I walked into a room today and for the first time since we moved in, I heard my voice echo off the walls. What a beautiful sound! It was a sound of simplicity! I am down to one table and one chair and an old trunk in that room. The trunk will go soon as I get the contents sorted and disposed.
Out of the house today… an unused end table. It matched a coffee table, so I always felt l couldn’t break up the set. But it was a junk collector… a thing easy to pile something on and really served no purpose. So in my new minimalist life, I split the set and off it went to donations.
Also gone… a large counter-top oven. What a pile of wasted space! We rarely used it. It was slow to heat up and hard to guess on time for cooking. I love all the space on the counter!
My goal is to have just a bit of echo in each room…
You’ve probably seen those posts about things to do with your old coffee filters that went out with the demise of your drip coffee machine. People said to use them for polishing, cleaning and I can’t remember what else. So I had a pile that I saved thinking I would use them. There they were, still sitting in the cupboard after 4 years. So today, off they went to the trash! Ah, that felt good…
If you’ve heard about “minimalism” or life as a “minimalist”, you may be thinking, oh great, another “fad” or it’s a bunch of anti-capitalism weirdos, or a disorder opposite of being a hoarder. OK, now listen up… STOP IT. JUST STOP. Ok, yes, people are discovering it and they gave it a name, MINIMALISM…that I guess makes it a fad. Now…GET OVER IT.
Do this: Where you are right now, look out in front of you. Now look to both sides. How many things to you see you have not used in 6 months? Now think about what is in the drawers you see. Visualize what is in them. How many things can you think of that you know are packed away, but you haven’t used in over a year? Continue on to your closets…. Now how do you feel about possibly minimizing your stuff?
I admit I am hardly there. I have many things I struggle with letting go: old dog collars, dog bowls, dog coats from dogs passed on, my aunt’s persian lamb coat, my grandmother’s china we used at Thanksgiving (even though I only use 2-place settings out of a 12-place setting set), old laptops and phones (I’m afraid they will contain personal data), gifts people gave me that were handmade and many others. But I have made a huge dent in the chaos. I have free open space. Free space, free mind. What I can’t give up is in the process of finding an out-of-sight place packed away.
Along with my stuff, I have my housework on a schedule. Each task is on card, organized by color (weekly, monthly, twice a year, and yearly) and everyday I pull from the pile and complete some tasks. The house maintains it’s cleanliness, space, and sanity! Nothing OC here…. just methodical and organized.
I’ve always loved the card system for household tasks. I do it by dividing out tasks by color: Yellow: Weekly, Green: Monthly, Orange: Twice a Year, and Pink: Yearly. I have 31 white cards for Days of the Month and transfer them to the next month as I finished them. But after re-starting the system (again) last summer, I’ve decided this is not working as it is set up. Because of my crazy schedule, it is cumbersome to separate out every task according to day. The first photo is what I started in July. I am constantly having to sort out in my brain where the weekends fall so I can distribute the work load where I am most likely to be able to handle certain jobs. I kept coming across days where I could have done more, but I would have that scheduled for another day. If I chose to do the job, it meant finding the card, then resorting it again. AGH!! Nope… it wasn’t good.
So, today I started a new system. I will no longer sort every day, but instead separate out 4 or 5 weeks per month, distribute among those weeks, then adjust throughout the week according to time I have. If I end up with a heavy load by the last day of the week, so be it, I will just work harder, longer, and train myself to better time management.
Here is the photo of the new system I created this morning:
It’s definitely cleaner and clearer in my brain as to what I am working with for the week and month. All Monthly tasks are distributed over the weeks, and then when finished will go to the corresponding week the next month. (if I do something the first week of Dec, it will go to the first week of Jan next month). Weekly tasks are spread over the weeks the same, and then I sprinkle in the twice a year and yearly throughout the year. I think it will work. I hope it will work, because I know if the system is followed, your house will never get out of control to the point you would be embarrassed should company arrive unexpected!
What do you think? I welcome your thoughts and suggestions!