Surprising Myself

Today I decided to stop procrastinating and eliminate the shelf from the kitchen that I no longer needed. Through my simplification/minimalism efforts I had purged more than enough from my cabinets to contain what the shelf held so it was time to take the next step.

I began cleaning off that shelf, getting sidetracked and forcing myself back on track.  I saw things here and there that needed to be tossed or purged—then would force myself back on track.

It was a challenge just to stay focused today but part of simplicity is doing just one thing so I plodded on and ended up surprising myself.

Not only did I eliminate that shelf but I also eliminated the little metal shelf as well!  Both are now awaiting repurposing in another area of the house…

At this rate one day I will find myself with shelves to eliminate from my life.. I like that thought!

While in the midst of simplifying this kitchen area  I decided to rework my laptop area.  Instead of using the cheap speakers and letting the good ones go unused I moved the good speakers in here. Where is the logic in not using the good stuff?

I also drug out my wireless keyboard/mouse set from storage and hooked them up to eliminate some cables from this area. Yes, they will use batteries, but I have rechargeable batteries I can use in them.  Also I already had this set so why let it sit and rot when it can make life a little easier? This will eliminate a USB hub from this area while keeping a port open on the laptop for when I need to plug in additional devices like my external hard drive or my printer.

I moved the phone and speakers off of the table, which will make moving the laptop to reclaim the table for other purposes.  Now instead of having to move the laptop, speakers, phone, keyboard and mouse I will only have the laptop, keyboard and mouse to move.

I ended up with another pile of things to give away from my roamings elsewhere in the house today.  Even made it to the storage building for a bit to get the wireless set and eliminated a few things there as well.

I could list everything here but tonight I don’t feel like it is appropriate. I am simply content with eliminating even more from my life.

To celebrate I fixed a quick stir fry and filled my hungry belly.  Now I’m ready to walk the puppies and settle down for the night.

This day may not have went in the exact direction I planned for it, but I accomplished a lot today. I hope that today was every bit as productive for you as it was for me.

Two out of Ten Things

I eliminated two things today. I guess this wouldn’t be news except those things meant something to me once upon a time.

The very first backpack I used when I started working on computers

It was old and tattered but still I held on to the hope that I would still use it when in fact it is in such poor condition I am afraid to trust anything valuable in it. TOSS!

My favorite Summer Sandals

Okay, so they were falling apart and looked hideous—they were still comfortable!

I have to realize that there comes a time when we need to let go. They were so tattered I would not wear them in public which means I would not really wear them at all. Goodbye, dear shoes.

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I know this may sound silly to most of you out there, but eliminating just these two items was a big thing to me today.  It shows me that I am becoming less attached to stuff, and more committed to simplicity and minimalism.

I look around this kitchen and see open spaces where once clutter reigned. Even the shelf I placed in here recently is becoming more empty with each passing day. If I applied myself I could eliminate it from the kitchen entirely, so little is contained upon it. Amazing when you consider the fact that it was packed full!

I’m not where I want to be, not by a long shot, but I’m getting there. One little piece at a time.

Life Without a Refrigerator?

I stumbled upon an article about people living without a refrigerator. This is an interesting thought, and I have wondered if personally I should exchange my fridge for a small chest freezer and a cooler.

I don’t plan on making any drastic changes, but it makes sense when you freeze more than you actually chill.  Most of what is in my refrigerator currently is just filler that I wouldn’t refrigerate otherwise, but I needed a place to stick it.

What do you think?  Could you or do you already live without a refrigerator?

Further Elimination

I am still inspired by The Happy Minimalist. As a result I managed to thin down even more.

Like a lot of people I have a lot of things I do not need.  Some of that stuff (a lot of it actually) falls under “why did I buy that in the first place?”

Two more pairs of jeans, some outdated computer books, a phone book that never gets used, some craft books, a crock pot (I had 2) and several other items have been sacked up to go to my sister’s.

The futon mattress has been placed in the closet for when company comes.  For now I think I will sleep in the sleeping bag.

I found that I have unnecessary duplicates of a lot of stuff, and those duplicates are slowly leaving. I am even passing on the stainless steel skillet that goes with the rest of my cookware.  It hasn’t been used in years since I started using a cast iron one.

