Saturday, September 13, 2008

Clutter, Disposing of Disposables and Your Wake!

I'm de-cluttering my house! Two years ago I read Simplify Your Life: Get Organized and Stay That Way along with my sister-in-law Tanya -- and spoke about it at a Women's Breakfast at our church. It is a fabulous book, has very practical, realistic tools and is easy to implement. However, habits do have their way of breaking (why is it often the good ones?) and clutter has it's way of accumulating unless you go to battle against it from time to time. Isn't that the truth?! This has come up in my field of view like a banging drum set because Ripley has just started going to a Montessori school ... and if you've ever been inside one (see picture off the web below), you'll know why I've renewed my commitment against clutter. One of the premises is that children "work" best in a simple, tidy, organized environment -- who doesn't? Right? So, yesterday I went to my work against clutter in my home that's built up over the past two years. First: Toys. Broken toys. Toys you just have too many of. Toys that just don't work well. Toys our kids have grown out of. Chuck them. Recycle when possible. Salvation Army or hand down to friends, family or your church nursery those toys your child has grown out of. I literally collected three huge bags of stuff in those three categories. How about you? How is your clutter? Other areas of attack for me: "Junk" drawers / cabinet (I used to have none, now I have about four), Recipes!, Last Years school papers that I'd put aside to save (go through again - eliminate some more - then store neatly in the attic), Craft Room upstairs. My CLOSET!! (Think of the people who could use the clothes hanging unused in your closet. Send it to the Salvation Army. Or a consignment shop. Perfectly good clothing can be used by someone else. Talk about unsustainable, right?) How about you? What areas would you like to attack?

As you are going through your clutter and your home to organize and reconsider how it functions, consider examining your use of disposable anything. One blog I often check out issued a challenge to get rid of disposable items in your house. I love that idea! We can call it:

Disposing of Disposables Challenge!

Not only does doing away with disposables save the environment, it saves money and time at the grocery store! Here are some suggestions, send me your suggestions and I'll add them in! Let me know if you're committed too!

  • Swiffers - Use old stained shirts and towels.
  • Disposable Household Wipes and Dusters
  • Take-Out Coffee Cups -- especially the Styrofoam ones!! Bring your own and have them fill it.
  • Plastic Grocery Bags!
  • "Disposable" tupperware and sippy cups -- invest in long lasting glass, plus glass won't leech chemicals into your food and drinks.
  • Seemingly "disposable" plastic toys that people give as gifts at parties that break in less than 15 minutes. You know the kind, "Buy 100 for $2.00 ... Oooooo what a savings!"
  • Bottled Water
  • Sponges
  • Kleenex -- use old fashioned hankies

Your WAKE. Committing to PEACE.

Another thing that has stuck with me all week is from Sunday Morning at church and a conversation with one of my girlfriends about PEACE in your home. Our Pastor, Dennis, asked the question "What wake do you leave when you go through a room?" Wake -- as in the mark that a boat makes in the water as it pushes through a body of water. What came to my mind immediately is that time zone at the end of your day when you're getting tired, the kids are getting tired and bickering, you're trying to prep dinner, ask your school aged kid(s) how their day was and make sure they are doing their homework, keep the young one out of the hair of the old one and entertained in some way -- and then your husband walks in. Not a wake of peace. Nope. More like the wake of a hurricane or an ocean liner. Committing to a non-disposable lifestyle is a lot easier for me that committing to peace. I like the idea of peace, but it sure it easy to get sucked into the chaos and join in the chorus "AAARRRRrrrrrggggghhhhhh!" Regardless, I'm committing to pursuing peace. This is all interconnected because organizing, simplifying and planning do help to create a peaceful home. Am I the only one? What's you're story?

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