When it was time to do the Seasonal Clothes Switch-out, I was dreading it mightily. Four different sizes of people, two sets of clothes each. Yuck.
But last Spring, as I was putting my sweaters away, I realized that I wasn't wearing some of the sweaters. I put them aside. Then, I packed them all up and donated them to a local community clothes closet: a place that gives away clothing and food to those in need. Unlike Goodwill, people who need something can walk in and get it. No money necessary. While I was packing them up, I also looked at my gazillion T-shirts and decided enough was enough. I didn't even wear most of them. Into the box they went. Dress clothes I haven't worn in more than a year? In the box! Hubby got into it, too, and dropped a bunch of clothes into the box. (Okay, several boxes by now.)
Then I went to switch the girls' clothes. Hmm...
I called my sister and asked just how much she wanted me to save for her two little girls who are four and nearly two. "Just the best stuff. Not a lot." Okay!
Into the box! I looked at the jeans Little Girl just grew into and realized that she had about ten (!!) pairs of GOOD jeans. Yikes! I saved her coveralls, I saved two other pairs of jeans, I saved the pants that she can wear to Mass. The rest, INTO THE BOX! Old winter coats? INTO THE BOX!
I filled the back of my Jeep twice.
And, guess what? I have less stuff to store! Less to wash. Less for the kids to put away.
The simplicity isn't stopping there, either.
Nearly a month ago, my dishwasher broke. Travel Man can't figure out what it is (he pulled it apart, check online resources, and nada). So it sits there, empty. We are loathe to call to pay to have it fixed. I mean, we could do it, but ... meh. And to replace it means probably re-wiring something in the kitchen. (It seems the previous owner spliced the wires for the dishwasher, attached a plug to it, and plugged it into the wall. No, the home inspector did not notice it. He also didn't notice most of the other non-code wiring all over the house. I'm not sure what he looked at while he was here or what we paid him for. But that's another story.)
Back to the dishwasher. Not in the mood to pay for fixing it right now, not in the mood to rewire the kitchen and buy a new one, so Travel Man got me two dishwashers. Big Girl and Little Girl. I still have to wash some things, but the girls now help.
And I've discovered something. We actually don't need place settings for twelve. Or that many glasses. Or that much silverware. I used to wonder how the pioneers did it, with one plate for each person and a fork and spoon for each. But when you wash up after each meal, it's easy! I'm also very into trying to use as few pots and pans as possible to eliminate that mess. My kitchen philosophy is changing little by little.
Now, when I see messes in the house, I find myself wanting to give more away. Not just to de-clutter, but because I also realized that it's a blessing to others. Our parish will be collecting winter coats for the very community clothes closet that I donated all those clothes to. I think I actually have a couple of things I can still get over there. I'm really looking forward to it now.
What have you done to make your life simpler? Are you decluttering, too? Hit that comment link and tell!