It is rather hit and miss as I purge these items. If I am the least bit nervous that item will stay—I do not want to push myself harder than I am ready to go.

My closet has been thinned out considerably yet I still have a lot of things that I enjoy wearing.  I have yet to thin out a single item that I actually wear other than some of the jeans cause the cut looked horrible on me and I have several others that look nice and are still comfortable.

It feels good to know that I don’t NEED all of this stuff around here. To know that I can get by with less and still be happy.

Right now I am curled up in one of those heavyduty folding chairs that store away in a bag.  I have had this thing for several years.  It is comfortable and has survived a lot of abuse. I sit here in my much smaller bedroom with the laptop on my lap.  The only electric devices running are the refrigerator, an LED nightlight in the bathroom, an LED desk light in here, my router and this laptop. The LED desk light uses 1.5 watts of electric.  I do not know how much the LED night light uses—it is one of those that doubles as a small flashlight that comes on in the event of a power outage.

I was getting low on towels so I washed them despite the rain.  I am using a clothesline placed in the hallway to dry them. This way it is no issue if the rain continues for a day or more, and I am still not using the dryer.

To my surprise I  have not had the desire to fire up the kerosene heater this evening.  The laptop on my lap has generated more than enough heat to knock off the chill.

To move to this home, I sold my couch, loveseat, bedroom suite and Katie’s oversized bunk bed. By doing this I avoided having to beg people to please come move me, help me carry this.. The two moves before this ended with me hiring a guy off the street to help with the heavy stuff the first time and begging a friend the second. 

This time, with the exception of the refrigerator, washer and dryer—I moved everything in my van.  It took multiple loads but overall was not that bad.  I could have lay the big appliances down in the back of my van and hauled them that way but I had a volunteer with a truck and did not refuse the help.?

My friends considered me insane for selling most of my furniture (well, technically I traded it off for this trailer) but I considered it smart.  If I can’t move it, I honestly don’t need it.  I can move the appliances with a dolly, but the things that take two people to maneuver just HAD to go.

I am thinking that instead of a refrigerator that a small chest freezer and a large cooler may serve my purposes better than what I have (and use less electricity). Not much actually gets stored in the fridge honestly.  When I get meat, I freeze it individually on a pizza pan before transferring it to bags for individual portions without the packaging expense. Figure if the big companies can do it, why can’t I? I would have more room to store things that I actually use, like meats on sale, with less room to house things that normally go to waste here (a.k.a. leftovers). Two-liter bottles could be frozen and used to chill the contents of the cooler, exchanged on a regular basis with fresh ones from the chest freezer.

I have no intentions of getting rid of my refrigerator and buying a small chest freezer—that makes no practical sense when I already have a refrigerator, even if the freezer on it is smaller than I would prefer.  It is something to consider for the future, especially since small chest freezers are almost half the price of even a small refrigerator!  I have no idea how old this little fridge is, though it looks fairly new, so it is nice to plan for the future a bit.

If I could go a whole year without my dryer I would sell it and not look back. I’m sure that thing has contributed substantially to my past electric bills. People the world over do without clothes dryers and they survive just fine.

I would have to make small changes, use lighter blankets instead of heavy comforters, especially in winter when they would take a long time to dry indoors—but if I’m sleeping in a sleeping bag that point would be moot.  Katie’s bedding is small enough not to be an issue.

Here I am rambling about what I think I can do without.  It is almost midnight here, contributing to the diarrhea of words tonight, sorry.

I’ll go to bed and leave you to your life. Good night, good world!

The Happy Minimalist

Yesterday I read a book by Peter Lawrence titled “The Happy Minimalist.”

Sixty minimal pages of distilled knowledge. I questioned the price of the download but curiosity won out. 
It was worth every single penny.

Peter lives a drastically Spartan life, with a lawn chair for seating, a sleeping bag for a bed, minimal tools and cookware but a full life living as he pleases. His electric usage? A measly 2 kWh per day.

After devouring his missive I hit my closets and thinned down a bag full of items I have not worn in ages.  These will be passed on to my sister.

I mastered cooking rice on the stovetop using the absorption method, so my rice cooker is going to her as well. Also included in that will be a heavy stainless steel skillet that I do not use in favor of the two cast-iron skillets I use for everything.

