... into blogland, that is ! Almost 3 months have gone by since my last post. Too much physical pain (neck and right arm) led to the decision to stay off for the computer, for one thing, until I felt better.
That extra time led me to thinking about simplifying further our lives. Hence, we got rid of a HUGE amount of stuff that was in our home during the past 2 months. Furniture, toys, books, clothing, decorations, teaching material, picture frames, art stuff, yarn, etc. I brought loads of teaching material that I will not use anymore to a new teacher at my school - she was ecstatic. And then, my clearing out in my home inspired the same teacher to do the same in her home. :)
Most of my March break (and DH took the week off) was spent clearing our basement (more than half of the stuff is gone, lots of empty shelves and plastic containers - we can hear our echo) and transforming DS's toy room into a family library (very very nice) and putting back into their original boxes most of my son's Playmobil toys in order to sell it. That took a lot of time !
We brought 2 trunkloads of stuff to the consignment store (DS toys, clothes, books) - for which we got a few hundred dollars for it, still more $ to come - we brought boxes of books to the used book store - got very minimal amount of $ for them but we care more about simplifying our home and recycling - and we donated a large part of the rest of our stuff to the St-Vincent-de-Paul organization. We also simplified our garage and the room where we store coats, work bags, etc.
What a relief ! And I must say that our home was far from being cluttered.
The simplifying still goes on, every week more stuff goes out. Our closets are getting leaner as well as shelves, pantries. We see more and more empty shelves everywhere in our home. We gave away most of our holiday decorations (Easter, Halloween, Christmas) and only kept a minimum of Xmas things. We threw out a lot of stuff also.
The good in all of that ?
- We breathe better.
- We have more time for activities, relaxation times, time with friends and family.
- Cleaning duties on Saturday mornings go a lot faster !
- Our son loves the fact that he doesn't have a playroom anymore and much less toys : he just takes out what he needs for his play time in the library (he has his toy-games cupboard in there) and then puts everything back in his toy cupboard afterwards, instead of leaving it ready to play with the next time, like it used to be). He commented a few times that he has more time to play because he has less stuff to deal with. A powerful lesson indeed" !
- I play piano everyday, in our "new" library room (we moved a IKEA shelving unit that we had in the basement (got rid of most of the books from that unit) and another IKEA shelving unit (the same kind) from DS's bedroom to assemble in our library. It's awesome to play piano in a toy-free room ! My family loves the fact that I play everyday, DS now asks me to play longer when I sit at the piano and he can sing most of what I play, since I play daily !
- We have purposefully reduce to a minimum our shopping-spending since the beginning of last December. We were already not going to malls for the last three years (if not more), and now going to the store feels also foreign to us, as if stepping on another planet. We go to the grocery store and very very rarely elsewhere. Our desire to eliminate anything that we don't truly need is very strong. I see all the stuff in the stores and the only thing I can think of is, "Most of this stuff would be cluttering our simplified home and life and would end up pretty quickly in a get-rid-of-it pile." I have no desire to spend nor acquire.
We have re-acquainted ourselves with the difference between "want-desire" and "need". So simple really. We also plan before buying our groceries, buying only what is needed for a week's time. Less food in our cupboards. The store can stock it, not us. :)
It's hard to describe in words the feelings that these changes brought in us. The calm in us, the deeper breathing, more enjoyment of our lives, more content, the feeling of more space in our life. More time to just be. Ahhhh ...
NOTE : The simplifying is not over yet. It will be when everything that we have in our home is actually used in a more or less regular manner and nothing more will be residing in our home. Like I won't get rid of a punch because I haven't used it in 2 weeks, type of thing.
Less is so much better. For us. And that comes from a girl (me) who has accumulated a LOT of art stuff during the past 20 years (pretty much the only category-department where I did spent). I used to think that I would rather have some stuff that lasted to show for my spending. Now I think exactly the opposite ! :) I prefer consumables. They don't add to a person's stash of any kind.
Stay tuned for pics of our newly simplified home. Too bad I didn't think of taking before pics. Also coming, pics of the 2 other Valentine chipboard books and some Project 365 layouts. Many photos. THe photographing has been going strong. Photos taken every day. And now that spring is here, the birds are visiting our birdfeeders in a large number which provides DH and I with lots of photo ops !
Take care everyone ! I would love to hear what you've been up to these past few months !
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