06 May 2012

clutter versus minimalism

Clutter and minimalism don't agree. When I think of clutter, I think of Hoarders- chaos, mess, and items that should be thrown away. But I also like the look of combining interesting things, like the image below from one of my favorite blogs, Design Crush:
image (and related post): http://www.designcrushblog.com/2012/03/20/little-corners/
On the flip side, when I think of minimalism, I think of another favorite blog- Zen Habits. and an empty room, maybe all white, very serene and almost clinical.

I've always been drawn to simplicity and oddly comforted by a mess. When I have a mess, it's usually because I'm in the midst of a project, or have been having too much fun lately. I sometimes fall asleep amid a  pile of books and I love that. But the other side of me gets very stressed out and overwhelmed by messes, and craves that quiet simplicity of minimalistic design. 

Since 2012 began, I've been attempting to declutter by using a program called 40 bags in 40 days (clearly it's taking me longer than that but whatever) that chooses one cluttered spot- a closet, a drawer- and you attack that spot with a garbage bag and images of Hoarders fresh in your head. I've met with great success doing this and now that I only have my car left on my original list, plan to start over again with 40 more bags. 

But my goal is to end up with something like the above- not empty, but deliberate and thoughtful and clearly referential to who we are as a family.

01 May 2012

One Day at a Time

Image Flickr user quibus
I am an obsessive planner. I mean, who starts a blog called The Year of Frugal Living other than an obsessive planner? I cannot just do anything- for example, rather than just declutter my house, like a normal person, I did two things:
  • started a 40 bags in 40 days project that I posted on facebook and got friends to join in
  • started a holiday called "Decluttering Day" (it's coming up, actually!)
Normal people probably don't try to start holidays to clean their house, but that's how I've always been. I need to do everything as a group. Once, in 7th grade, I had a religion. With followers. Like a cult. Anyway.

So I'm trying to stop that. Not because it's a bad thing, but it's just really hard to do anything so big all the time. It becomes exhausting and you burn out. You stop on bag 36. I'm trying really hard to focus on the day at hand, try to make decisions based in the moment, and be happy and stop making everything into a huge deal. It goes against my very core, but I'm trying.

(Here's the link to Decluttering Day's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Decluttering-Day/119658034721388)