Simplify your life!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Is anyone interested in sharing some ideas on what they have done to simplify their lives? I am tired of the mad complexity of modern living and often long for the simplicity an old fashioned lifestyle affords. Does anyone out there long for a simpler old fashioned lifestyle (more time for family and friends etc) and want to share ideas? Here are some of the things I've done to simplify my life. I am always looking for new ideas.
1. I got rid of all those dust collecting, no real purpose, knick-knacks that clutter up a house.
2. I read Clutters Last Stand by Don Aslett and Henry and the Great Society by Roush for motivation.
3. God rid of the biggest timewaster in all history - the television- I want to live life, not watch other poeple pretend to "live" life.
4. I turned the ringer on my phone off and let the answering machine screen all calls.
5. I had a garage sale to get rid of all non essentials.
6. I limit the amount of toys my children have to those they actually play with.
7. I stopped trying to be Betty Crocker - I cook simple homecooked meals from the food we grow.
8. I stopped taking 45 different supplements to prevent disease - we are all going to die - and I concentrate on eating wholesome food and living right.
9. I bought lots and lots of 22 gallon bins to organize everything (that was left) along one wall in my basement and put easy to read labels on each describing the contents in storage.
10.I try to resist the urge to buy it in the first place. I have found that 90% of what I used to buy I would later give to Salvation army.
11. I try to resist the urge to take on too much (this one is tough).
Anyone have any great ideas on simplifying our lives? Despite all these efforts I still feel like I'm stuck on the treadmill of modern life pressures. How about you?
-- Tiffani Cappello (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 18, 2000
One of the first things our family did to simplify(after getting rid of tv also) was to reduce our wardrobe. We actually began this because we had so little closet space in the 100 year old farmhouse we were living in. An example is that all three of our boys when young had two pair of jeans - both black. The new pair looked so nice they wore them to church (new black look almost like slacks) and to town and the old pair was for play and work. When the new pair needed replacing they became play jeans (if not outgrown yet) and we purchased a new pair on sale. Now that the two older boys are grown and working they usually have three pair going - the oldest pair for really grungy jobs around here.
-- Terry (email@example.com), October 18, 2000.
We speak truthfully to each other, even if it hurts (and try making the situation better, if it is a hurtful topic, never leave the "wound" undressed) and each of us keeps a memo book to put our "To Do" lists in. Don't ever expect to do them all in one day, just start at the top working our way down. Whats really fun is all three of us teaming up on one list together. Its also great when we can post a completed page on the fridge like a trophy.
-- Jay Blair (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 18, 2000.
I have found that at my oldier age that most people don't keep "heart warmers" from their families past!!!! So I'm working on cedar chests to keep for each child & grand child. They have from family pictures, to baby outfits they wore, news paper articles, books, pictures they have drawn for me, antiques that belonged to their grandparents, or great grandparents, family trees,cookbooks, old toys that were theirs, just the things that you hear them go,"OOOOOOh", over!!! It gives me a chance to organize these things & think about who I think, would enjoy something the most. (like who would want great grandma's quilt,etc.)I have since, I have owned antique shops for many years found, that most people come in, to buy what they are reminded of about their past, that their family DID NOT KEEP! As you are getting sooooo organized just remember to not throw out all of your children's past(their heart warmers). I hear everyday someone say,"OOOOhhh, I have to have this, my grandma had one of these & who knows where it went?" I have young families come in & say my parents never saved anything we had as we grew up, & ask for certain things to regain their own past!!! I had a girl buy a record album on Monday & cryed as she said, it was just like the first one she ever bought, & her patents got a divorce & all of her things were not saved!!! So as you are getting organized SAVE THE HEART WARMERS FOR YOUR FAMILY! I'm enjoying putting these trunks together, & I write personal notes about each thing I put in the trunk, someday they can read my loveing words to them long after I'm gone & know how much I wanted to warm their hearts & their next generations hearts!!! Sonda in Ks.
