Monday, March 16, 2015

End of my Second Month for Simplify-Your-Life Challenge

So here are the photos from our kitchen after the purge. Not minimalist by many standards but for our farmhouse we have only kept what we use or love. The wood stove was repaired, cleaned and used all winter. We cleaned out cabinets and reassessed both tools and food items. The calm in the kitchen makes it easy to cook and clean up.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Setbacks...An Opportunity

    I know it is March and not the end of December, when I was supposed to post my after pictures of the kitchen. So you may be wondering were did the "Organize Now Challenge" go??? We do have a Facebook page. I do have some after pictures of the kitchen to share with you in the next post but for now I wanted to share one of the frustrations many who declutter find in their own homes just as I did. 
    If you have a family then you don't live alone which means it is not just your stuff that takes up space in your home. I respect my family and their belongings. When we clean out we do it together so they can make decisions for themselves about their own belongings. My goal is to instill life long habits of good decisions not only in myself but my children. If I force this on them then it means nothing personally for them. If they see the value in simplifying ones life then they will see the value in continuing with the habit. Isn't that pretty much all lessons in life? We can't force others or even "teach" others how to do anything and expect that they will just do it without question. We all SHOULD question why and how we live our lives and the decisions we make everyday. We are humans not robots and this is not a "one size fits all" world. We need to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families. Every family is different in how their daily routine unfolds, what they value, how they grow spiritually, and how they work or play together. Here is a great article on Minimalism with Kids. 
    So as we had some setbacks this winter... illness, work schedule, winter weather, etc. that made things a bit more challenging I didn't let that completely set me back. I rose to the challenge and kept working through areas of our home even though it wasn't a room by room event. After finishing the living room and kitchen the first two months I managed to clean out a quarter of the belongings in our attic, go through all bins and reorganize what we decided to keep. I also reevaluated my wardrobe with the Project333 concept.  My creative projects got a serious inspection and our basement freezers got inventoried along with the kitchen cleanout. So not all was lost. I plan on doing a video this summer of our home and how we have simplified thus far. It will not be everyones definition of minimalism but it will be our families take on it.   
    One of our biggest areas of setback was a leaky pipe that is turning into a bathroom and laundry room remodel. No other choice then to see that as an opportunity. It is not one that we could jump into right away but one that will need to get done over months this next year. Such is life in a 160 year old farmhouse. So if you have been decluttering in your home and life this winter what have your challenges been?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Second Month for Simplify-Your-Life Challenge

Oh boy I think maybe I feel more shy about my kitchen; more then any other room in the house. I share this with you as inspiration! I am as excited to see the after pictures just as much as you might be ;). I think the kitchen often gets out of hand because I am in it all day long. We can summer produce, make home remedies which take weeks to brew, ferment foods which take days, bake bread, bone broth and make all our own mixes. This small kitchen works hard to say the least. So even though we do a lot in this space as a family we have room to shed that which does not serve us well. I am not a fan of one function tools so as we perfect our methods we find new ways to use what we have and to invest in the very best when we do replace something. I can not think of anything more frustrating in the kitchen then to be working on a recipe and your tools either don't work the way they claim them to or they can't hold up to regular use. 

Goals for this room- 
  1. get rid of anything that is no longer serving a purpose(like the swifer and the baby walker) 
  2. clean, repair and paint anything that needs attention(the wood stove, the cabinets, the woodwork)
  3. clean off fridge and come up with a mobile office
  4. clean out any food items that are expired, condense any duplicates, and give every food item a home in the fridge or cabinet
    My fridge is crazy I know. After a summer of farm gatherings we seem to collect extra condiments. Broth needs to go to the freezer and many leftovers need to be eaten up. Our fridge usually holds two-three weeks worth of eggs and produce at any given time. Three large jars of ferments are at the end of their life and unlabeled half jars of canned goods need to be used up. The freezer needs bins to hold items in an organized manner so everything gets used. Half used bags of fruit and veggies need to be combined. 
    So for the month of December we will eat from the fridge, freezer and pantry to help reduce the clutter and use up items before we buy more. We aren't hosting any meals or events for Christmas so this simplifies our month. So what room are you working on? How are you going to start your new year? What goals are you setting for yourself to simplifier your life? 

Someday maybe we will add a cabinet above fridge to hold our dehydrator and lunch bags.

I have to come up with a way to function without a home office so I will need to invent a mobile office and a home for it so I can keep up with everything. 

At the moment my dishwasher serves as a giant dish rack! On the weekends I often do batch cooking of snacks, soups or salads so we are ready for the week.... that sometimes makes many dishes. 

I use cloth often but my husband requires paper towels... he says for dog messes, throw-up and other times you want to throw it away :(

I think this is the craziest part of our kitchen, ah!