Saturday, January 25, 2014

Simplify ... Possessions don't define us ...

I'll be honest. I haven't blogged much this week because I don't want to talk about my RA. I've been a hermit all week because of the severe sub zero temperatures we are dealing with here in Northern NY.

I've been busy this month, getting rid of "things". It has been in preparation for the moving of the girls bedroom & creating a sewing room here in our home. At first, I was facing the task and just dreading it. I knew it had to be done, but still ugh, how awful doing all this sorting, cleaning & throwing away of junk was going to be, right?

I was wrong. It's incredibly freeing. Parting with "things" that I have not used, literally in years. I have always been somewhat of a pack rat. Constantly thinking, I might use that for "x", someday. But then someday never seems to arrive.

By no means am I becoming a minimalist. But I have instead become realistic. I pick up an item and I say to myself these three questions.
1 - Can I live without it? Is it an heirloom? There are family items I will never part with. But let's be honest sometimes utter junk invokes a memory we don't want to let go of. So in my case I do allow myself a small amount of "junk" that is attached to an important memory. I suggest a memory box for these items. One smallish keepsake box that is tasked to hold all your special treasures. 2 - Will I use it? Keeping in mind a reasonable projected timeline for when I will actually use it.
3 - Can someone else use it? Based on the items condition, usefulness and value I determine if I will sell it or gift it to someone.

On Thursday, the local mission store came and picked up a large load of donations. It was freeing to have those items out of our storage room & onto hopefully someone else that will be blessed by them. The same can be true of the huge bags of clothing I have hauled off to the donation drop boxes. Going through the girls clothes and gifting them to people that can use them. Going through mine & hubby's clothing and doing the same or sending it off to the donation box. It's hard to believe just how much "stuff" we've held onto. And for what reason?

The hard room is yet to come in the "letting go" and simplify phase of this project. I have attempted to pair down the fabric stash. But let's face it, I have so much fabric. And with that comes a significant investment. It's just not something I can drop into a goodwill box. So my goal relating to that is this -
I will USE up as much of my fabric as possible. Instead of going and buying new fabric to create with, I will come up with ways to use what I have first. I have so many patterns, pattern books and saved tutorials for all kinds of awesome projects. Also, I will sew up all those fabrics I have in mind for a project, but keep getting set aside. That way, my girls may actually not require any store bought clothing at all this year, a huge money saver!

How does this relate to my RA? I feel like the less I have to worry about, the less stress it will cause. Stress about "things." Sure there is lots of guilty feeling about not tackling the clutter, not keeping your house tidy enough and other feelings of guilt when you have a debilitating disease like RA. The less "things" there are to vacuum around, dust & move from one place to another is certainly easier on your body. Less stress, less work to do = a happier life living with RA, right?

I sure think so! Join me in my quest to simplify.


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