thousand possibly???)  that is taking a while but it is fun. I haven't been hearing "There's nothing to read!" lately and it is fun to watch Megan read things like Bible commentaries😜. I have always had the goal to only have good books on our shelves (ones that I can be proud of and believe God would be happy to see us read) but sometimes questionable ones slip in somehow. This is a great time to find them and weed them out. Also sometimes we find books that area simply boring. I am not easily bored but mostly I don't think we need to have poorly written books on our shelves so this is a good way to find them and weed them out as well.

GAMES. I worked to have our family play all the games on our shelves (of which there are many) and we got rid of some. There is no need to keep around ones that we don't need or enjoy.

FOOD. Food does eventually go bad and sometimes we get things on our shelves that we aren't so fond of. However I do not like to waste food. So I really work (and this is nothing new) to make sure that we go through our food systematically and use up one years canning/freezing before we start eating on the next years food. I work to find new methods to use things we are not so fond of.

The method of forcing yourself to actually use everything that you have has been wonderful for me in making me feeling abundantly blessed and contented and it has been fun. I hope that it works for you as well if you try it.

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