Last night I even flipped the switch to turn off my dsl modem before going to bed. Flipped the power strip for the cordless phone as well. Seriously, my phone is a MagicJack, turned off at night when the computer is shut down, so why keep the phone powered on? If it were not for mobility I would eschew the cordless phone in favor of a lower-energy corded one but we all must make decisions on what we will actually use.

Last winter I used a sleeping bag instead of my full sized futon because of the extra warmth that comes from being snuggled into one.  I pondered his choice to use one full time when it occurred to me that sleeping bags are the Western World’s version of the Japanese futon.

Instead of unfolding that heavy futon I snuggled down in my sleeping bag last night. The puppies were confused but still faithfully curled up next to me. To my surprise I didn’t toss and turn the way I normally do at night. Perhaps a sleeping bag is a valid option for full-time sleeping.  If this is the case the full size futon can either be put away for when guests arrive or discarded entirely.

I want to read his book again in a few days, but his missive really struck a chord with me. While I do not know if I would want to go as extreme as Peter he has definitely given this aspiring minimalist some things to consider.

If you buy one book this year, make that book “The Happy Minimalist.” It will definitely give you food for thought.

The Egg Slicer

This is funny so I have to tell on myself!

I set that egg slicer in front of me,  planning to use it on some eggs tonight.  Boiled the eggs, fished one out…

…And chopped it up with a knife!  I was cutting up the second one before I realized what I was doing!

With a laugh, I tossed that stupid egg slicer.  I don’t need what I never use!

It was cheap anyway!

10 Things Challenge Update

I wandered to the outbuilding today and tossed a few things from there. Most of what was discarded was in the building before I bought the place but such is life.

  1. Three mismatched Hubcaps
  2. non-functional lamp
  3. empty box
  4. cigarette making gizmo
  5. Bag of unknown items
  6. Broken carafe from unknown coffee maker
  7. Springs from old chair
  8. rusted brake drum
  9. Some broken toys
  10. Broken knife

There were some other things, but I didn’t know what to call them-enough to almost fill my Herbie. I left space within it for any trash I will need to discard between now and next Thursday.

I did discover some things I had considered lost: my whetstone, some matches, the missing clothespins (how they got there I will never know), 2 plastic glasses and an egg slicer.

I probably should just discard the egg slicer—it’s not like I ever use it.  In fact, I didn’t realize it was lost until I located it because I always use a knife to slice and chop my eggs!

It really feels good to thin down. I am in hopes by summer’s end to have that outbuilding thinned down to a degree where I can shift some of my more permanent storage items down there. I know—the ideal situation is to get rid of the junk, but some of this stuff I am just not ready to part with yet.  As they say on that hoarding show, if you part with things too quickly or easily you will accumulate more junk.  My goal is to do this gradually, for a more permanent result instead of a temporary fix.

Overall, I’m not doing too bad. 

Time Magazine Article on Living with 100 Things

Time Magazine featured an article titled  How to Live With Just 100 Things.  This article talks about David Bruno’s challenge to do just that.  There is also a link for 5 Steps to Clutter-Free Living.

If you are serious about simplifying your life, you may want to read these articles for inspiration.

Anyway, I just ran across those articles and I thought of you.  Have a nice day!

10 Things Challenge Update

I started a new list of things I eliminated from my life, not realizing that I would quickly go over the ten item limit.  Here is what I have eliminated so far last night and today:

  1. Lotion bottle (contents pooled with another container)
  2. Broken digital camera I know I will never attempt to repair.
  3. Old dropcloth.
  4. DVD video of a convention.  I ripped the contents to my hard drive so that I can pass the video on to someone who can use it.
  5. Old pillow.
  6. Post-it note pad.
  7. Stack of music CD’s I haven’t listened to in years.
  8. DVD of a movie I detest.
  9. 2 boxes of old matches that have apparently gotten damp at some point.
  10. Box full of old books, some of which will be listed on eBay.
  11. Damaged music CD’s.
  12. Miscellaneous shirts.
  13. Pair of leg warmers (where did these come from?).
  14. Short sleeve sweater (when I’m chilly I much prefer sleeves so this never gets worn).
  15. Easel (given to my sister who will actually use it).
  16. Pile of old and mismatched socks.
  17. Pile of worn-out cleaning rags.

