September 7, 2010

Re-embracing Simplicity

I am constantly struggling with simplifying my life. I tend to keep the house neat and my bedroom full of “creative chaos.”  I think that bedrooms shouldn’t be held to the same standard as the rest of the house because they are very personal spaces. Your bedroom is your cocoon from the world so most of the clean house rules just don’t apply.

I unconsciously pile things up, books, laundry, school things, and projects are all in piles on my desk and floor. I don’t have any entirely empty surface space in my room which I like to have on my computer desk so I can type while still having a few books opened on it. I am not really fond of clutter but I know that it is necessary sometimes and that it accumulates often. I have a theory that the thing that is so relaxing about going on vacation is the fact that there is barely anything in your hotel room. The minute you walk in, the only thing in your hotel room is a Bible. 

I tend to have to have a bunch of things out at once. I always have some kind of sewing, knitting, drawing, writing, musical and reading things around. If I put them away, I will never work on them. However; about twice a year, my room becomes so cluttered that even the scatter-brained me can’t think in there and I need to weed out the cluttering items. My big plan is to eventually just have a place for everything and for all of the piles to be slightly smaller.  

My “Rules” on Clutter (of which I am constantly reminding myself.)

  • An object can do you no good if you cannot find it when you need it. If your books are boxed up and it would take you a few months to find the book you need, they aren’t worth keeping around, write down their titles and donate them. I always keep books I use all of the time out where I can access them easily.
  • Do not keep any object that you do not think you will not use within the next three years—(I think one year is really short because one year I might be really into gardening and the next year, sewing, but I will probably cycle back to gardening in a year or two.) Exceptions to this rule are expensive items which you will likely use in the future such as computer equipment or hobby equipment (fishing rods, picnic baskets, paints.) 
  • It is selfish to keep an item that you have no use for when someone else can be using and enjoying it. For example: There is clothing from high school that I’d like to keep because I think it is pretty, but I don’t wear it now and it just hangs in the closet. I’d much rather see my younger sister and other people wear and enjoy it rather than keeping squirreled away. Exceptions are things that have sentimental value; I still have the skirt that I wore when I met Andy, even though I’d never wear it today.
  • Is the cost of an item worth more than the stress it takes to keep and maintain it? Sometimes I find myself constantly tripping over an item or moving it back and fourth in a room because it has no place to go. I have to ask myself if those items are really that important. If I can’t find a place for them it is just extra stress to clean around those items and the clutter just adds to mental stress.
  • Don’t keep anything that is beyond repair. I have very relaxed views on what beyond repair is. If something is repairable, I will repair it—Andy can attest to the various surgeries we have performed on his ipod. I need to remind myself that things that can’t be repaired or would not be cost efficient to repair need to be thrown out. Sometimes things are broken for long enough that I realize that I have found a viable substitute for it anyway.      


  1. I'm quite the opposite, the bedroom is the tidy room because I need to be able to relax and I don't like the dust to have anywhere to hide.

    Lovely post!

  2. That's a very useful list of rules. I should stick to it more often. :P

  3. Great tips! I love your blog! You seem like such an amazing person! :)

    I think it's just wonderful that you embrace history!

  4. Halfrida, I'm pretty sure I have the dustiest room in the house. I'd probably love your bedroom.

  5. Thanks, Hana. I try to, it never fully works. :D

  6. Jodi, I like your blog too. Thank you for the compliment.

  7. Amen!
    Last week I had to stand in the doorway and take a flying leap just to reach my bed! It's clean in there now, we'll see for how long. . .

  8. Sophia, It's good it's clean now. I can concentrate a lot better and also get more done if my room is clean.

  9. I'm glad to have found a fellow Les Miz fan -- but am sad you aren't participating. Perhaps I can think of making some sort of exceptions so you can join. How does that sound? =)

  10. Anna Olivia, That would be really nice. Thanks.


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