Tuesday, June 25, 2013

ramblings on simplicity

Just one of our five cluttered bookcases, and probably the tidiest!
I've been reading more of Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel and making plans around here for a simpler way of living. Last week I mentioned Rhonda's book and blog and quite a few people were interested so I thought I would let you know that today she has a very interesting post about running your home along the principles of Permaculture that's well worth a read. 

I've been interested in a simpler way of life for a long time. I want a slow life. I want more time in the fresh air. I want a more organised home, and I want a rhythm to my days, weeks and months. I would like to grow some of our own food. I want like our home to be a comfortable welcoming place for me all the time, for the Young Philosopher and the Prof when they come home from work, and for friends and family when they visit.  I want to make my own greetings cards. I want our home to have artwork painted by the Prof, and decorative and useful items knitted/crocheted/sewn by me. For a long time at odd moments I've scribbled these kind of random thoughts on bits of paper, along with more specific plans and ideas sometimes. Some of them come to fruition, but often they don't.  I've started collecting things together into a folder in a more organised way, and thinking about things in order of priorities. 

I think the key issue for us right now is clutter. I have always had too much stuff and been  slightly fairly a little very untidy, so it's a challenge for me to reverse that trait in myself to start with. Then add my CFS into the mix, along with the Prof moving into my two bedroom house with the contents of his three bedroom house and that equals a lot of stuff, much of it without a permanent home. The shed and loft are full to bursting, as are all the cupboards/drawers etc. Much as parts of the house need redecorating and I would like to landscape the front garden, grow vegetables, do more crafting etc, I am coming to realise that whilst things are in disorder, it makes everything else more difficult, and that conversely the opposite should also be true. Many years ago I read the book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. In it she says something like, you are connected to every one of your possessions by a single thread. Imagine now the tangled mess of all those threads when you are living in a disorganised way. This idea really stuck in my mind and for me, that really is what it feels like most of the time, when I have so much stuff but equally, I mostly don't know where the item that I want is! 

I think if we can get rid of a lot of stuff, and organise what's left better, everything else will fall into place a little easier. Family meals at the table are easier when the table doesn't have my knitting and a pile of books on it. I need a nice basket to keep my current knitting projects in, and a side table or other place to put my books on. Clutter somehow clutters your mind as well as your house, don't you think? I know I feel like I have space in my head when the house is more tidy and organised. 

So that's the current mission then. Decluttering and organising and not stopping until it's done, just chipping away at it each day and week as I am able to. I will be donating things to the charity shop, taking some to the tip, and possibly using our local Freegle group too if there's anything I think someone might want. A while back I sold some books quite successfully on Amazon, I'd like to do that again and possibly venture into a bit of ebay selling, though that is a more daunting prospect. Any tips? 

I'm also working on a few other things. I've finally got around to sewing in the ends on some dishcloths I made months ago, as my old ones re getting tatty, time to move those on to cleaning rag duty.  I thought it would be a good idea to make some with narrow different coloured stripes, and they are pretty but I don't need to be sewing in twenty ends per cloth! They're ready to use now, anyway. I've been saving containers to keep homemade laundry liquid in, I plan to make a batch very soon. When I've made it in the past, storage was a problem and that put me off but I think I can find some space in the bathroom. Our bathroom is off the kitchen so that's not as inconvenient as it sounds. 

I'd like to get some money together for wallpapering and painting, and we have our eye on new sofas so I have started doing a little part time work for family, some ironing and cleaning, and plan to save the money. If I can make some more from my amazon and ebay adventures, even better. 

So that's what's happening around here. Lots of knitting going on too, I'll write about that tomorrow. 


  1. I started in the new year decluttering then quit. I am very tidy and organized but I'd love to own less 'stuff'. I'm off to read the article. Good luck on your venture!!

  2. I love that you're doing this, and this is so beautifully written. I have been thinking a lot lately about pictures that I see of people's homes that look so expansive, and their lives look expansive too. It's not that the homes or spaces are very big, it's just that they are free of lots of stuff. You can really see what's there. I am the worst about leaving the Sunday paper all over the table for a whole week, and don't even get me started on the crafting space. I can say, though, that each time I've moved, I've gotten rid of stuff, and it always feels so freeing. I don't think I have ever regretted it. Hope your mission goes very well and you can enjoy your space more!


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