Sunday, November 27, 2011


In the beginning stages of my quest to scale down, I stumbled upon the blog Rowdy Kittens. This woman's life fascinates me and I love reading about her writing and her tiny house. I would love to be armed with a camera, laptop, and a bicycle to get through life. She's an inspiration in minimalist living and she's written a great book called Smalltopia. I picked it up at regular price on my Kindle and it was well worth the money. Right now though, it is on sale for only $0.99 for the Kindle! Don't have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle reading app for free on your computer, smartphone, or iPad! I highly suggest picking up a copy!

Smalltopia: A Practical Guide to Working for Yourself

Minimalism at Christmas

So it is that time of year. Christmas, when everyone is in such a good mood and we buy in excess from Thanksgiving until New Years! I did not (and never do participate) in Black Friday. There is nothing that I need bad enough to get up early and wait in long lines with grouchy people. So what do I do about Christmas after months of purging my house of excess stuff?

I'm looking at Christmas a little different this year. The decorating has begun and it is far from a minimalist display. I put up one large and two small trees in my two-bedroom apartment. It's crazy and it is too much work, but I like it and so do the kids. I'm taking the decorating time to purge out decorations that we don't use anymore. That's going well and hopefully means I'll have less to put away this year. The only problem is, it seems like the storage closet has grown in the amount of stuff it contains again and I'm not sure why. I just know I feel like purging a whole lot of stuff again.

So how am I going to deal with the onslaught of toys that come into the house this time of year? Well, they aren't coming. Lucky for me the boys still believe in Santa. They felt pretty good about the cleaning out we did and have been pretty good about not asking to bring too much back in. They asked for things for their birthday that they actually really wanted and play with. It was a good test run. So, I told them that I'd had a discussion with Santa about our choice to live with less, and that he was going to comply with that by just bringing some really special stuff he knows they'll enjoy. Lucky for me, they seemed totally fine with that.  They even altered their lists and I think the things they want are really what they truly want.

The thing is, I know this is more my issue than theirs. They have Christmas with their father and step-mother, with their step-mother's family, and with their grandparents on both sides. They'll get plenty. So it's just my fear of looking like I don't love them enough to buy them stuff than any real need they have. They don't need any of it and will probably be a lot happier with the few good things I get them over all of the stuff I've gone overboard with in years past.

So, I'm being very selective about the gifts this year and we will see how it all goes. My hope is that when they open their gifts they are just as happy or happier than in years past and that when it is time to put it all away it will be easy to do!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Monster Tamed

Did you think I was gone forever? Sorry I have been gone for so long. I got a new job with a crazy schedule and between that and all of the other things I have going on there hasn't been a lot of time for blogging. But I couldn't leave you all hanging any longer on my last decluttering post.

You may remember the images of my outside storage closet and how it had become such a source of stress for me because it was so packed full of junk. Well I'm happy to report that it has been (mostly) tamed. There is still a fair amount of stuff in the closet and I hope to purge more as time goes on. However, it is starting to get colder and the holidays are approaching and I just needed to get it manageable before bad weather really sets in. I plan to purge the Christmas decorations when I get them out to decorate. Even though it is not as pared down as I would like it to be, it makes me feel so much better when I open the door now.

So for a refresher, here it is before...

And after...

I know it is kind of hard to tell how much better it really is, but trust me, I can get to the things I need now and it doesn't make me want to wretch when I open the door anymore. So with the exception of paring down things as I find myself not needing them, my massive decluttering project is essentially over. I'm still working on the digital decluttering process which sometimes seems hopeless. Don't leave me though. I plan to try to make a little time to blog as often as I can!