What have YOU managed to eliminate from your life?  

Bottom of the Barrel

Here it is:  The bottom of the baskets infesting that back bedroom.

I am so happy and grateful to be at the bottom of the issue!  This particular basket was about half-full of socks, most of which were mismatched.  A quick sort and the rest were tossed.

The room looks lopsided because of all the shelves on one side of the room, but at least the clutter is getting under control.

It feels soo good to see the floor again!

I am going to reduce my clothing to where it will fit in the unaffected half of the closet to eliminate the clothes hanging on that poor shelf.  That will free the other half of the closet up whenever the workman gets here and finishes the work…

I was actually able to reach the bookshelf and place my books back where they belong, and arrange for my unused easel to go to my sister’s house where it will be loved and used.

This does not eliminate the need to go through each individual box and reduce, but it does eliminate a lot of stress regardless. 

I will post pictures of the tidied room tomorrow after I do some more work to it.  I would like to be able to lay out the futon once again, whether I sleep on it or not….

I Feel Like a Hoarder

I do.  I really do!

Here is a picture of the room officially known as my bedroom.  This was taken after I tidied it up a lot.

I must admit most of the stuff will go back into my closet when the workman is done there, and it was jerked out in a hurry to avoid moisture damage, but still this mess is terribly distressing.

There is just too much stuff.  I have been avoiding this room since the water pipes burst simply because of the chaos within, because I know that my options are limited until I regain the use of my closet…

In our previous place we had a LOT more things, yet everything seemed to have a place thanks to a dedicated utility room with lots of shelves. Combine that with lots of closet space and we had it made!

This spaciousness served only to hide the fact that we have too much stuff. How much stuff do two people need anyway???

She’s a kid, so she’s going to have toys.  I’m a geek so I’m going to have computer junk.  We’re both females so we’re gonna have clothes and shoes galore no matter how hard we pare down, yet this is getting ridiculous!

I look at this room and wish I had some of those organizers from that hoarding show.  I wish they would come in and help me deal with this mess that is my bedroom…and the mess that is my kitchen.. and the mess I’m afraid to look at in the building outside….

A fresh pair of eyes and a strong pair of arms to go through this junk though part of me wants to just chuck it all–but how can I toss the papers from my parent’s funerals? 

My children who are now adults can perhaps take over the care of their baby photos which will help, but just seeing these things all piled up really affected me today…Somehow, some way I have got to reduce my possessions… before they drive me insane….

I went back in there and worked on it some more.. It is a lot better, but has a ways to go.

How is it that we have so much stuff, yet feel the need to add even more to our lives?

I do not believe I will buy any clothing for a while.  While my closet was not overflowing it was tightly packed, and I have clothes that I have forgotten I owned.. It is time to re-think my wardrobe.  I definitely do NOT need to purchase any liquid potpourri until I use up what I already have, not including the surplus of bleach pens I purchased some time ago on ebay…

I am going to explore this evernote program to see if it will help corral the paper and memories so that I can pass some of that out of my life….

What is sad is the fact that people come to my house and they look at all facets of it, and they tell me I don’t have enough stuff, yet these piles tell me a much different story…

This is why I pursue simplicity.  I want the ability to know what I have and where I have put it–know what I need and want and know what I can do without.  I want the peace and security of knowing that someone can walk into the most private areas of my home unexpectedly without it being an embarrassment to me…

Yes, the sight of this room embarrasses me, yet here I am posting it for the whole world to see.  Why am I doing this?

Because I want to do better.  I know I can do better.  And I know that I am not alone.

What do you have that embarrasses you?  Do you have a room like this one?  What are you doing to fix it?  Send me before and after photos–even before and during photos–and tell me your story.  I’ll feature you on this blog so that you can be an inspiration for others to simplify their lives.

Simplicity and minimalism do not HAVE to be about getting rid of everything, but let’s be honest–we can all afford to pare down our possessions.

Let’s do this.

10 Things Challenge

David has posted a challenge:  Eliminate 10 things from your life every week.

Okay David, I’m game!  Let’s see what I can do!

I went through my house this morning and chose my 10 items.  In some ways it was harder than I imagined it would be, but the freedom I felt when done was so intense that I actually went over the mark a touch!

