Thursday, April 29, 2010


You know, after reading the book on simplifying, and having a weekend off to clean, and hearing stories of my sister's de-cluttering project, I'm in the mood to de-clutter too.

I was thinking alot of my husband in the process. We differ quite a bit on our view of "stuff." Of course, when I stop and think about Indian houses, and how simple they were, minamilistic really, I can understand a bit more.

I mean, really, their kitchens are small and their fridges are empty. Thier bedrooms are minimalistic, as well as most every other room in the house. You will not find many knick-knacks, no hobby stuff (i.e. books, crafting supplies, tools, etc), and even toys are scarce. They cook just enough for the meal, every meal, beacuse leftovers don't keep well. When you can get fresh veggies and fruit, just around the corner, every day, for cents on the dollar, you don't really need to "stock up."

They usually have one closet of clothes. Maybe one shelf of shoes for the whole family. They can watch movies on TV, so don't own a player or extra videos. They listen to all music on the TV also, maybe a radio, so don't have piles of CDs. Most bathrooms don't need toilet paper, and most kitchens have sponges rather than paper towels.

And then I look at our house, and there is so.much.stuff! *sigh* sometimes I just want to take a bucket and dump everything in.

But there is a time and place for everything. I like this article. And this one too.

There are a few things for me to remember as I feel the urge to purge.
  • There is a reason Indian culture is clutter-free. They really have only two and dry, and hot and wet. Either way, a pair of sandals is sufficient for shoes. They don't need winter boots. They don't need winter coats and fall coats and rain coats. They don't need tennis shoes, and tennis rackets, and fishing poles, and fishing gear. They don't need gardening supplies. They don't need 5 pairs of colored sandals to match every outfit. They have 2. That's it. I've got to remember, I can learn from India, but I can't be India. Minnesota is very different!
  • There is a time to keep things, and a time to give away. I don't need to keep every single souvineer from every trip and person. If I'm afraid of forgetting the trip or person, keeping the knick-knack isn't the solution to that problem. I don't even need to keep every single birthday card from every single birthday. Perhaps a few of the special ones, but every one? Probably not.
  • For us at least, it is okay to keep project & hobby supplies. We have time and space for that. It saves us money in the long run if we don't go out and buy new material or paint or glue every single time. But I need to remember, I don't need 10 glues and 14 toilet paper tubes. I don't need 5 rolls of tape that don't work if I can have 2 that do.
  • Labels, closets, and containers are life-savers. If it doesn't look cluttered, if it's easy to access, if I know we'll use it, then we keep it, right? If I loose it in the closet, of course I won't use it!
So hopefully, in the coming weeks, I will get started on my clutter-project. Auditing, minimizing, and maximizing what God has given us.

My to-do list:
  • Make a master camping list.
  • Sort camping stuff, and make sure it's in order, complete, and ready to use at a moments notice.
  • Sort winter clothes.
  • Make meat marinades to put in freezer for quick suppers & grills.
  • Sort tool closet....take inventory...keep list of useful tools and get rid of the rest.
  • Sort craft supplies.
  • Start rummage sale pile.
  • Clean kitchen drawers.
  • Make of list of "hope-to-dos" for this summer.

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