-- Sonda (email@example.com), October 18, 2000.
My daughter has a special area in the cloths closets. If an item is not used within the year it goes into the special area. If used within the next year, back into the the regular area otherwise it is gotten rid of.
-- JLS (Stalkingbulloo7@AOL.com), October 18, 2000.
What a wonderful idea about the trunks for "heart warmers". I too keep these - only in a single cedar chest. One for each son is a good idea though, then I could also put all the things they have saved in them.
My Mom and aunts don't save sentimental items but my Grandma always has - guess I take after her. I kept the outfits that we brought our first two sons home from the hospital in and the outfit that a friend made for our third son when we brought him home (we adopted him at six months old) and all of their first pairs of shoes and brush and comb sets. We also have one in heaven (I had a miscarriage and do not know if the baby is a girl or boy) and I saved the beautiful pair of white crocheted booties a friend had made for the baby, as my reminder.
Our oldest son is 21, second son is 19 (and I'm missing him terribly right now as he left yesterday for Army basic training) and our youngest (so far?) is 12.
Know what I will be doing tomorrow - looking at memories!
-- Terry (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 18, 2000.
Like Tiffani, I have reduced clutter. Not that I was ever much into dusting, now there is even less! No more magazine subcribtions! Junk mail goes into the trash at the post office. I stopped nagging the kids to clean their rooms, and enlisted them as assistant gardners! Now they clean their rooms like mad, so they don't have time to help me garden! Hauling wood doesn't count-warm is warm-and just like the bathroom, if you plan on using it, plan on cleaning it! I stopped going to tupperware/candle/country stuff/business deals/ home parties! If I went to every one of the stupid things I was invited to, I'd be out 4 nights a week! Who needs it/can afford it! Simple is good.
-- Kathy (email@example.com), October 19, 2000.
To help simplify our lives, I decided to only buy hand tools. I do all the farming and gardening by hand. My dear spouse isn't mechanical so it is simpler this way. I would like the tack and equipment so the horse can do the heavy work, but that will cost almost as much as a John Deere.
I've always been non-electric in the kitchen, too, but I broke down and bought a new, still in the box, food processor from Goodwill. It is complete with everything but the instructions. I've had it for a month now and STILL haven't figured out how to put it together or make it work. I guess my old Cutter King from Lehman's is still the simplest and best food processor.
Other ways I simplify.
Doing things right the first time so I don't have to do it again.
Letting my children experience the natural consequences of their actions. They are quick learners. Meaning "NO" when I say no and saying "YES" as much as I possibly can.
Being a good neighbor and having good neighbors is well worth the time and effort. Sharing my bounty with others and accepting gracefully help from others when they offer.
Don't fret because I didn't get it all done today. It won't go anywhere, the work will still be there tomorrow.
Remember what is really important in life. What's important is our relationships. With God, spouse, children, family and neighbors. These are the most important things in life. Without them, life is very hard, indeed.
-- Laura Senderhauf (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 20, 2000.
Tese are a few thoughts on the subject. Hope they come together, they may sound like ramblings.
The more you have, the more you have to take care of them.
In all seriousness, simplifying your life can be complicated. The simpler you live the harder you work, which is good because homesteaders generally like hard work:~}
I use to clean houses for a living in Indy, the really super fancy areas. Some houses had 6 bathrooms and three sets of living room furniture. They also had a husband and wife and maybe a child or two. If I had room for that much furniture, I'd have it filled with canning jars:-] These people are rarely home to enjoy their houses, whats wrong with this picture?
Fancy houses or plain, people have stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. It can become an addiction. I have a friend that has to have stuff. It fills in the empty spaces of her life. She also has broken or stained stuff so she can fix them up. It really serves a purpose in her life. Maybe some day she can put all that caring toward people.
