Friday, January 30, 2009

When Enough is Too Much

I've had this ever-growing feeling of being overwhelmed by all the stuff in my house. With two kids, a crazy knitting and crafting habit, myself and my music/biblio/dvdophile husband, our little two bedroom apartment has become overgrown with the things that make our life go...or was purchased with the intent to do so.

I have been planning to organize our loft, aka the place I take armloads of stuff swept from the counter each time we have guests over, for awhile now and have decided that, like Marvin K. Mooney, the time is now. I've had all these ideas floating around about what we'll do to be better which sometimes equates to more. In my head, my version of better is pared down, clean lines and a place for everything, but what that usually translates into is a to-do list longer than War and Peace, which adds to the anxiety because it's not realistic.

I was reading Rookie Moms and Whitney referenced Enough Monthly , which is a blog based on the idea that big changes in your life can be made in small ways over time...over the course of a year, the blog author will make a change that she maintains for 1 month at a time; no new shoes, clothes or toys purchased for one month, no eating out for one month, not using a cell phone for one month,etc.

How much can we do without if we don't use it for just a little while? I don't think I'd even attempt the zero cell phone use, but the shoes and toys? You betcha! I think the one that was the most intriguing was "Don't yell at others for one month" I can feel a marked difference in myself and H when I have a day that my frustrations with dawdling, potty training, sleep issues, you name it, are dealt with by yelling...they say it takes 2 weeks of doing something routinely for it to become a habit.

It's almost like she'll be doing a rolling lent for an entire year! I'll be interested to look back and see the progress. I've given up Ice Cream for Christ's sake (literally), I'm sure I can stop spending money frivolously...or less so anyhow.

I'll be proposing to J tomorrow that we do the 'no non-essentials (clothes, shoes, toys, books, dvds) for one month', it'll be interesting to see where we stand at the end. Super Bowl Sunday seems like a very good day to begin a life without excess, right?

Stay tuned for progress on the organization and paring down of the HP Household. I'd post a before picture but it's simply too humiliating. Freecycle has become my new best friend, because for so long I'd been hanging onto things that I just didn't want to toss out, but also didn't want to drag to Goodwill. J and I agreed that the things we want to sell can be posted to Craigslist for a posting cycle, and if they don't sell they get listed at Freecyle.

1 comment:

Crafty Mama said...

I went through a similar phase last summer...I went through all of my books and craft supplies, purging everything other than the things I knew for sure I'd use and really loved. I pledged not to buy new books as much as I used to, and really started using my library card heavily. And Freecycle rocks!! As long as people come when they say they will to pick up their items, it's a great system.

I wish you luck with your journey, though I've had some successes it's a hard road! :)