To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back at it.

So, I say that I've learned a lot from all of you, and I have. I've learned things I didn't know I needed to know, and I say that's wonderful. It's crazy easy to get lost in blogland as I click from one post to another, follow the occasional comment, browse what this or that blogger finds interesting, and before I even realize it I'm off on a site with information I didn't even know existed let alone having ever given a thought to. That said, I'm also fascinated by the commonality of the sites I end up on. For instance, I met Shannon a year ago and joined her for the Reduce Clutter, Create Space, and though I love the feeling of not being owned by my stuff, I eventually got sidetracked by other pursuits and stopped purging. Baaad me. A couple months ago I met Pamela via a comment she left on one of my posts. More recently, I was browsing her site and clicked on a couple links for Minimalist bloggers and was floored by how little stuff they can live with. Mind you, I'm not going to pare down my clothes to 33 items (I don't think) or join them in their 100 things challenge, but it did get me back to thinking about the amount of stuff still in my house. I'm feeling renewed to continue purging and relieving myself of more of the accumulated stuff. And I'm feeling more ready to let go of some of the sentimental items, but I'm still worried about regret when I get rid of something that belonged to, say, my great grandparents. Man, that's my family's history! I'm trying something different for a while to see if I can really let this stuff go. This morning, I tackled a drawer in my kitchen that was full of useful items and hand-me-down cooking tools that are in perfectly good condition, but I just don't use them. I emptied the drawer, put a new liner down and slowly put back just the items I really and truly use. Things that didn't make it back into the drawer: Candy Thermometer - you know when the last time was that I used this? Like, never. I have never made candy, but I might. My dad's ice pick, which has a nice wood handle and the pick side slips into a convenient matching wood handle. Cool, but I don't use it. My grandmother's sieve and funnel. A cake tester - really? Skewers, a basting brush, extra tongs, pie server, large serving spoons and meat forks (notice the plural), and many more things that I can't remember just now. I didn't toss them. I put them into a clear tote and put them on a shelf in the basement - right next to the tote labeled 'extra glasses and coffee cups' and right where I can see it every time I go downstairs. I'm doing the one year rule - if I don't use anything in there for a year, then, well, then I have to decide if I really want to get rid of everything. I suspect the items that belonged to my family will still not be tossed, but I'll bet I get rid of a cake tester and the multiple serving spoons and meat forks. Actually, I'll bet those get put into a garage sale next summer because I just know I don't need that many. Anyway, this is what the drawer looks like now and it contains only the items that I use on a regular basis. I know it's odd, but it makes me happy to look at this drawer.

Next up? The cupboard underneath this drawer. It's full of useful items like an oversized baking pan that hasn't fit in my oven since the day I bought this place nearly 8 years ago. I used it extensively before I moved here, but I've learned to function quite well without it. Why is it still in there?

So, friends, what's on your agenda for the coming year?


  1. Hurrah! You did good! as you might say;) Thanks for the mention you sweetie:) I'm inspired to tidy-out too. Problem is I'm now packing the clutter in order to move it to our new house and 'sort it when I have more time'......Hmmm. Heard that one before? Lol!
    Hugs xxx

  2. 33 pieces of clothing?! That's quite an accomplishment. We would not likely reach such a low number either. But we have been using what we have, and only replacing what we truely need to for a couple of years. So our volume is decreasing. :-)

    Your drawer looks amazing! Which reminds me, I have a couple of drawers and cupboards that could use a similar treatment.

  3. Hey you! Thanks for your recent comments on my blog. You are a very cool grandmother - at least you use those kitchen utensils for cool art projects! I went on a mad kitchen purge today, right after I tackled all the xmas tree needles in the living room. It's a process for sure - this clearing clutter thing. My goal this year? Reduce MORE clutter, create MORE space! Happy New Year.