I'm not terribly sentimental whick is good, because I've lost almost everything I owned in one way or another more than once. Ive been down to a carload of stuff. Now- I have a few things I keep just because of who gave it to me. But most of that stuff is useful. People know I'd rather have useful and ornamental.
Simplifying is best done in steps. It can be too overwhelming to dump it all at one time, but it sure feels good when it's gone. This applies to emotional things and well as material things.
I used to fruit fast on Tuesdays. On Wednesdays I couldn't wait to get rid of dirt, stuff, anything that wasn't necessary. I dumped a lot of emotional baggage during that two year period.
Now because of the chemical poisoning, I'm getting rid of lots of bad stuff and replacing it with better. Most of the stuff is new, I felt guilty about new, but God told me I'm a King's kid and if I want new, that fine. He also let me know second hand is o.k. if it's available, but not mandatory. He has also given me a desire for do it yourself, which is fine with me.
This past year, I've been working on not driving myself nuts worrying about cleaning house. I don't have time, desire or energy to clean like I think I should. I'm not now nor have I ever been immaculate. But I like everything to be organized and I'm good at that. I just don't like to dust all the time. And in the summer, well forget it. So I'm working on getting rid of GUILT. You know, that thing that keeps you from sitting back reading or watching the chickens peck. I keep thinking, if I can just catch up... well, I've caught up a few times...didn't make much difference and didn't stay that way. So I'm taking more time to do the simple things and thanking God that I don't have all that stuff.
-- Cindy (email@example.com), October 20, 2000.
I am a certifiable pack rat.
Since I'm a reporter for two newspapers, I wound up with newspapers scattered all over my home office...I literally mean all over...
But that mess doesn't really bother me because I can put my hands on what I need generally in less than a minute. My editor call me to look up stuff even tho she has three secretaries and everything neatly filed...
To simply my life means doing the things I really want to and NOT worrying about keeping the house spotless...
Not being a rat in the rat race....working the jobs I want to do...and husband has done the same by quitting his "regular hour" job and opening a home and business repair busines, kind of like a handyman. This has meant a big financial change for us and we're still struggling but it means he's home more and more at peace and satisfied with himself.
-- Suzy in 'Bama (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 20, 2000.
Kathy mentioned junk mail. Definitely clutter. You can go to the post office and as for a card to fill out and send in. It goes to some place that will keep most junk mail from coming to your house for 5 years. It works. I think my 5 years is about up, so I'll fill out another card and send it in. We got a p.o. box cause somebody smashed our mailbox and ruined the only place we had to put it. We got a lot of mail because of the new address, so I have either written or caled their 800 number and told them to take our name off their mailing list. Sometimes you have to do this 2 or 3 times. If they enclose a postage due envelope, I send that back, When they have to pay the postage, they usually remove your name a lot quicker. Which reminds me, I worked for BMG music service as a temporary a few years ago. Somebody mailed one of those club enrolment cards back glued to a wrapped up brick. The company had to pay postage on that brick. I also unsubscribe to everything I can in my e-mail.
-- Cindy (email@example.com), October 20, 2000.
Kathy mentioned magazines. I do get several. But they're not clutter for me. I have them all organized on a couple of bookcases upstairs. I also index the articles. I had one index complete a couple years ago, but it wasn't quite what I wanted so I'm working on another one. To me magazines are a useful tool. If I want to refer to an article or recipe I'll know where it is. I'll cancel a subscription if I'm not pleased and get my money. I really like the Reiman publications because there's no advertising and they're a nice escape.
The idea I guess, is to just not have what you want but, to want what you have.
-- Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 21, 2000.
I have been working on simplifying for awhile. Its easy enough to simplify oneself but don't you find that the rest of the family's clutter can become yours? Simplicity has to come from within as well as without. I have found that by dealing with emotional and spiritual clutter is a priority in reducing my stress level and helping me deal with the externals like sorting the kids toys and our closets etc.
-- Alison in NS (email@example.com), October 24, 2000.