Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Aspiring towards Less is More ...

What do all these photos have in common?



Pantry shelf

Quilt Tops


Small Appliances

It's all aspirational clutter.  Things I aspire to use or have always wanted to do, thinking if I go ahead and accumulate the supplies, surely I will tackle the desire.  Ha!  A lot of things accumulated back in the "Martha Stewart Wannabe Days" are still hanging around.  More recently, it's art project paraphernalia and canning jars!

I've been re-reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, while awaiting arrival of her newest book, Happy at Home, which arrived yesterday!

Gretchen  writes about many types of clutter:

Nostalgic Clutter: relics clung to from an earlier life ... in my case, useless things that evoke memories or (I'm afraid) guilt, if I toss it. Yes, there are a few boxes of memorabilia in my garage ... along with a few dollhouses I built many years ago.   IN MY GARAGE.  Does that tell you anything?  I made a decision to use it or lose it ... give it a place in my home where it can be used or enjoyed or let it go.  I made a decision.  Haven't gotten around to acting on it yet.  ;-)

Conservation Clutter (aka recyclable clutter):  things I've kept because they're useful ... in may case, containers, vases, old pillowcases.  Yes, Colleen!  Those containers!  I tossed over half of the containers.  I may not use them all at once, but when you need a good jug or just the right size jar ... they do come in handy.  And, who does not have a cabinet or shelf full of old floral vases?  I confess.  I did.  I sent them all to Goodwill.  Now, I have a cabinet of good floral vases.  No! Really!  Nice ones ... like Tuesday Morning and TJ Maxx nice. I haven't counted them, but if anyone needs extra vases for a wedding or something, I'm your go-to gal!  Or, clear serving containers, or pewter trays ... [clearing throat].  Still wondering about the pillow cases, eh?  When I was actively participating in outdoor art events, I used old pillowcases to slip framed originals into to keep from scratching the frames.  They still come in plenty handy for all kinds of things, so they are still hanging around.

Bargain Clutter:  unnecessary things bought home because they were on sale.  No!  I don't carry on this type of behavior, although it is in my bloodline.  On the other hand, my husband will buy nine measuring tapes at a time if he finds a good deal (have to excuse this one since he uses them daily in his line of work, as does every single one of his employees), as well as his once-a-year fishing rodeo splurge on white t-shirts which are like his off work clothing of choice.  Uhm.  Wait.  If I find a pair of shoes I love, I will go back and get another pair just like them right away.  It's justifiable when you have an orthopaedic issue. Oh, never mind that .... the topic was 'unnecessary things' after all ... so, none of the above really counts.  But, just ask my sisters about my Mom's Bargain Clutter issues!!

Freebie Clutter: gifts, hand-me-downs and giveaways.  The scenario goes something like this:  Daughter de-cluttering her home sends smart phone message with photo and caption "want this?" or "want this back"?? .. to which, not giving it much thought, I respond "sure" ... it ends up at (back at) my house.  Then, often ends up at someone Else's house!  The circle of clutter life!!

Crutch Clutter:  things we keep/use, but know we shouldn't.  The worn out night-gowns.  Paint or grease or soil stained t-shirts.  Hey! Why mess up a clean one when I'm heading to the studio, kitchen or garden?  Raggedy, no-support left in them tennis shoes.  Ha Ha! I bet you thought I was gonna say bra, didn't you?!!

Buyer's Remorse Clutter:  Hanging onto something  you shouldn't have bought until it gets enough age on it to justify what you spent for it in the first place.  I'm not going there!

Okay, now that we've settled that and you've learned more than you wanted to know about varietals of clutter, take a look at the next photo and then go back and look at the last photo posted above labeled "Small Appliances".  Notice anything?

Between the Kitchenaid mixer and the Food Saver ... an identical box.  Two food choppers.  Yep.  This is what happens with clutter of all kinds.  Things get lost misplaced.  It wasn't even lost.  One has never been used.  The other has, but it goes back into the box because it's easier to store.  [shaking head back and forth, back and forth].

* * * * * * *

Visit The Happiness Project site when you get a chance.  
I came across it several years ago and visit regularly!
The site isn't about digging yourself out of the throws of depression.
For me, it's been a 'less is more' and 'consistent daily routine' message.

Get your hands on Gretchen Rubin's books.  They are motivational reading!! 
 I often tell myself when attempting to procrastinate ... just do it!  
I especially love her 10th Commandment: 
Do what ought to be done!
and while you're at it, make your bed!

The Happiness Project


  1. I never really broke it down before... So true! ahhhh... now I'm looking around at my stuff with new eyes and asking myself "what can go?" :)

  2. I could be happier if the hubs would get off my back about the 'stuff' I shoved in the closet under the steps. I don't want the clutter either. Strange thing here. I have a twin brother. He has a fully furnished house and no wall hangings or knick knacks. His home feesl a Dr's office waiting room with out the magazines or pictures on the walls. I, on the other hand have walls full of things, everything hanging in here in every room was made by me. With the exception of a few items which we bought to fill in spaces or the pics Hubs took and we enlarged and framed. So I cant blame the clutter I have going on genetics,. Or can just skipped him. Anyway I know getting rid of some of the clutter will make housework so much quicker and uneventful and I really should start purging. Will it make me happier? I don't think so but it will make it look brighter and be less hectic.

  3. It makes me happier! Having a place for the eyes to rest when you walk into a room is peaceful, in a dorky kind of way! I know that sounds 'high falutin' ... I thought so when I first read it! Except for my closet, the garage (not the Man Cave) and my studio ... and a regular need to edit the kitchen counter and the red bench .... clutter is somewhat under control around here! Uhm. Nevermind that last statement. There's a foot high stack of magazines on the coffee table, two baskets of laundry on the bed waiting to put away, a drying rack full of towels in the dining room and a case of wine sitting by the piano. Chasin my tail over here ... as I sit 'sucked in' to the internet!