Closet minus 10

Prowling around the webs for some minimalist inspiration, I’ve recently come across Becoming Minimalist, a site devoted to helping folks clear out their lives of excess garbage. Whether it’s mind trash or actual, physical stuff, there’s tons of information out there to help people get rid of it.   A post from earlier this month was particularly striking to me because it gave some very concrete, and rather simple, suggestions on how to simplify life a bit.  The first one I’ll tackle is suggestion #3 to rid the closet of 10 items. Right now.  So I’ll be doing that today.  I won’t even miss these things I bet. I have some shirts in mind. Can’t do pants, though, because I only own 3 pair.

Are you suffering from an over-stuffed closet?  How much of that clothing do you actually wear?  Do you buy cheap shirts from Kohl’s *just because*?  I’m going to commit to buying quality pieces from now on. Those that won’t clutter my closet. And when I add something, I’ll take an article away, too.  No need for a walk-in with me.  Not that I have one anyway.

Will this change my life drastically? I don’t think so. But facing an ordered closet certainly doesn’t cause stress like a messy one does.

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March 20, 2011. Tags: , . Aspiring to Minimalism. Leave a comment.

Schedules and Routines

I used to think I thrived on chaos.  Go with the flow.  Roll with the punches.  Turn the other cheek. Wait, that doesn’t work. But you get the point.  I had myself fooled into thinking I was flexible.

I am not the most flexible person.  I am someone who likes to be on-time.  I hate being late. I hate it when people I know are late. I especially hate it when someone calls me to say they’re late when they’re *already* late.

Being home with the kids has been a challenge for my rigid needs.   It is very very difficult to have all children ready in a reasonable amount of time.  It is even harder to get anything done when you stay home all day long.  Everything can be put  off. That sounds liberating, right?  Instead, it’s stifling!  I can’t stand it!  It makes me a grouch!

So I need to get off the damn couch and create some sort of routine. Right now, it consists of:

6am Wake up

630am Eat breakfast

700am-445pm Entertain children, make snacks, change diapers, pray for        naps, and watch the clock

Not much of a routine, right?  I need to make time to exercise a little. To have a teeny bit of structured play time with the kids (I am not that gungho about that one since they are better at teaching themselves, honestly).  To have a dinner plan before lunch.  I don’t need to do any of this because someone else thinks it’s necessary. If you knew me, you’d know I think most advice like that is bunk. You do what works for you.  I know I need more structure than I have.

So another goal for me to tackle is setting up some kind of flexible routine. Not a strict schedule. That doesn’t work with three small little ones. But having a plan always makes me feel calmer. Less anxious. And maybe less reliant on medication. Yes. Hopefully.

March 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Getting happy. Leave a comment.

What I’m starting with

Here are a few pictures to give you some insight to all the clutter.

Kitchen Stuff

Yes, you see lots of different things here.  Cookbooks, shoes, items destined for charity, recycling, and just crapola.

Cluttered Counters

Vitamins, toys, crayons, medicine, and garlic.  Yeah, these should all go together, right?

The pantry

The pantry includes all sorts of stuff, including unused cat food. Why the hell do I still have cat food? We don’t have a cat!

So that’s a snapshot of the clutter.  Multiply this by at least 10 to encompass the rest of the house.  (Hopefully) successful updates to come.

February 28, 2011. Tags: , , . Aspiring to Minimalism, Getting happy. Leave a comment.

A whirlwind of toys

So it’s been a couple of weeks of happy meds, and I’m feeling better.  Like I can handle my children without losing my temper.  Like I can get up in the wee hours to nurse my son without resenting it.  Like I can be a nicer person to my husband.

But as I said before, the foundation of my problem (oh, it’s a small problem in the grand scheme, I know…but does that mean I just have to live with it?  Nah, I like action) is that I’m just not that happy with the way things are going.  My Couch Potato ways are hindering my well-being.  Therefore, I must get off my tail and mend.

I’ve been brainstorming. What should my next step be?  Laughing Yoga?  A boyfriend named Giuseppe?  A stiff drink?  Well, I already laugh a lot.  I love my husband too much for a boyfriend. And drinking is kind of dangerous with this medicine–one beer is enough.  Anyway, it’s not going to be that easy.  I have to figure out other things I can change on the outside to help me on the inside.

As I look around my house, I know one of the main sources of frustration. Mess. Clutter.  Plastic.  Everywhere.  My living space is filled to the brim with toys.  The bathroom/laundry room is not clean.  The kitchen is disorderly.  I could go on and on.

So this week, I’m committing to cleaning.  And figuring out a way to keep it all straight.  My husband, God bless him, does the dishes most evenings, but he grew up with more clutter than I can handle. He doesn’t see the mess I do.  That makes it my job to make it as I need it to be.

How do I make this manageable?  That’s the challenge.  For the next few days, however, the goal is to reach baseline.  Then I’ll tackle the ongoing needs to clear this house of clutter.  And clear my mind at the same time.

February 28, 2011. Tags: , . Getting happy. 2 comments.