A Taste of Minimalism

We are finally getting our upstairs carpet replaced as I write this.   Ever have flooring done while you are living in a home? It’s a huge pain and a big disruption and a lot of work.

Ten days prior to the install date I started moving books, pictures and knickknacks. So I had a few days of an empty-ish bedroom. All the furniture was still in it but the shelves and tops were bare. It felt weird.

Then on Sunday we moved out all the smaller furniture and I got a taste of what my bedroom would be like with only a bed and a nightstand.  I thought I might like it.  My room is pretty small (10’x11′ I think) so I thought having some empty space would feel nice. Turns out I didn’t love it.  I felt like I was in a very small hotel room or a hospital room.  Bare isn’t for me.

I like having stuff.  My dream for my forever home is to have one full wall of shelves filled with books and a few knickknacks.  I like having a decent pile of clothes to choose from. I don’t want to wear a “uniform” and frankly I don’t find it hard to get dressed in the morning.

My hang up with stuff (specifically with spouse and small child) is that it has to have a “home”.  A place where it needs to be when not in use.  Apparently I am the only one of us three that knows how to put things away when I am done. Clutter just lying around drives me nuts. My son leaves his library books everywhere: on couches, chairs, the floor etc. Other than the book I am actually reading my library books are on a specific shelf in the living room bookcase. I always know where to find them and never have to spend time running around looking for books that have come due.

I don’t like it when there are too many things for a space.  And I agree with getting rid of things you don’t use or like or need. But I think there is too much extremism going on right now. The choice doesn’t have to be a 4000′ mansion or a 400′ tiny house.  You don’t have to limit your clothes to 33 items or having a closet so stuffed you can’t get things out.

Me?  I am shooting for a forever home that is probably around 800′ to 1200′ depending on the layout. I want to be surrounded by my books and mementos from my travels. I want a kitchen that I can cook and bake in with all the pans and bowls I need. I want a front porch and space for a few flowers, maybe a tomato plant and a spot to grow a pumpkin.  Nothing teeny and nothing humongous.  I want a life that is sized just right for me.

* The picture is of the Redwoods in California. I don’t think you can have too many trees or that they can be too big.  🙂

New Floors and a New Season

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The new flooring with a border in the kitchen.

 

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Living room near front door.

 

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So you can see all the colors in the floor, plus my autumnal toes!

 

A quick blog post to cover a couple of topics. As I suspected life has been crazy busy. Now that the flooring is done (and looks fabulous!) I am playing catch up with chores while trying to get the house put back to rights. On top of that we have lots of fun activities going on right now. So while the floor was finished Friday we didn’t get much done over the weekend because of bowling, baseball and pumpkin picking.  So here is what else has been going on:

 

Search for Solitude

I am a persons who needs her alone time.  The last three weeks (and next week as well) have given me little opportunity for quiet time to call my own.  Without  solitude my batteries don’t get recharged.  I am feeling very stressed. So much to do it feels like there is not time to simply sit and breathe.  My insomnia has kicked in with a vengeance.  At least now I am smart enough to recognize the signs but my options for a cure have been limited of late.  I need to hold on for another week.  I have a multitude of things that have to be done, that can’t be pushed off.  But next week at this time I will be camping in the mountains, near a lake, where it will truly be fall. Crisp air, changing leaves, the smell of woodsmoke. It will be worth all the work I have to do beforehand.

 

Mindfulness

Now that the flooring is done, the furniture back in place and everything has been cleaned it is time to start carting all the books back downstairs.  Seeing all those books stacked in the hallway gave me pause though. I decided to do one more book purge, this time using the KonMari method.  When I read the book “the life changing magic of tidying up” I knew there was no way I would ever cart all those books into one place.  And yet, pretty much all my books are now in one area!  With everything going on I knew I couldn’t do the whole bunch at once so I divvied them up into categories:  cookbooks, Library of America, International Collector’s Library, holiday books etc.  I am trying to do one category a day, at a time when I can really focus on the task at hand.  I am being thoughtful about my choices.  I am thinking about who I am now, letting go of past dreams and setting future goals.  I’ll let you know how this turns out.

