Freestyle Fridays: “Simplify” by Why Is There Bread In My Kool-Aid?

 
Happy Freestyle Fridays my lovelies! Today’s post is by my friend Hillary of Why Is There Bread In My Kool-Aid? Enjoy!
I want to thank Kerry for allowing me to post on Freestyle Fridays! I’ve had the pleasure once before under the blog name Reinvention of Mama – but that was a reinvention ago (see what I did there, folks?). Now I’m just plain ole me, bare-faced, out there and weirdly, no longer anonymous.  Thank you, bloggy friend for the chance to share a post with your lovely readers who surely come around to your blog every day hoping for a refreshing visit to your world, ready to ponder your latest adventure in parenting or musings on life.
TeaTowels

In great contradiction to my newest mantra of “simplify”, I’ve been running around my house like an obsessed nut, trying to de-junk and de-clutter. I mean well, planning to sell my junk on eBay and plan the Mother of All Yard Sales, but what it really seems I’m doing is shuffling stuff from one place to another.

I spent about two hours snapping pictures with my phone then squinting into it as I figured out how to download the eBay app and then list and sell things on eBay. Once the items sold, I spent an untold amount of time fighting my blankety-blanking printer when it was time to print the easy-to-print postage labels. I even made a profit of SIX DOLLARS – but in reality I may have experienced a little less angst and a little more peace of mind had I simply donated my treasures to the local Good Will. Lessons learned.

What I am discovering though, is by slowly paring down the amount of junk things we have, we have more space to enjoy what is left. The tea towels pictured above are a great example. Because we had too much stuff in our kitchen, I didn’t have a place to display them. We sold a lovely baker’s cabinet that we had restored and yahoo – I had wall space!

My mom made those tea towels for me a few Christmases ago. They are very much like a set my grandma had, and I absolutely teared up when I opened the box. Knowing that she took the time to embroider them for me still chokes me up a bit. You see, I like to sew. I’m still very much a beginner in my skill level and the best I can do is make a mean baby blanket or burp cloth, but what I enjoy about the process is two-part. The first, having an actual tangible good at the end of my time. This probably comes from years sitting in front of a computer. I work all day long and have little to show for it at the end of the day outside of happy clients. But if I make something, I can fold it up and sit it on the table. I can admire it and think to myself, “there. I did that”.

The second part I like about sewing is that while I’m feeling the material, running it through the machine, threading the needle – even un-sticking the thread for the 800th time (beginner skill level, remember) is that I’m thinking about who gets the present. Nine times out of ten, I’ve spent quite a bit of my sewing time praying for the family and their soon to be little bundle as well. I know very well that my own Mom is wired the same way, and I think of that every time I walk past those towels in my kitchen. That’s a physical representation of her time, her prayers and her love for me. Just get’s you ‘right there’, doesn’t it?

So, I’ll keep at my simplification project. I’ll weed through Barbie shoes and too small dress-up clothes. I’ll discard widowed socks and holey ones, too tight jeans and why-did-I-buy-that-ugly-shirt shirts. Slowly but surely I’ll quiet down our little home and give us a calmer nest. Maybe I’ll sneak in lessons here and there about why we don’t need so much stuff for the girls. Surely if I’m learning it this late in life I can foster it in them early. Control over the clutter might be able to cut down not only on the external noise, but the internal noise as well. I know I feel much more at peace in a free-from-clutter space.

How do you keep the need to ‘buy buy buy’ from disrupting your home and space? Do you have any great tips on how to declutter and regain control over your space?

Thank you Hillary for the great post and the lovely and kind words to me!! This post inspires me.
If you’d like to guest post on Freestyle Fridays, send me a note 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

19 thoughts on “Freestyle Fridays: “Simplify” by Why Is There Bread In My Kool-Aid?

  1. I was able to “simplify” when we moved last year but I am planning to do a bit more simplifying this summer. There are loads to get rid of, papers and books and things which I thought would be useful “someday”. Pfft.
    I like to sew too! My mom does and my grandma as well as my great grandma did. But I think the talent wasn’t passed on to me LOL. I still do it though, just small projects like pot holders and pot holders and ummm pot holders. 😉

    • yeah, i went through a sewing craze. I made about 50 (okay, maybe an exaggeration) burp cloths..oh, and that one dress. None of which have been used. Target really is cheaper I learned 😉 But the act of sewing is meditative for sure.

