Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Determined to Be Simple

Not simple minded....just simple! I have really been thinking about all the stuff we have and what a mess our house stays in because of that. Well, there are other reasons why our house stays a mess, but honestly a large part of it is because there is no way to keep up with the amount of stuff that we own.

I visited my aunt's house this weekend. Every time I visit one of her houses (her real house or her "country home") I want my house to look better. One time, when Sweetheart was around 5 or 6, we visited my aunt's real home and I went home and started cleaning. A few weeks later Sweetheart observed me cleaning and asked, "How many weeks have you been trying to make your house look like Aunt N's?"

The little smartie pants.

The real answer? Years!

I don't mean to be all philosophical, but I've really been thinking about how stuff ties us down, consumes our time, orders our day, and makes life a bit un-enjoyable. Oh sure, some stuff makes life better, don't get me wrong! But in general, we just have TOO MUCH of everything.

I started working on that yesterday. (If you've been reading my blog for a while, please don't bring up the fact that I have preached this sermon before! I got my kitchen and laundry room done and that was the end.) This time, I started in the room that always gets left for last: our bedroom. I rearranged, dusted, cleaned and it looks great!

BUT, I'm not done! Oh no ma'am! It's clean and new and I found the cedar chest under all the laundry, but it's still not simplified. There is stuff all over the place in that room and it must be dealt with. I began with that cedar chest. It holds our sheets and it was full to the top. It's a HUGE cedar chest so we obviously had enough sheets for our entire block. I now have a big pile of mismatched sheets in the hall to give away, plus sheets that don't fit any beds we currently own. It's much better now.

So what else could I possibly need to do in there? Oh boy, where do I start? It's all those hidden places: the closet, the nightstand drawers (who knows what's in those?) the top of the dresser, the bathroom cabinets, under the bathroom sink, etc. I am very serious. We are getting rid of stuff. We do not need this much junk in our lives.

And this cleaning spree comes from lots of time thinking about consumerism and how the media tells us we need, need, need and thoughts about contentment, etc. All those are good things to think about, but I decided I needed to do something about it. And it starts at home.

In the master bedroom to be more specific.

So, how much stuff do you have in your bedroom? :)


  1. Stuff...the constant struggle.

    It all comes from that first visit to the build-a-bear workshop store. lol.

  2. Oh, this one hit where it hurts!

    We have more stuff than I could begin to know how to use. And our bedroom is the worst. We recently (alright, not recently. It was 2 years ago but saying RECENTLY makes it sound like I have a valid excuse for clutter) moved into a much smaller house and EVERYTHING that has no place to live, no nook to call home, no peg to hang its hat, has migrated to my bedroom. There it camps like a huddled mass in the nooks, crannies, and corners of the floor.

    Don't even get me started on the garage! (I've heard that they were actually intended to be a place to park a car. Hmmm?)

  3. What a coincidence! I was cleaning up my overrun with stuff bedroom this weekend. I have A LOT of stuff. In the room that is supposed to be a haven for a couple at the end of the day, hmmmm...

    We tend to clean up every other room first. Is it because outsiders are more likely to see it?

  4. Oh you are too funny GB! If only I could blame Build-A-Bear for the whole house! But, alas, the BAB stuff all fits nicely into one box. Sigh.

    Oh Tammi I hear you! Before we had bookshelves at our old house we had stacks and stacks of binders and books and stuff all around the edges of our bedroom. It was horrible!

    And Terry, yes. The room that is supposed to be for us is the worst. That's one reason I decided to start in there. How wonderful to have people over and not have to close that door!

  5. It is a mess. I clean it up and come in that night and it is messy again and teh reason it is messy is purely stuff! TOO much stuff. I completely feel for you! We are having a garage sale the third weekend of September so I am culling out all the stuff and marking it as I put it in a big box in the hall closet! I have a goal too... LESS STUFF!

  6. I always try to cut back on clutter. Then I am "inspired" by some decorator blogger and accumulate much, much more.

    The Lord has been whispering to me lately, "Use what you have." I'm doing my best to listen closely and obey.

    Oh, and a book recommendation: Living With Less, the Upside of Downsizing by Mark Taab. Excellent read!

  7. It's going to take some time, girl! But good for you for starting and really making a difference. By the way, those sheets....don't get rid of them just yet. They make for GREAT fabric when making gifts for, oh, I don't know...Christmas. :-)

  8. Well, I must be honest and say that I have NEVER been a clutter bug. As much as I like stuff, I HATE cleaning more!

    And the whole traveling on deputation thing kinda helps you keep perspective. I didn't want us to go broke shipping a bunch of stuff to Africa we wouldn't use.

    So while I hear you, I don't exactly feel your pain. But I am proud of you for getting on top of it!!

  9. For once, I get to be happy about my comment. My bedroom is not cluttered. I don't know exactly why, but it tends to stay in better shape than the other rooms in the house. Maybe because I don't allow toys in there.

    I will admit though that I have one small box in my closet that has not been unpacked since our move here almost 3 years ago. It is filled with things like picture frames, candle sticks, etc. that I'm not using right now. If I hadn't grown accustomed to just seeing it there, I probably would have at least taken it down to the basement by now. But then what would I use for a footstool to get my purses down off the high shelf?

  10. You're funny, Amy! Can't get rid of that step stool!

    And, sadly. There are no toys in our room. They are not the source of the mess.

  11. I have heard the philosophy that if a woman has a cluttered home it is because she has a cluttered mind. I would love to hear what you think about that. I don't know what to think. I do know that MY house is messier the more messed up I am!

  12. You know, Mrs. W, you might be on to something. I know today when I was searching through stacks of stuff on my desk for a very important folder----while stepping over the laundry pile to get to the desk...my mind felt cluttered!!!!!!!!!

    I don't think my house is a mess because I am a mess--I think it is a mess because I am lazy and we have too much stuff. Nor do I think cleaning it will make me instantly better--but I bet it will be a relief!!!

  13. Yeah I am still not sure what to think about that whole issue lol.

  14. Hello!

    I stumbled across your blog and have really enjoyed reading! I just wanted to respond to this post and let you know that I'm at exactly the same place...I have boxes of "stuff" littered all about the house ready to either be given away, put away or sold.

    I too, also have plans for and Etsy Store..let me know when you get yours up and running and I'll add it to my soon to be added to my blog "Favorite Things On Etsy" sidebar!

    I hope it's okay to add you to my blogroll!

    Best Wishes,


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)