Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Simple Life

No, this is not a post about Paris Hilton.

In reference to the last message, I am probably not going to move to five acres and start homesteading. First, my husband wouldn't be game. Second, we would have to move quite far away from where we are now to afford something like that, and that's not going to happen. Plus, I love where I live.

Okay. So. I've been thinking about how to break this whole thing down. And the thing is, my desire to escape to a farm or homestead (when I know nothing about farming and homesteading) is really a desire for simplicity and sanity. I want to eliminate the unnecessary stuff and processes that seem to constantly go on around my family and me. I don't want to feel buried under or surrounded by stuff. I don't want to always be looking for stuff I can't find. I want to be more self-sufficient. I want to conserve. I want to create things from scratch.

Perhaps such a quest is quixotic. It certainly seems overwhelming. Nevertheless, I think I might get started, taking baby steps. I was even thinking of giving the blog a new title, and I might at some point if I keep up this quest. I've been suffering blognnui lately as is. But for now, I think I'll leave the title but will start trying to post entries about efforts to de-clutter and get back to basics. These will be my baby steps as a I try to focus on the simple, the sufficient, and the sustainable. I'm sure academics and kids will still pop up as part of the process.

Today, for example, I cleaned out (mostly) my half of the clothes closet. I purged the clothes I don't like and don't wear regardless of whether or not they fit (except for a few things I don't wear often but that my husband has given me). I purged things that don't fit, except for a few favorite pants that I optimistically stored in the top of the closet for "someday." I did the same for most of my drawers in the dresser--just a couple of more drawers to go. Now I have two big garbage bags to give to Goodwill.

Oh, and last week, I cleaned two-thirds of the "linen" closet. I still need to do some purging and folding of linens, but I organized all of the wrapping paper, cards, candles, and toilettries and, as a result, I found everything I needed to wrap my daughter's b-day presents. Usually, I'm running higgledy-piggledy to the drug store at the last minute to get wrapping paper. Thus, cleaning the closet saved me time and money.

In both cases, by purging I seemed to end up with more instead of less because, in both cases, I came across things that were buried under other crap. Shirts (Oh, I remember this shirt!). Shoes (I forgot about these!).

And now I no longer have to wear those corduroys that chafe my waist because they are gone.


TheKitchenWitch said...

There is almost nothing as comforting as a good closet purge. Very cathartic. Would you mind coming over here and purging my underwear drawer? It's really out of control.

baxie said...

I gave Bob a big pile of shirts that didn't fit me any more a while back.

It ended up being a wash though, as he dropped by later in the week with a grocery bag full of DVDs from the insomniac archives.

I've always longed for the simplicity of a Japanese tea house- empty rooms with woven mat floors and rice paper screens. Yet my living space is inevitably populated with piles of books and acres of quirky odds and ends.

Ah well, we all need dreams.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

I love your new goal of getting back to basics -- looking forward to watching the process as it happens :). I'm sort of doing the same thing as we put things away in our new house (still unpacking). At the moment, I'm purging books from the library for donation or sale on Amazon. The clothes closet is next!

Ink said...

They say that purging is good for the soul in addition to the closet, so bonus! Way to go, GEW!

Academic, Hopeful said...

I like this new blog direction. Keep going!

Such an important adult lesson to let go of the chafe pants. I had a pair of jeans that made me nearly bleed, but it seemed less uncomfortable than accepting I needed a larger size.

Good Enough Woman said...

Kitch, I'm impressed that you have any skivvies in the drawer at all. I usually have none clean.

Baxie, In the Bob/Bax trade, I think you win!

CT, While I do not wish I was moving, I do wish for an empty house in which to start fresh.

Ink, Thanks for the kudos!

AH, Everyone should just say no to chafing pants!