      • I’ve only ventured into burp clothes and baby blankets so far. My all time favorite would have to be the blankets I made to cover the isolettes for my girls. I had to make them thick to block out the light. I stayed up all night two nights in a row to get them done and have to say I still get a little warm/fuzzy/tired feeling when I put them on their beds for added warmth on cold winter nights. Love those babies!

  2. Hi, my name is naptimethoughts, and I’m a knitter. Once, before Christmas, it got so bad that I knit something for every single member of my family. It took a very very long time.
    Thank you for the post. My house needs (and I mean it NEEDS) the same tidying up, but Im just not into it. It’s like a crap tornado went through here and the owners just left the house rather than rebuild. Sometimes I hear muffled cries from under the clutter and will find one or the other of my children that has been taken by a riptide of crap.
    Sigh. I’ll go get started.

    • I admire your knitting abilities! I get confused – all the yarn looks the same to me, I can’t tell what goes where. Good luck finding the babies in the riptide of crap – that cracked me up!

  3. Hi, my name is Did That Just Happen and I am a reformed pack rat! I grew up in a cluttered existence, and embraced it as a child. Then when I had a child myself, I realized that I needed a clutter free zone in order to “feel” like the walls weren’t closing in on me!

    On the flip side, I’ve discovered the buy/sell/trade pages on FB, and there are two in my area, so I make $2, $5, $20 at a time just posting stuff with a “cash pick up” note. They come get my clutter, and pay me for it! 🙂

    Great guest post!

    • I love the buy/sell/trade pages on FB! I much prefer that to eBay so that I don’t have to deal with the doggone printer or the post office. The folks at the post office are friendly, but I always seem to show up without something that I need, like packing tape. Seriously, how many times do I have to ship something before I realize if I’m buying a box there I have to tape the dannged thing shut? Thank you for the read and the comment!

      • HAAA! Thanks Naptime! And by the way, I admire that you’re able to post during the golden naptime hour. At that stage in my life the minute my girls were in bed I picked up whatever mess was the most urgent then high-tailed it to bed myself as hard as I could go. 🙂

    • Rose, I may print this post off as proof that I aspire for a simpler life when I make myself crazy. It’s good to dream big and aspire to calm and clutter-free living. Here’s to fresh starts and serenity!

  4. Clutter gives me anxiety. When I watch that TLC show, Hoarders, I feel myself tensing up and catch my breath becoming very shallow and fast. Seriously.
    So, yes, I’m all about simplifying, decluttering and minimizing. You go, girl!

    • I can’t watch Hoarders because I’m afraid I’ll find out I would belong on that show. I also don’t allow my garage door to be raised if we’re having company. That’s a project for warmer weather and I can’t dwell on it now or I might just have myself a panic attack. First tackle the toys in the girls’ room, then tackle the garage. I can do this… I can do this… 😉

  5. Great post! I LOVE decluttering! I like things to be simple and almost-minimal, so it’s not hard for me to part with things. That being said, I totally know what you mean about sewing. I am the same way! And so, I don’t generally part with things that someone made. 🙂
    I wrote a 4-part series of posts on dealing with “Too Much Stuff” a while back, and the first one focuses on my criteria for parting with, or keeping, things: http://atlantamomofthree.net/2012/11/28/tms-minimizing/ I’d like to hear your thoughts. 🙂

    • Thanks Valerie! I aspire to minimalism but shop like a maximawhat? I can’t wait to check out your post! I’ll comment soon. Thanks again for the read.

  6. Must….clear…the….clutter….
    Trying for a mantra here. Might wait till the Easter holidays in two weeks time. It’ll take that long to pluck up the courage and will.
    I’m a knitter and a sewer. Maybe ‘was’ would be more accurate. Writing has kind of taken over everything.
    I think I’ll save this post and read it again in a couple of weeks to motivate me. 🙂 x

  7. My wife and I just went through some decluttering as we are getting some of the baby things out of the house. We just sent two big totes and another box to big ‘yard sale’ thing a parent group hosts. We only keep 60% of whatever is sold, but truthfully I am just glad to have the closet space back.

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