 

Taste of Autumn

I have been able to turn the a/c off for now!  I wore jeans one day.  We have had rain, small hail and cloudy days.  The relief from the heat is so welcome.  Too bad it isn’t going to last.

Inside my house it is starting to look like autumn.  I have put red and orange leaves up everywhere; the irony that I put up leaves while elsewhere they are falling! I have autumn scents in the wax warmers and am eating apples everyday. I bought pumpkin everything at Trader Joe’s and while it is still too warm to drink hot tea at least my iced tea is in a fall themed glass.

 

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Loving my leaf glass

And I have begun making more autumn- ish meals.  One night we had cranberried pork chops , glazed acorn squash and yams.  Saturday I am throwing an autumn beef stew into the crock pot for after the football game.  Of course after sitting under the broiling sun for four hours with temps in the 90s we may not want a hot meal, but dammit after football in October that is what you are supposed to eat!  I told my husband we will just have to crank the a/c back up.

After school today we are putting up the outside Halloween decorations. There is a lovely breeze blowing outside along with some clouds blowing around helping to add to the autumn feel.  This weekend I have a U of A football game to look forward to and my son’s 8th birthday.  But right now I have more books to sort and shelve.

Happy Fall Y’all!

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These lights are actually orange and I love how they look with the leaf garland.  My favorite “autumn spot” in the house.

 

 

 

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Day 3 of the Flooring Install

Apparently I am going to write a blog post every day this week while trapped in my bedroom.  I figure this will make up for the next two weeks when I probably won’t write any.

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This is the kitchen at the end of the first day.  Interesting couch placement.

 

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The living room, dining room and my “office”.

Now you can see why I am not spending anytime downstairs!

Further analysis reveals I never want to live in a tiny house. A small house, yes, but teeny tiny? No. Having spent the better part of three days in my ~10 by 10 bedroom I am over the tiny house fascination. I need a kitchen table and a decent sized work space. I need to be able to walk around. I like my eating area to be separate from my work area.

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Here is my setup for breakfast and lunch.  I suppose the top of the cubby is the break room as that is where I stored my lunch!

 

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Here is the set up as an office.  The lap desk is actually very useful as the tv tray “desk” is pretty small.

 

On the upside I am excited to see the actual install of the flooring begin today. The prep work has been rather boring, messy and noisy. After the first day I realized just how much dust was being generated and covered my couches with moving blankets and an old sheet.

The unveiling of the primary color linoleum was great.  I still love the color and think this is going to turn out smashing!  But when the secondary color came out I paused.  Was it the right color?  It seemed much more yellow than I remember.  We are only using the second color as a border in the kitchen and in the half bath, but still…  I felt panic starting.  I told myself I was looking at in the living room where it wasn’t actually going.  So I patiently waited until they got pieces cut and then moved them into the kitchen.  Now it looks more cream than yellow.  Phew!

In the meantime I am getting a few things done but it feels more like busy work.  I am missing my routine and office space very much.  Waking at 3:30a everyday isn’t helping. I don’t know what is waking me up but once I am awake my brain kicks in and sleep is done.  I am starting to seriously drag.

Yesterday about mid-morning I got very tired of all these sitting tasks and cleaned my son’s room. It has been quite the mess for awhile and I have tried everything to get him to clean it.  Took me an hour and a half of picking up (mostly throwing away) but I was finally able to vacuum the floor.

Then after school while he rode his bike and I was waiting for the hubby to come home with dinner I “KonMari’d” his dresser drawers.  I cannot believe what a difference a folding technique makes!  Everything fits neatly and he can see exactly what he is looking for. Life is good.

Before none of his drawers would close properly because every time he looked for something everything ended  all wadded up. Now he can easily see what he is looking for:

 

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Bathing suits and swim shirts on the left, crew socks on the right.

 

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Running shorts and t-shirts.

 

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T-shirts.

 

 

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Here is my bullet journal, ready for tomorrow. This is the monthly page for Oct.  See how busy I am going to be?

 

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I am almost finished this cute Christmas Angel. I just have to finish the halo, overcast the edge and glue on some holly.

Now I am ready for my next project.  I have gone through my books, again, and found about 50 I am going to try and sell to Powell’s on-line.  This means I need to make a list of the ISBNs.  At least it will pass the time.