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My favorite quote:

Keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

Dunah Mulock Craik

April 1826 - 12 October 1887

Your Clutter Free Journey

Take the first step on your Clutter Free Journey to living a beautiful, clutter free life! On your journey, you will examine your relationship with the stuff in your life and it's impact on your overall well-being. You will learn to make choices over what you invite into your home. The way we feel inside is directly reflected in our living spaces. In turn, our living spaces affect our internal well-being. By making small, steady changes in our living environment, we can change how we feel inside and make our homes a reflection of what is important to us.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cozy, Comfortable and Sometimes a Little Messy

I need to confront any image or myth that my home is immaculate and completely organized. Quite the contrary, I struggle daily to keep up with the laundry, the dishes, the meals, school activities, sports, work: all the "stuff" of life. Don't get me wrong. I am not looking for pristine and perfect. I don’t want to live somewhere where you can't curl up on a couch with a good book, a quilt, and a cup of tea. I don’t want Floyd, our 85 lb "pup" to be contained to a certain room of the house. I don’t want to not eat popcorn during a movie. I want our home to be livable, cozy, and full of love. Undoubtedly, some of this is accompanied by messy conditions.

During a very sad three weeks in our home in February of 2013 after losing our sweet, 8 year old lab, Flint, to bone cancer, I noticed a significant absence in our home of dog hair, tracked in dirt and dog toys. It drastically decreased the dusting and vacuuming but left a huge void. Having a furry family member comes with all the hair, the spills and the mess and for us is 100 percent worth it, so we quickly adopted another dog. A puzzle that is spread out on the dining room table for a month brings a family together. A cherished family memento, books in stacks throughout the home because you are reading more than one, a favorite collection, or your beloved grandmother's silver all bring life and joy and make a house into a home.

So for me, it is not about an absence of stuff. Simplifying, de-cluttering, and minimizing are about making room for those important things that have real meaning to you and bring your family joy. It is honoring what is loved, precious, and important to you and your family and letting go of the excess. As quoted at the top of my blog, “Keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away." -Dunah Mulock Craik

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Old Mother Hubbard

Several years ago, I was visiting a friend who had just moved into a new home. After showing me around her house, we settled down at the kitchen table, and I commented on how much I liked her kitchen cupboards. She grinned and started to giggle. I had no idea what was funny, so I asked her what was amusing. She very sweetly said she had never heard anyone say “cupboard” before and it made her think of Old Mother Hubbard. I didn't realize they were called anything else and asked her what she called them. Trying to keep a straight face she answered "cabinets". We both stated laughing. My parents, having grown up in northern Maine never called them anything but cupboards, so of course, I did as well.

This story came to mind the other evening while cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. I went to retrieve a piece of plastic-ware, and as I opened the door, an avalanche of mismatched lids and bottoms poured out of the cupboard. I'd had enough. I sat down on the floor then and there and pulled out a hodgepodge of various shapes and sizes of plastic containers. They covered my kitchen floor. I spent 20 minutes matching lids to the corresponding container, wiping out the shelves and throwing away all unmatched/damaged pieces. I gathered several that were not being used and put them in my donation box. I then stared and smiled at my lovely “less cluttered” space. This prompted me to move to a deep drawer that “breeds” plastic cups and I cut its content in half. A few days later, I tackled under the boys bathroom sick with the help of my youngest, put in new drawer liners and threw away a very large bag of trash!

Unlike Mother Hubbard, these days our cupboards are rarely bare rather overflowing with excess. So, go ahead, feel the liberation of purging what you no longer need.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I am back and will stay least for now!

I have to admit it, I am totally obsessed with the “Tiny House” movement. There is something so centering and calming about owning only enough to fit in one of these little homes. Every inch of space is useful, and organization is a must. I realize intellectually that this type of lifestyle change would be virtually impossible at this point in my life. Well, maybe not impossible, but lets just say it would be well protested. Being the smallest in our family, having men/boys (15, 19, and
21) and a large, rambunctious “puppy” the five of us, plus dog would be crammed and would probably (definitely) drive each other completely crazy.

This is one of those things that I am sure I romanticize. I am know to do this. I envision the simplicity of this type of living and what it would offer and bring to the life of my family. I think of all the time that would be saved on the mundane tasks that are required when you live in a big space and have lots of stuff-stuff that has to be cared for, maintained, cleaned, sorted and organized. I envision loving, quality family time with minimal distractions or conflict. Okay... I know this is totally crazy. However, given my propensity to de-clutter, I thought about what these tiny home are really saying to me. I researched information around minimalism and believe this is perhaps what I am seeking. So my quest, instead of moving to a 400 square foot home is to figure out how to take what is so attractive to me about this movement and apply it to my life. Follow me, or better yet, join me as I attempt to minimize the "stuff" and maximize happiness.

Just for fun, go look up Tiny Homes and see if they inspire you.