Have you ever noticed a beautifully painted sign at a boutique type shop, the ones that say things like “Live, Laugh, Love”, “I Hope You Dance”, and “Simplify”?** Sweetie and I always laugh a little at the ones that suggest simplification while urging you to buy something utterly useless. The sentiment is well placed, however, and is something that I am trying to keep in mind this year.

I have been slowly culling my possessions, taking inspiration from the 7 Things project.  This involves putting serious thought into the possessions I have around me, both things I already own and things I am tempted to buy. I am asking myself  “Do I really need this?” before I buy anything, and I tell you: just raising consciousness like this has saved me mmore than a few bucks in impulse buys!

I have made the most significant simplifications in my yarn and book stash.  The first resolution I made  was that I would only buy yarn for specific projects.  Sock yarn is, of course, for socks, so I can and will buy as much as I like.  I get to go to Webs today as we are heading up there to attend a  Sarah Vowell reading.  It’s going to be a smorgasbord of sock yarn for me, as I am hoping to get my hands on some Malabrigo, Noro Silk Garden, and Dream in Color Smooshy.  These are all sock yarns I have not yet sampled but have been lusting after.  It feels better to  me to buy with intention than to just go hog wild and wonder what happened later when the adrenaline wears off!

My second area of simplification is books.  I am a bibliophile, and I love to buy, collect, attract, and stash books of all kinds.   I turned around last month and really saw how many books I have purchased that I hadn’t gotten around to reading yet.  I made a pile.  It was tall.  Then I made a pile of books that I had read and didn’t want to keep.  Also tall.

At that moment, I decided two things: 1. No buying books until I have read all the books in the first pile. 2. Do something good with the used books I no loger needed.  A friend suggested I look into Paperback Swap and it was a revelation.  You simply post 10 books to your account that you are able to trade.  As people request your books, you get a credit which you can then use to get a new book.  The only cost is for media mail shipping which is under $2.50.  Needless to say, I’ve gotten rid of many books, acquired a few I’ve been wanting, and have been reading a bit more than usual.

Thirdly, I feel inspired by the Wardrobe Refashion challenge.  The idea is to “…abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing [and] refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands…”  I like the idea of looking at clothes buying in a new way, as well as refurbishing some of my existing wardrobe.  I have been inteneding to buy myself a sewing machine for about 87 years now, and I think this is just the impetus to finally do so.  I dream of making my own skirts, hemming and change things I already own, and creating something new from something old.  Is anyone interested in taking the 2 month pledge with me?

So those are some of the projects going on around Peaceful House these days.  Unfortunately, I found out yesterday that there is not a bun in the oven, so that is no longer a work in progress.  For the time being, anyway.  Thanks again for all your well wishes and support.

Have a great weekend everyone!

**In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a sign that says Love Joy Peace over my front door.**

8 thoughts on “Simplify

  1. Gosh, I’m so behind with reading my favourite blogs!

    I really like what you say here. We spent a couple of years in Cleveland, and while we were there our house burnt down. There was a strange sense of liberation about losing all our stuff, and ever since then I’ve gone from being a clutter-gatherer to a de-stasher. I like how there is the possibility of more peace, or calmness in the space where the stuff used to be.

    Oh, and {{hugs}} about the bun.

  2. I really like your ideas about simplifying all your various stashes and thinking more about what items you actually need. You’ve inspired me to put a little more effort into clearing the clutter out of my apartment.

    I hope you have a great time at Webs and get lots of beautiful sock yarns! I just started a project with Dream in Color Smooshy and I recommend it. It’s soft and “smooshy” and the colors are knitting up very nicely!

  3. Now that I am a “Lady of Leisure” for the time being, I’ve had to really evaluate my yarn purchases and try my best to use up the stash that I have (as you saw me do last night!). I, too, am now starting to get into the habit of buying yarn for specific projects only.

    I am also very sorry to hear about “the bun” too. I wish I knew last night. I would have given you a big hug.

  4. Totally agreeing with what you have written and with accountantgrrl’s comments – I have a ton of “stuff” (I’ve got that pack-rat gene, I come from a long line of stashers. Plush, I hate to get rid of something if it *might* be of use ever!) and am very carefully, and slowly, sorting through and getting it out of here.

    My thought are with you and Sweetie – I am sorry to hear about “the bun”. Hugs!

  5. I have learned that I don’t need much new and when one has been in a home as long as I have (23 years) I have a lot I should get rid of. I may take the challenge, but not on any schedule. Thanks for the inspiration. I wish you all good things on your pursuit of the bun.

  6. I like your simplification plan. I’d love to do that. When I moved a few years ago, I got rid of so much stuff and it was such a good feeling. Now I find that stuff has crept back in and I don’t like it. I want to be lean and clean. Someday . . .

    Sorry to hear about the bun.

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