Minimalism Mini-projects

Hey all!
I have been elbow deep this week in teaching, skiing, and loving on my family… It’s been great!

But now, it’s Sunday night and I want to be productive. But only for, say… 10 minutes. 😉

I wanted a small and manageable project to tackle tonight and after the crazy Broncos game, my brain is fried. I went onto Pinterest and typed in “minimalism project” and found my new favorite blog!

Irene writes “Compulsively Quirky,” and her most recent post is about rethinking the junk drawer. It’s a great post, with an interesting idea of re-naming the drawer to create more purpose. Loved it!

As I browsed around her blog, I came across another post that I want to mention, because it’s about something we have been doing for months now and man, do we love it. She writes about creating an “eternal donation box.” We actually have two… one for my clothes that my daughter grows out of that will be heading to my niece, and one for the Arc when they come for their next pick up. I think it is key that these boxes are easily accessible, to make it as simple as possible to toss something in them, but also out of the way, so they do not create visual clutter.

For us, this means that the box for my niece is on the floor of the linen closet, which is right outside my daughter’s room. The Arc donation area is actually the bench that we keep at the foot of our bed. We have lots of room in there to fill up before the next pick up.

I’m off to tackle the Junk- I mean Utility Drawer!:)
Have a great night!

The Simpler Life

Several months ago, I begin decluttering this house and it helped change my life. I wanted life to be simpler. More peaceful. More in-line with my priorities. And I saw that just by getting rid of excess, I was successfully taking steps in that direction.

I now see that it was inevitable that this path would lead me to where I am now, but for a few weeks it was a little scary. It is not just the house that was feeling overwhelming and cluttered. My life in general needs more simplicity. I was feeling what my husband and I call “The Noise.” That’s the way we describe the incessant din of craziness and busyness that we are supposed to believe is inherent and unavoidable in this modern life of ours.

I have found myself rejecting this idea. Just like I don’t want the clutter in my house, I don’t want The Noise in my life. My husband and I are looking at options we have never considered, all in the name of simplicity.

I found myself in a bit of a state of disbelief that so much in our lives is up in the air. It is exciting but also unsettling. Plus, I am knee-deep in the grieving process right now (more on that in a later post if I can manage it), and I just wanted a reality check that I was on track. Was throwing all our assumptions out the window was the right thing for us right now?

I called one of my friends. She is wise and kind and beautiful and when she talks, I listen.

I explained everything that we were considering. I expressed a little bit of uncertainty that so much was up in the air. And then I got really quiet.

Without missing a beat, my friend laughed and said…

“Sounds perfect. You are just de-cluttering your drawer!”

Me: I’m listening…

“You have your Life Drawer open. You took everything out and put it on the table. Now you are being very mindful and deliberate about what you choose to put back into your drawer. Into your life.”

YES.

See why I listen to her?

That night I lay in bed and pictured everything in my life out on a table and an empty drawer in front of me. I picked up my husband and put him in the drawer and I smiled. I picked up my kids and put them in my drawer and I smiled. I picked up my beloved family and friends and I put them in the drawer and I smiled. I picked up our dog, Charley, and I put him in the drawer and I smiled, even though he weighs 30 pounds and takes up 2/3 of our bed every night. 🙂

And that was it. The rest I will figure out as I go.

PS. This beautiful friend of mine writes a beautiful blog about her journey since her daughter was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. Check it out at http://leaningintolove.com/

Ladies and Gentlemen…. the hubby is IN!!!

My husband has been on board with this minimalism thing since day one. Every time I bring minimalism to another area of our life, he is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. But until recently, he has never initiated a project himself. But the other day, something new happened!

There I was, sitting in my living room, giving the kids some snuggles while we watched a movie. My husband was making a snack in the kitchen. He open the knife drawer, rummaged around for what he was looking for. Then he stopped. And stared. And then he said,

“Babe… do we really need all these knives?”

Guys. I got a liiiittle too excited.

I practically jumped off the couch and said, “NO! NO WE DO NOT!” And danced into the kitchen for my first husband-initiated decluttering project.

In case you need to get at your own knife drawer, here is a little inspiration:

1. First, we took everything out of the drawer. Yes, that is all from ONE DRAWER.
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2. Then we pulled out the keepers.
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After I took this photo, we reevaluated. Do we little need those useless little corn thingies? NOPE. Do we really need three bottle openers? Actually, yes. One will be installed outside on the patio. The silver one is the one we actually use. And then, you will notice the USMA opener. It’s musical, people. Remember my post on keeping only what you need, use, or love? Yeah, well to say my husband loves hearing “On Brave Old Army Team” and watching the kids march around while sing the Army theme song every time he opens a beer is an understatement. It stays. Remember, we are creating a minimalism that works for us. 🙂

3. Next, we wiped out the drawer and put the keepers back. Check out what is still left on the counter!
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4. We put the rest into a box for our next trip to Goodwill!

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It’s so great to have a partner in this journey. I am one lucky lady!
Have a great night everybody!