Saturday, September 1, 2012

Is it crap? Guidelines to clearing out clutter.

Recently I was watching a YouTube video about clearing out your clutter.  It inspired me to go into my hobby room and clear out some of mine.  In the past I have found it tricky to figure out what I should keep and what I need to get rid of.  I kept thinking, "Oh my god!  What if I need this in the future!"  It would raise a bit of worry in me.  Well, here are some guidelines that I have come up with to help you figure out what you need to get rid of.

1.  Think about your long term goals in life.  How do you want to be in the future?  How do you picture your future self?  If the item does not help achieve your long-term goals, chuck it!

2.  If it doesn't inspire you, chuck it!

3.  If you do not use something often and you know that someone else will give it a better home, chuck it!

4.  Stop keeping things b/c someone bought it for you and you feel bad you have not used it.  Give better guidelines to friends/family of what you really want.

5.  Stop keeping things b/c YOU bought it and you feel bad that it hasn't been used.  People make mistakes and buy things they really don't need.  One of the best ways we learn is by making mistakes so just be more careful in the future.

So now that you have some guidelines, I will present to you how I went through these in order to further your understanding.

1.  These are things I want for my future self:  an eco-friendly life, a clean home, good physical/mental/spiritual health, a wonderful love life, a family, a job, a frugal life, and a non-materialistic life.  

So when I came across my bobbin for spinning yarn, a couple of spinning books, and fiber to spin, I let them go.  I let them go not b/c I don't want hobbies (good for the mental health), but b/c I already have enough hobbies. If I want to achieve all my goals, I need to let go of a hobby that I really haven't even started and focus on the ones I love already.

2.  If I found yarn or a book I really didn't like, I chucked it.  If I found a knitting pattern book where I liked maybe 1 pattern b/c it inspired me, but not the other 10, I copied the pattern and put the book in the pile.

3.  I have tea cups that I think are so cute but I never use them.  I know someone else will.  

4.  I have a recipe book that someone bought for me.  They thought I would like it and I never use it.  Chucked!

5.  Most of the knitting books I'm getting rid of, I bought.  It was back when I first started knitting and I wanted every book I could get my hands on.  I'm human and make mistakes.  Chucked!

Well, I hope this helps you clear some of your clutter.  I know for me, clutter makes me unhappy.  I don't like the site of it.  So in doing this, you will probably feel happier when you can see the floor better, learn from your mistakes, and realize how blessed/thankful you are for being able to have those things.  Now it is time for the item to move on and find a better home.  

Good luck and have a bright day filled with joy!  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

For the love of winter

I live in the Chicagoland area and I hear a lot of complaining about the weather in the winter.  On average, 5 months out of the year the temps are in the 30s and 5 months out of the year the temps are 60 and above.  I personally love the weather here.  The only time I don't really like the weather is when I fear for my life (i.e. driving in winter storms, thunderstorms, or on icy roads).  So I ask myself, why do I like living here?  Why do so many people flock to warmer places like California or Florida?  As I pondered this question, I wrote down ways that I appreciate the weather that mother nature sends our way.  Maybe, just maybe, if you do these things you'll like the winter weather a little more.  Here is a list, in my own order, of what I think is most important. 

10.  Knit/crochet - If you do this, every fall you'll look forward to all of the winter items you can make.  Plus, what you make will probably be cheaper than what you are willing to buy in store.
  9.  Roast chestnuts - A yummy winter tradition that you can look forward to.
  8.  Light a fireplace - What better way to warm up than to cozy up next to a fireplace? 
  7.  Look at the stars - The stars in the winter are at their brightest and they are amazing to look at. 
  6.  Cozy up with hot chocolate - Another winter tradition to look forward to.
  5.  Sit by a sunlit window - It's easy to forget the warmth of the sun in the winter but if you sit by a sunlit window, it will warm you right up.
  4.  Appreciating winter helps you appreciate summer - If you always lived in a place like California, it would be easy to forget why warmer weather is nice. 
  3.  Play in the snow - Kids appreciate winter more than anyone else.  Why?  B/c they have fun with it!  It's ok to be a kid sometimes.  Make snowmen, have a snowball fight, and slide along the sidewalk on the slick snow.
  2.  Run/walk outside (or any sport) - When I run outside, in 5 minutes I'm all warmed up and the cold no longer bothers me.  I start to notice the beauty of winter rather than just focus on how I feel.  When I walk outside, especially after snow has just fallen, it's gorgeous.  Nothing is better than a fresh blanket of untouched, sparkly snow.
  1.  Dress appropriately! - I cannot emphasize this enough.  It always surprises me when people tell me that they are THINKING of wearing long underwear.  In the winter, I always do!  One of the worst feelings in the winter time is walking outside and feeling the shock of my cold pants or the icy wind touch my skin.  If you wear long underwear, you don't feel that.  Also, wear layers, wool gloves, wool hats, wool scarves, wool socks, cowls, whatever it takes to stay warm.  Please do not complain about the temperature b/c YOU chose not to dress appropriately. 

 In my opinion, every season has its positives and negatives.  I just don't like the way people HATE HATE HATE winter.  Embrace winter for what it is because it will not be changing significantly, anytime soon.  To remind you of some of the beauty, here are a couple of my favorite photos. 
Things I LOVE in the winter
The sound of ice cracking under my feet (purposely breaking it), seeing individual snowflakes; white, snow coated trees; sparkly, icy trees; untouched snow; sparkly snow; the bright night sky; animal tracks in the snow; bright, blue sky and white snow together, the quiet of winter.