Here’s my list:

  1. Hat that I never wear.
  2. Mixer with a missing beater (I never used it even before I lost the beater).
  3. Stack of papers I planned to print on the back-side of before using as a birdcage liner (going straight to the bird cage now).
  4. Several pairs of old socks (why was I keeping these–I have a ton of new socks).
  5. Pair of old undies.
  6. Pack of cigarettes from years ago (I don’t even smoke, but they were stashed away nevertheless!)
  7. Stainless steel paper towel holder (no longer needed since we almost never use paper towels these days).
  8. Stainless steel napkin holder (has never been used for napkins and is no longer needed for holding paper cause I toss my paper now).
  9. Small pet transport box, saved for the guinea pigs to play in.  Now placed in their pen so they can enjoy.
  10. Unused oven mitt.  I always grab my cloth towels for this job–why am I keeping something I never use?
  11. Unused pot holders.  Same reason as #10.
  12. Old Convention flyer I found stuck in a book.
  13. Plastic banana stand.  I wanted one of these things for years then after the purchase discovered that wanting is better than having!  Good-bye, wasted money!

I took a picture of most of the items, but missed the couple of items I went over on.  Oh well–you get the idea!  

That was kinda fun, so I’m planning on keeping a running list of the things I eliminate in preparation for next week!

Gadget Simplicity

One thing us geeks tend to have: Gadgets.

In such a digital world, how do we reduce the number of gadgets we need to carry around?  There are book readers, MP3 players, portable DVD players, cell phones, laptops… an endless array of devices to cater to our every whim…

For instance; I need a device to read books, play music and the occasional video, show off photos and help me keep track of life in general.

I tried using a smartphone for this but it was kinda hard reading a book on such a tiny screen–and hooking it up to the car stereo was not a fun experience…

I ended up going back to my Lifedrive.  I hadn’t totally retired the device because it makes an excellent Mp3/Ogg player and portable video device using TCPMP, besides being ready to surf the internet when bored at a restaurant that happens to have wifi (and small enough to be discreet).

Basically I went back to a bare-bones cellphone and my Lifedrive for everything else.

What does this eliminate?

  • ebook reader and physical books
  • portable music player
  • portable video player
  • portable usb thumb drive (has a built-in 4 GB hard drive for transferring files)
  • laptop for surfing the internet when out and about
  • paper planner
  • notepad
  • sound recorder
  • paper address book
  • alarm clock

It has a small built-in speaker, so I use it instead of a stereo to play music in the house when I’m cleaning, and connect it to my van to listen to it while traveling.  Katie and I sometimes go through the drive thru then park and watch a movie in the van. Yes, it has a small screen but my kid has yet to complain about being able to actually watch a show on the move…

I use it to transfer files when needed, and can even keep some portable applications on it for use on other people’s computers.

I still carry two devices when you add the cell phone, but that is better than some. It is definitely better than I used to do.  I would carry a paper planner, cell phone, notepads, books, mp3 player–you name it.  I have even been able to eliminate the alarm clock in my bedroom–and save electricity as a result.

Have you been able to simplify your gadgets?

The Elimination Game

One thing my daughter and I love to play is The Elimination Game. The object of the game is for each of us to eliminate just one thing from our lives.

This is frequently played whenever there is a disagreement on what to watch or where to go – or even what to do. The one to figure out something to toss first gets to make the choice!

Can you play the game today? Pick out just one thing and toss it – perhaps list it on Freecycle if somebody else can use it.

Chances are high you will never miss it – and someone else will appreciate your generosity!

Life Without a Coffee Maker

Growing up as a child, I recall the time when my parents decided they were tired of instant coffee and switched to drip.

Every year or so they had to replace that stupid machine, sometimes twice a year. Every time the latest machine went belly up they would gripe about how cheap things were made. Even the expensive coffee makers would die in a short span of time!

When I reached adulthood, I ended up marrying an inveterate coffee drinker. He would drink anything, so long as it was coffee.

For the first few years coffee was brewed in an electric percolator – I guess it tasted alright for he drank it – I wasn’t in a coffee phase so I never tasted it!

Eventually we moved on to a “real” drip coffee maker. Determined to ensure my husband (and myself by that time) had good coffee I would clean the machine out with vinegar – only to have the machine die the next time we used it.

