Tuesday, June 26, 2012

out with the old
warning: random post ahead


so you know how it's strangely satisfying and even feels oddly productive to pin lots of good ideas and recipes and DIY projects and whatever on pinterest, even if you never go back and actually do them? it just feels good to know that all that brilliance is there awaiting you if perchance you ever have need. and how it sort of feels like you just went on the best shopping spree ever when in reality you've just pinned all the fashion world's goodness onto your wish list board without spending a dime?
and perhaps you never think of it again but it still felt real good?

and then one night you find yourself chatting with your husband over enchiladas while your children
1) eat peacefully, so the adults can talk (dream),
2) refuse to eat and keep asking for cereal (more likely),
or 3) just run around and destroy the house (reality)
and your husband will mention something off hand about how he wants to add storage under the staircase
or how he needs to find an object lesson for sunday school
or how we need more creative kid foods that our kids will actually eat and you find yourself shouting
"i"ve pinned that! i've pinned that!"
and lo and behold a pinterest pin is carried to fruition?
that feels even better.

here's the truth my friends - i am the queen of good intentions. i have all kinds of good intentions that involve organizing, and cleaning, and decorating, and DIY-ing, and cooking, and teaching, and blogging, and creating the masterpiece that is my life - in fact, feel free to refer to my pinterests board if you'd like a visual of all my good intentions. BUT, life is busy! and hectic. and really messy. and so my good intentions often get put on tomorrow's to do list, pretty much everyday. and for the most part that's ok because my time is spent meeting the immediate needs of my family and there just isn't always time (or energy) for all my good intentions. however - the therapist in me realized long ago that my inner emotional/spiritual even physical state often matches the physical environment around me. that means that when there is too much chaos around me there is likely too much chaos inside me and vice versa. so i've learned to keep my environment mostly tidy. and if' i'm feeling overwhelmed i can usually see that overwhelmed feeling all around me. and i know its time to tidy up, and organize and even (heaven forbid!)
and that is true therapy!!
throwing things away!

but here's the conflict - i'm a big believer in the whole

use it up
wear it out
make it do
or do without

and although this is a good rule of thumb to live by i find that what i end up with is a house full of partially used products, hidden clutter, clothes that i don't love (or maybe even hate) but can't get rid of because they are still usable, even though i might feel kind of gross wearing them, etc. etc. i feel guilty buying something new if i have a perfectly good usable something old at home. plus darek and i are both minimalists and for the most part not pack rats so i don't want to buy something if i have that same something at home even if that same something at home really needs to be replaced.
is this making any sense?

but here's the point:

all this usable - but not getting used - crap is out of here!
something must have a function and place for it to remain in my home
by function i mean literally - pots to cook, pens to write - as well as subjectively - pretty to look at, i love it, etc.
and by place i mean literally must belong somewhere and "somewhere" can't just mean the junk drawer
or whatever hot spot collects all the clutter that should be put somewhere it belongs, where ever that may be.
i'm even talking clothes, make up, lotions, etc. if i don't LOVE it, USE it, NEED it
it's GONE!

i want everything in my wardrobe to be something i like wearing
it doesn't have to be fancy, and definitely doesn't have to be expensive (i heart ROSS!)
but i have to love it or at least like it and feel good wearing it. and if a little more expensive white t-shirt fits the bill than that's what i'm going to buy because if you add up all the crappy white t-shirts i have but don't wear because they are slightly long or short or baggy or whatever then i'm sure that costs more than the one white shirt i love. same with work out clothes! and church clothes. and shoes!
i have a million pairs of shoes - i wear flip flops and TOMS regularly and occasionally cuter shoes for cuter occasions (and obviously church shoes) but that's it.
if i don't wear them, they are gone! 
even if they are cute!
because being cute shouldn't earn them a display spot in my closet.
it should earn them a display spot on my feet.

and obviously i think it's a good idea to store the kids' clothes to pass along to younger siblings but i have found that clothes i had for atticus that i never really had him wear because i loved other clothes better i've stored and passed down to beckett only to take it out of storage, wash it, hang it in beck's closet while he's in that size, rewash it, repack it and restore it having never put it on him because i loved other clothes better! ridiculous right?
all that effort in the name of "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" and he never even wore it! 

i can go on and on with examples
(half used boxes of pasta in the pantry, but i keep opening new boxes,
half used sauces in the fridge, half full bottles of shampoo or lotion or make up, on and on and on)
but since this post is already going on and on i'll just get to the point

it's time!
and i have the perfect pin for it!
(aha! she circles back around to her original rant of pinning good ideas)
and this week i printed THIS LIST from my handy dandy organizing pinterest board
and while i'm planning on personalizing it a little to meet my needs,
maybe even including cleaning out my email inbox
it's perfect!
and it's happening!
starting this week!

and this blog post is the first step
i'm committing to it
and declaring publicly
that i will no longer have crap in my house
or in my life

and i'm going to slowly but surely replace all that old crap with things i love and use and appreciate
and you can hold me to it and share all your brilliant thoughts and ideas 

and naturally - let us wrap up this rant with a little disclaimer:
this is all within reason. balance in all things. obviously i'm not going to throw away perfectly usable things if it doesn't need replacing.
i want to use up what i have and feel the satisfaction of throwing away empty containers before trying a new product, etc.
and of course, by "throwing away" i also mean donating to goodwill
if the item isn't for me but could be for someone else
and let's face it...everyone needs a junk drawer

and more than anything i think decluttering my physical environment
will do wonders for decluttering my psychological environment

anyone wanna jump on board?


becky said...

i did this a few months ago but need to still do my craft room and the toy room

erica said...

I've started this...so far, I've donated enough that I had to call for a Salvation Army truck to come over. And it felt great. I'm still working on the random drawers, the sewing crap, and guest room closet hasn't even been looked at. but it's getting there. thanks for expressing it.

Gramma Dani said...

Awesome! Go for it!!!

Crazy Lady said...

amen sister, i always need to hear this since i have clutter tendencies, and so does jason. i think i married like the one unclean mccoy ;)

good one for sure! i have a hard time seeing this in my own house, i sometimes need other eyes or friends eyes or a fresh perspective cause it doesn't come naturally

An Ordinary Mom said...

Yes! Yes! and Yes! I think I am going to hit this stage after our road trip ... and maybe after summer when the kidlets are back in school. But yes, I will soon be on board!