Saturday, February 18, 2017

Books

One place that I constantly feel like we have too much, but at the same time would argue that it is OK, is books. Mostly books for our kids. Because, reading to them is so important. And a new book is always a good thing. But then we have so many books, we often keep many of them away, and only leave a selection out because it gets too overwhelming and then we just have books everywhere.

And I continue to try to spend less. Consume less. Take up less space in this world.

So I was going to buy Max some new books. Then I looked on ebay. Then we went to A to Z books here in North Platte. They have some new books, but it is mostly a store of second hand books. They have a cute little kids corner with a table and chairs. We bought several "new" books. Maybe next time we'll bring some of them that we don't use anymore. Then we went across the street to the library. There is a novel idea, lol. Instead of continually buying new books, why not introduce Max to the library?

To be fair, he was more interested in the computers at the library than the books. They are sort of set up in a way that is difficult for him to see them. But, we got out a book. And we also signed him up for the 1000 B4K program. Basically it encourages you to read 1,000 books to your child before they enter kindergarten. You can count a book more than once, in fact, you can count it as many times as you read it.

I have no doubt in my mind that he has already heard 1,000 books read to him. But this gives us an excuse to go to the library. He gets a sticker for every 100 books. And when we get to 1,000 he gets his picture taken and put up on the wall.

Sometimes it is the smallest things. Common sense. Go to the second hand book store or the library. You don't have to continue to buy new books. Books are good. He needs some at home that we own. He does not need 1,386 books.

On a side note. I read another article that was discussing the authors journey towards consuming less. It was honest and it was real and I really appreciated it. Because sometimes I feel like a hypocrite writing about spending less and consuming less when we get so many packages from Amazon every week. But it is baby steps. It is little things. It is sending back the black tote that I didn't need and getting books at the library and not buying stuff unless it fixes a problem that I have in my life right now. And getting rid of the stuff I don't need or use. Baby steps. There will be set backs. There will be hiccups. And if it is going to be a lifestyle change it is going to take a long time to get there. Baby steps.

Friday, February 10, 2017

On minimalism

Is that even a word? Minimalism? Did I just make that up? Anyways, my journey continues. It is a constant struggle for me not to buy, buy, buy. It's not big things. It's small things. "Oh, that will be nice!" "I've been wanting dry erase markers for awhile now..." "When I get back into _____, this will come in handy." Some things that I've acquired have been really helpful. Have made my life easier. Like the strawberry huller. I can't believe I lived for 33 years before owning one. It is awesome. Like my label maker - my pantry has never been more organized (Mom, you would be impressed). But other things... well, other things I can probably live without. I have tried to make a concerted effort NOT to buy so many things on Amazon.

Sometimes I wonder if I buy things partly because I am unhappy in a different place in my life. I don't mean that in a bad way, per se. I mean, no one's life is perfect. I would generally call myself a happy person, but there are some things lacking in my current life. Sleep for example. A social life. And though I know that is just part of my current season in life, sometimes it is hard.

So today I ran into this article from the blog, Be More with Less. It really rang true to me today. She talks about making baby steps towards simplifying your life so that you have more time for the really important stuff. She talks about taking 10 minutes a day to do self-care. 10 minutes. That does not seem like a lot, but I'll bet many of us don't spend that much time on self-care every day. Especially those of us who work full time and are parents as well. She talks about keeping a box to throw things in that you don't want/need. She talks about being uncomfortable, and that is OK. She talks about living now, not waiting for tomorrow.

And the place that I continue to work hard - my closet. I keep winnowing down. I kept feeling like I was missing something, though. And since there are no good places to shop in North Platte, I decided to sign up for TrunkClub. Mom has been touting the awesomeness of TrunkClub for awhile, so I thought I'd try it. Molly is my stylist, and I'm hoping that over the course of time we'll be able to work together well so that she can help me freshen up my wardrobe for each season while keeping things simple. I hate, hate, hate looking at my closet for minutes at a time in the morning wondering what I'm going to wear. Time wasted that could go towards other things, lol.

So my journey continues. It really is hard.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Clothes....

Can you believe that I threw out another 2.5 garbage bags of clothes?! I mean, really! I threw away 12 garbage bags of clothing when I started this life simplifying journey. And after sticking closely to my capsule wardrobe this summer, I went through my clothes and threw away more stuff. Cheap stuff. Stuff that did not fit well. That did not look good on me. That hadn't fit in awhile. I was careful not to throw away too much stuff because it was too small, because my body is still changing after having Teddy.

I like to shop the sales after Christmas. Now that I live in Nebraska, I have to do most of that online. Well, this year I tried to only buy stuff that was sustainably and ethically made, and only pieces that I felt I needed to fill out my wardrobe. The first place I hit up was Madewell. I got a garnet colored silk shirt and a cream colored sweater. From PactWear I got a white T-shirt. From Everlane I got a white tank top, white long sleeved shirt, a black trench coat, a navy blue blouse and a cashmere cardigan. I may not keep all the stuff from Everlane, we'll just see. I've never bought anything from any of these companies before, so we'll see how I like them.

I just struggle to really see what I think I need. I want to make sure I'm getting quality pieces that look really good on me and that I love. And I want to make sure that I have the correct number. But sometimes it feels like I'm grasping at straws and while I have a feeling of what I want, I'm not sure what it actually LOOKS like, you know?

But I'm also trying to simplify other parts of my life. In an attempt to make me feel less crazy during the week, and to maximize the time I'm doing the important things in life, like hanging out with my boys. I've started to make a menu for the month. Meals planned for every night ahead of time, so that I don't have to think about it. We do diapers on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We do laundry on Thursdays. We bathe the boys on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. There are obviously exceptions, but for the most part, we stick to this. Then we always have clean underwear and diapers and we don't have to think about what we're having for dinner.

I still have to work on cleaning out other parts of my life, but I think I'm making process. I try to focus on the process not the end result. Because ultimately it is about living with what you need and not cluttering things up with what you don't.