Still Simple

Most of you know that I spent all of last October thinking about and actively pursuing living simply ( You can read all my entries HERE ) I haven't blogged much about it since, but I thought maybe a little update was in order, especially since I have officially attached the phrase "minimalist" to the ole blog now (look up-not at the ceiling, at the top of this page).

*Christmas this year was a much, much simpler endeavor.  I feel like every last thing was wanted, useful and/or needed.  In fact, coming home from my Mom's house after Christmas, we had all our gifts tucked into our suitcases and one extra small box. Considering there have been years when had we not had two cars for traveling, we'd have been renting a u-haul, I call that significant progress. I also think it helps a bit that kids are older, and electronics are small.  After Christmas I took the time to purge the ornaments and other decorations. We really didn't use many other decorations, but I consider two rubber maid containers a reasonable amount of decor ( including tree ornaments), for now.

*My own children have taken to weeding out their closets and drawers. Even they realize that it's easier to stay neat, and thus keep Mom happy, when they use all they have and discard the rest. Closets are simply organized, dresser drawers open and close and every sock has a mate. It's practically Utopia.

*That said, I began filling the back of the van again today for another run to Goodwill, or the local halfway house thrift store.  I'm working in the kitchen.  It literally took me a day and a half to pack the kitchen when we moved last fall.  That's because we really have too much in there.  Things we don't use. Things we've never really used. I'm pretty sure I mentioned that we have close to fifty coffee mugs (seriously--who loves coffee that much??)

*I've definitely crossed the threshold from things I don't like and never care if I see again, to things I DO actually like, but which I don't really use.  These are harder to part with, but I am reminding myself that it's selfish to hang on to something I don't use when someone else may need it and will use it. Silly and selfish.

*We're definitely on a spending freeze, which sounds kind of funny to say since I feel like money is slipping through our fingers like water this month.  HOWEVER, we are spending it on actual needs after having found the best deal we possibly can.  Frivolous spending (Kindle books, anyone?), careless food waste, daily grocery store stops to get "just three things" have been stopped. We have a strict budget we are following with some very specific goals in mind.

*Look at me! I'm still blogging!

I still have a lot to learn about the process of living minimally, but I am very much enjoying what I have learned so far, and I really love that I can deep clean my entire house in one hour, if I so choose. Which I don't choose very often.  But fifteen to twenty minutes a day of housework maintenance? WIN.  I have found more freedom in my schedule for doing things with others, for others and even for only me. My mood is more even keel, and even when I am frustrated or annoyed, I have an easier time not lashing out or treating my family poorly because of it.

It's definitely a journey worth taking.


Lauren said...

So glad you keep posting your links. I enjoy reading your updates.

Maria Summers said...

We are nowhere near you, nowhere. But we are starting the journey. I like not having to clean contstantly.

Pattie said...

Love reading the update :)

contessa20 said...

Love! We did the same thing with Christmas this year and it was SO. WONDERFUL.

Dana Portwood said...

Thank you Lauren! I hope you are starting to come out of first trimester fog!

Dana Portwood said...

Every time I think I have come far, I do another purge. And it's not like we're bringing a whole lot of new stuff in. EXCESS is so much a part of us we don't notice it AT ALL...even when we are looking for it!

Dana Portwood said...

I enjoyed writing it! It's good to stock of where you are, where you're going and if you are still even on track at all!

Dana Portwood said...

I was really proud of my girls. We even had them make lists of what they wanted and they are so sweet and simple that we were more than able to get EVERYTHING on their lists- without it being a financial catastrophe, or even a hardship at all. In fact WE felt like it wasn't enough! And then I had to myself, "it is EXACTLY what they asked for. Don't get stuff just to get stuff!"