Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nature is the best gift.

Found this in a funny blog called passive aggressive notes.

It is a post about an eight year old girl who wrote a note to her dad who kept putting her off from going to the beach because he was watching a game on television.
When I was lucky enough to stay home with my kids, we often went outside to "mess up nature" by walking trails,  building forts out of sticks, and collecting rain water.  I imagine if one lived in a small house, more time would be spent outside.
During the holidays we are going to cross country ski to Glacier Hut in the Yosemite National park. Nature has never let me down and I have yet to get a letter from my kids warning me of burnt feelings.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Are there downsides to downsizing?

Downsides to downsizing
It is always good to get a dose of reality or a different perspective to what seems like a simple life. This article was in The Journal Report today. The title, "Everybody Says You Should Downsize.  Everybody May Be Wrong". I am going to include the things my husband highlighted in the article. 

Downsizers dominate.
"Dominated by "the many baby boomers who delayed retirement during the recession," prospective downsizers exceed would-be "upsizers" by nearly 3 to 1, says Louise Keely, chief research officer at the Demand Institute."

Mine is all documented..including the squeaky bread machine.
"Marcia Ramsland, a professional organizer and author in San Diego, suggests taking pictures of a home before dismantling it. "You save the memories and don't have to save all the stuff," she says."

He gets half the space.
"In recent years, new breeds of professionals have sprung up to help people declutter, organize and move their possessions. Among their recommendations: sort your belongings a little at a time so you don't get overwhelmed; don't make judgments about what your spouse should or should not keep; and take only what fits your current lifestyle"

Your talking to someone who sold their dining room table.
"Among homeowners age 60-plus, 60% recently told researchers from the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement Study that they have "more things than they need," according to David Ekerdt, director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas, who crunched the numbers. Three-quarters said the sheer volume of their possessions has made them "somewhat" or "very" reluctant to move."

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Clutter Enablers

This week I have found two forms of clutter enablers. My definition of enabling is someTHING that aids in my self-destructive behavior by providing excuses.

Haven't we all bought organizers to put our stuff in? I believed if there was a system, then the clutter automatically had a purpose. Don't even get me started on plastic storage bins. Below is a IKEA sweater holder and magazine rack, a shoe organizer and a CD stand. I threw in the butterfly wings and holiday hat for color. I am now NOT one of those people who own something with the tag still on.

This clutter enabler invaded our life because it is funny.  I bet a frustrated engineer created it in his basement after years of doing spreadsheets. Here it is for you to enjoy and then it is time to say goodbye.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Closet SPACE

Not considering the keyboard, two aucoustic guitars, electric guitar, piano, flute, clarinet, bag pipes, accordion, harmonica, and drum set... (thank goodness we got rid of the organ), I would nominate my sons for my minimalist club.  Other than the things at college or in their suitcases, both of them have successfully contained the majority of their belongings into one closet each. 

During Thanksgiving break, one proceeded to weed things out. The next morning there were piles and piles of donations in the hallway and when I went into his room and opened his closet, this is what remained.
Empty closet with a few items
The water bottle that traveled along with him on his couchsurfing adventure bike ride from Mpls to Chicago.
89.3 the current metal water bottle

A hat a friend had left at our house that my son adopted.
It was worn hiking to the bottom of the grand canyon and back, during our last family vacation.

The denim pants leg was a gift I made for him years ago.
For the elementary school spelling bee I  reminded my son to wear anything EXCEPT the jeans with the huge hole in the front.  When they called his name I shrunk with embarrassment as the shark bite hole was on display for every one in school to see.  He was eliminated from the competition for the word "defeat". When he arrived home that day I grabbed a scissors and chopped off the pant leg and had a saying embroidered on it for his Christmas gift. "You learn more from defeat than victory."
you learn more from defeat than victory

Finally the green robe. This article of clothing was well worn by the time my son was ready to head off to college three years ago. When asked if he wanted a new one, he said no and asked if I had any material to add on the bottom.  I suggested a lego towel he won as a child. Periodically it would arrive home  with serious gashes down the back in need of repairs.
Green terry cloth robe
The robe, along with a pair of sports goggles he wore for 8th grade basketball are now going to be part of his new DJ outfit.  As much as I want to give him credit for this original thought, I can't help think that DEVO may have entered his subconscious.

Devo with plastic glasses

What has taken me years to go through, he was able to accomplish overnite.
If I come to the end of this journey with a handful of meaningful items as my son, I would be so lucky.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's a Wonderful Life

It's a wonder life quote of "All you can take with you is that which you've given away

On the wall underneath the photo of George Bailey's father was a sign that read:

All you can take with you is that which you've given away.