I thought it was a fluke, so we purchased another. I didn’t clean this one for almost a year, but when I did – alas, I killed it too.

When I stopped trying to clean the machines, they would last a long time before eventually going to coffeemaker heaven, but go they all eventually did.

Sometime after moving out on my own I realised that I didn’t really drink enough coffee to justify a coffeemaker taking up space on my counter, yet I did not want to have to keep instant on hand. For a time I attempted to find a consumer solution – single cup coffee makers, smaller coffee makers, coffee makers on clearance – all of these solutions still left some sort of monstrosity sitting on my precious countertop for the rare times when I wanted a good cup of coffee.

Currently I have a percolator pot, but instead of perking the coffee I generally boil the water in my teapot and pour it in to get the equivalent of a drip. It isn’t bad, but still I have this pot taking up space in my cabinets for the rare time I get the taste for coffee.

I have heard that a French Press would be a good space-saving solution for those occasional cups of coffee, but there you go with the consumer bit. Always we seem to think (myself included) that we have to buy something to solve a problem. I honestly don’t want to buy anything unless I have to, and considering that this metal stovetop percolator has no moving parts to die, I guess I’m stuck unless someone has a better idea.

The thing is, I don’t even know if I would like the coffee that a French Press makes. Why spend that money on something that I don’t know if I will like? It would definitely take up less space, and I could put my percolator on Freecycle. Hey, perhaps I could offer a trade in a classified – stovetop percolator for a french press? Then I could try it without having to “buy” it in the traditional sense.

Does anyone have any thoughts on living without a traditional coffee maker? What do you do in a minimalist kitchen when you want the occasional cuppa joe?

Update: I posted a “want to trade” ad on my local isp’s classifieds in hopes of exchanging this percolator for a french press. Hopefully someone out there has a french press they are willing to trade. If so, I have reached a non-consumer solution to the issue (fingers crossed.)

Grocery Dilemma

Today the need arose to restock some perishables, so off I went to the grocery.

Pork loin was $1.69 a pound, but only if you bought the mega family size packs. The next best price? $2.99 a pound.

Such a dilemma. Do I purchase several pounds of a food we don’t eat regularly? Package it, freeze it, hope to skate through any power outages and maybe eat all of it before it succumbs to freezer burn? Or do I pay over a dollar a pound more for a lot less – with no repackaging, no refreezing, no concerns about power outages and no fears it will go bad before it is gone?

When my two oldest children were home, it would have been a no-brainer, but with just myself and one little girl…

I chose the smaller pack. That pack has enough for two meals of pork chops, so one meal may get frozen after all. However, there is no danger of a single extra meal going bad before we eat it – our current refrigerator is a small one so there are no places for food to hide and be forgotten.

For us, that choice was the simpler one, despite the fact that the per-pound price was more. Simpler in that there is very little repackaging. Simpler in being less to store. Simpler in being less to worry about this winter when the power outages hit. For each one of us, there is a different path on the way to simplicity. Where has your path taken you?

Thoughts and Memories

As the mountain of boxes grows higher in the staging area, Katie and I both are considering the merits of Greg Johnson’s life diet.

Perhaps we should start putting OUR life on a diet. A serious diet.

Greg started by putting almost everything in storage, then getting things out as he needed. The things he ended up not needing, he eliminated from his life.

We will have a little storage shed on the property. I have lots of shelving. Perhaps we could try that? Load most of it into the storage building then sort it out and put it away from there! It would definitely be a good way to start thinning out!

I gave the queen-sized comforter and sheets away that went with the queen-sized bed I used to possess. No point in keeping them, especially considering that they were too big for anything we plan to possess in the future, and definitely not our style (they came with the bed).

I did keep the black sheet set. It is large, but will work on the full-sized futon I am currently using.

I dream of a home with no clutter, with few possessions cluttering up our life. My nightmares are filled with images of the home I escaped, with my ex and his “collections” covered in a blanket of dust everywhere one turned, pieces of miscellaneous trash lying around and I was forbidden to “touch” his stuff cause it was so “valuable” – never again will I be controlled by stuff. Never again.

