Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More Minimalism

I have already committed to buying no new yarn in 2011. I am going to use up my stash, finding projects that really appeal to me and the yarn I already have.

And then I found this: Minimalist Knitter. It's like it was meant to be. Now I have somewhere to turn when I get discouraged, or distracted by all that yummy, shiny, squishy soft yarn!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What I Want For 2011

Less stuff.

I started with 2010 being my year to get organized. I got there...sort of. I really purged my closet, though I admit it needs another visit whereby I have a serious talk with myself about how much clothing I really need. I joined Paperbackswap and have purged a lot of my books. And even though I have requested some in return, not only do I have fewer books, I have saved money on buying those books. I somewhat organized the spare bedroom, got my yarn organized, labeled and in storage bins and hubby got the garage in shape but I still feel like I can do so much better.

In many ways I already have a minimalist outlook: I rarely wear makeup and have very little of that in my drawer. As a family, we use primarily castile soap for all our body and hair washing needs. With my short hair I don't need brushes or hairdriers or styling tools. I only carry one purse/diaper bag combo for myself and my toddler. It's an everyday bag. From the moment he was born I refused to be that woman that carried not only her purse, her child on her hip, but also a bag as large as her car trunk full of more stuff. Only one time can I think where that was an issue and we were saved because in the car was a sweater my son could wear after blowing out his diaper in public.

I have found a couple of website to help me take the next steps, to keep me inspired and to lift me up when I lose my way: miss minimalist and the minimalist mom and frugal babe. They all have gone through this, they all have different outlooks, needs and takes on the subject and I think I will find my own way with a combination of their advice.

Everyone has to define what they need. And that is where I can get stumped. I know, I know, start small and work from there.

I know that I don't need as many books as I have. But I really love to read. It's a stress reliever and a hobby and ebooks just don't do it for me. They don't. So, keep the books I really really really love, swap the rest, borrow some and do without others. How many books is that though?

And yarn. Oh, the yarn. I'm a knitter and I have too much yarn. I have already committed to not purchasing any yarn in 2011. I am going to use up as much of my stash as I can. I felt a little bit of panic when I made this decision but now it feels really good. I know I have way more yarn than I need to keep me busy for the year and I have a large variety of yarn so I know I won't get bored with it. Ok then, so when I whittle down the stash, what is the appropriate amount to keep on hand? One medium rubbermaid tub of yarn and needles? (I currently have about 5-6 tubs of the same size full of yarn.)

And what about the random items? Meaning, I have a torn meniscus. I have a doctor prescribed fancy knee brace and an everyday one that stays in my purse. To me, those are necessary. I think we have way too many towels but I don't think the hubby will agree to getting rid of a lot of them. My camera. I must have it. Not because I have to fill paper albums full of pictures, but because I will record my son as he grows up. Most of those photos end up on Facebook for out of town family to watch him grow as well. The picnic backpack: we haven't used it, will we really?

As I sit here and think about stuff, much comes to mind that I can toss: the whole junk drawer with the exception of the Sharpie marker. The extra wine openers that we hate and never use. So many juice and drinking glasses we never touch. The boxes of stuff in the attic that have gone through two moves and never been opened.

I want less stuff because I really do think it will make my life easier. Can I do without a car and the TV? Not right now. But there is plenty of stuff I can live without right now that needs to go. Then I can focus on the weightier issues.

I'm off to look at the calendar to find a day in January I can take off of work and get started.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Owning My Choices

The Own Your Beauty movement has really gotten me thinking lately. Owning my choices is a complimentary concept. Everyone makes them, everyone has them, and we all try to choose what we think is best for our own development, happiness, comfort, health, etc. Just because someone chooses a different path than we do does not make them any less valuable or interesting.

Long ago I realized that the choices that I have made --good or bad, right or wrong-- have molded me into the person I am today. Most of the time I like that person. Therefore, those choices were the ones that needed to made. Had a made a different choice, I might not be the same me. I know that there are always going to be people who do not agree with the choices that I make, and I have made peace with that.

I encourage every woman to own her choices. There is a freedom in owning the choices that you have made. It settles the skin a little more solidly on the bones.

Many times I feel the need to justify a decision I made to strangers or acquaintances. That needs to stop. No one has the full story except me. And as long as I made the decision as best I could for myself, I don't need to let anyone judge me for it.

So go ahead; own that choice you just made. I sure did when I hit the publish post button.