Downsizing

In anticipation of the move I have downsized some of our possessions. Meaning, I have sold several pieces of furniture too large for me to move single-handedly in my van. As a result, my queen-sized bed is no more, along with a heavy solid wood desk, a matching nightstand and shelf, both with glass shelving.

Beautiful pieces, all. Beautiful. But the desk was heavy and unneeded, the queen-sized bed entirely too big for any average bedroom, and the mattress and box springs no only too large to fit inside my van but too heavy to move myself.

The glass shelf – beautiful but a dust magnet. Every speck of dust would find its way to that shelf and make it look as if I hadn’t cleaned in months! I plan on replacing it with some industrial stainless steel shelving, like the kind you see in restaurants and in Duncan MacLeod’s place in Highlander the Series.

I have to clean off the desk and shelf and move them over there tomorrow sometime, but the bed and nightstand are officially out of the house and out of the way!

I know – what am I thinking, right?

Tonight I will snuggle up on a futon placed upon the floor and have a restful night’s sleep, knowing that when I move I won’t have to beg and plead and pray for someone to help me move. All I have left to sell are my couch and loveseat. They are beautiful, the Ashley signature series, but just too large and awkward for me to move alone! Honestly, part of me wishes that I had never agreed to purchase them, despite the fact it was an excellent price – they have been giant sage albatrosses ever since they arrived home!

I love them, I truly do, but I love my independence more than I do a couple pieces of furniture. After I get moved and settled in I plan to invest in a futon couch for the living room, which can be easily dismantled and moved should I EVER decide to relocate again.

As for my bed, I am torn. The bedroom has a small alcove, which will be perfect for my office area, and I can make it dissappear with a curtain when not in use, but unless I go with a futon or murphy style bed, that room will not be very multi-purpose. Nothing is more annoying than to need some open floor space and there is a big chunk, all covered over by a giant unused bed!

I wish I had some ideas for the area. I want it to be a peaceful sleeping area, which means I will be able to conceal my desk and stuff when I’m done, but I would also like to be able to keep the bed out of the way if I have company and we’re working on the computer, you know? Perhaps I will end up investing in another futon couch for my bedroom as well.

My daughter has already placed her order for a futon couch! I am wondering if she would be happier with one of those futon chairs, however. As small as she is it seems as if it would be perfect for her!

If I am able to eliminate the couch and loveseat, then the living room will be quite oriental appearing until I get settled in and recover from all of the deposits and expense. I have a coffee table that belonged to my parents when I was a child, so use it with giant black pillows surrounding it for seating! Nice and super casual, especially since we really don’t get that much company!

As for a television – we don’t have one or need one. We use the laptops when we want to watch a movie or something. Eventually I would like to invest in a projector and screen for a bit bigger effect, but that is not a major concern.

I am exhausted, but still need to give the doggie her last walk of the evening before calling it a night.

Sweet dreams, world!

Downsizing

Good Morning!

I hope all of you slept well.  We closed some windows, and added an extra blanket to our beds, and slept like babies while the temperature dipped into the forties last night!

After reading the book on small houses last night, I am considering the benefits of downsizing even more than I have in the past.  While I do not know if the two of us could live comfortably in a home that small, I do wonder if we could live in less space than we have now.

Years ago, I lived in a 10×50 mobile home with three kids and two dogs.  With all of those children combined with the fact that I wasn’t ready to downsize my posession, we ended up cramped, to say the least.  I own a lot less now than I did back then as far as personal posessions go, but a lot more as far as furniture goes.  

The saddest part?  Most of that furniture doesn’t get used.  It just sits in my living room looking pretty, wasting precious space.  

The truth of the matter is I really didn’t want the couch and loveseat when I purchased them, but I bowed to pressure from a friend to have “nicer furniture.”  

Sometimes it is better to stay off by yourself.

The living room looks much better with the aquarium sitting where the old television was.  The light on the aquarium will become our nightlight in there, meaning our electricity usage won’t go up any.  We are in that room only to travel to the other section of the house, and so keep a light on to see…  

I wonder:  if I put the tv on freecycle and rearrange the livingroom, if I could save some electric by putting my office area in the living room instead of having it in the laundry room?  We keep a light on in the living room regardless, and we are frequently in the office area doing something on the computers, so could we manage to keep some lights out by moving the office area?