Monday, January 27, 2014

Distractions, and a confession.

Distractions... They're everywhere. Electronics I think is a big one for us. The computer, the T.V. (we got rid of Dish last year then after a few months without it turned it back on), the Kindle, our phones. Geeeeeez! If I could just use them the way I intend to, it wouldn't be an issue. But I get caught up. I feel like we're missing out on life because of all of these distractions.

I want to be healthier. I want to put more time into my business. I want to get our house organized so that it's just maintenance after that. I want less stress, and more time. Yet I can't seem to break away from the distractions. I've also got books I've had for years that I want to read. I want to crochet more. Why do we do this to ourselves? I usually use these things as a reward or break when I've done a lot of work, but then that's where I get sucked in and can't break away.

So here it is, my confession. It's MY fault. I have the choice of where to put my focus, and sometimes, I don't make good decisions. I feel like until we admit things like this, it won't change. Yes, we have VERY busy lives. But the little bits of time I do have, I need to choose wisely what I do with that time. If I'm trying to get healthy, and I spend that time playing Candy Crush (DON'T PLAY IT IF YOU HAVEN'T, it's addicting), even 10 minutes at a time 5 times a day. That's 50 minutes of my day I can't get back. Why not 10 minutes of Candy Crush, 30 minutes of working out, and 10 minutes tidying up the house? There are lots of options, but I just have to stop making excuses, and get to it!

No one likes to have these things pointed out by others, because we get defensive. So, let's sit down and think to ourselves about it instead, and admit to ourselves what our weakness' are, and if we're wanting real change. I definitely do, so this is me giving myself a swift kick in the butt, and signing off to get some stuff done :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

To go along with minimalism

We have taken so many car loads to the local mission lately, that we are slowing down a little bit and focusing on some projects we've been needing to get done. Something that's come up lately, is re-purposing things. I feel like this goes hand and hand with minimalism. My biggest issue with buying new things, is there might be something you already have that you can use, and save from just being thrown into a landfill.

For example. We have these outdoor chairs that have just had it. For a bit my husband and I wanted to go get new chairs, but we haven't yet. Next thing we know, he and our oldest son are out in the shed doing "man stuff" and BOOM, a bench for our fire pit! He had some leftover wood, and also found part of an extra shutter out there.

Another example. I really need some kind of shelf to clip my desk lamp to in my work area. The last time my husband was in the attic, he found a broken shelf and brought it down. This was almost a year ago when we first moved in here. He fixed it, and painted it, and now it's ready to be put up!

I think the biggest gain from this though, is our son is on his way to becoming a man. He's about to turn 9 this year, and honestly that just feels so big to me. I mean, he's going to be half way to being an adult! There is a 4.5 year age difference between him and his little brother, and my husband and I just both feel it's a really good time for them (father and son) to start bonding. He's not exactly interested in what our 4 year old is. So to go along with what we're gaining from minimalism, they are building on their relationship. These are memories our son will have for the rest of his life!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another bedroom down! Our sons room!

This weekend I helped my oldest son with his room. I have been dreading this because he wants to hold onto everything. I'm talking rocks from outside, acorns, papers galore, ect. His room isn't tiny, but it's not that big. He has a full size bed in there, a dresser, and a desk. His desk was full of papers and all kinds of stuff. He had even stashed stuff under his bed, and in his closet. It took a good few hours with breaks between to get it done.

But you know what? I think I planted a seed. I had him bring one drawer full of items to the middle of the floor, and we created 3 piles. Throw away, give away, and put away. When everything was said and done, we had an entire box of donations, 90% of his items had a place (we're looking for some smaller sized bins for lego's and such) and he got rid of most of his papers and misc items he brought in from outside. I think he even had fun!

When we first started it, he didn't want to really get rid of much, but when he saw the piles filling up, he got more into it! We humans are very visual. It seems like with me and my family especially, the more progress we SEE, the more we want to do! What I really liked about this experience, is that he was fully involved, and I could almost see the way he was thinking change! I hope that this will help him as he grows up, so that things are always manageable for him and stress free!

I highly encourage you to try this with your child if they're at an age where they can help you. For one, it's always nice to have company when doing this, and two, they might really enjoy it :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Our daughters room. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN

Recently, we went through our daughters bedroom. She's our only daughter, plus she's the youngest. She was pretty spoiled to start out with, and it's calming down a little, but she definitely still had too much stuff! Not to mention, we have most of her brothers toys in her room as well due to his room being really small, and some behavioral issues we are working through with him. He uses toys as projectiles, it's not a fun time.

So, wall to wall, floor to ceiling, we did our thing. To include the closet! I was able to get rid of a lot of her clothes, and found quite a few broken toys and trash items. We pulled both our youngest kiddos in there when we were ready for them to make some decisions on which toys to give away to other boys and girls, and to our surprise, they were able to do this! We had a hang up on a tiny pretend kitchen, and cash register set. So we had them choose one to give away. Thankfully they chose to give away the little kitchen, because they already have a bigger one.

After all was said and done, it was SO much easier to clean because there weren't any toys and misc items all over the floor. It is now much easier for them to clean up because their toys fit into two bins. To be honest they don't have that many toys compared to most kids here in the US. We had started changing our ways a few years ago by keeping that kind of stuff to a minimum. We don't want our kids to be lost in a sea of toys, and we want them to value people and their time more than objects. We have learned that they are NOT at all bothered by this. I think we were more bothered by the idea of this in the beginning.

I think most of the time the reason kids have so many toys, is because of us, their parents. We love them so much, that we want them to never go without. We want them to enjoy their childhood, and have fun. They can still do this without a sea of toys, I promise. We are living proof of that. I have seen so much creativity come from my little ones, and be still my heart... They play SO well together now that there aren't so many toys to distract them. They pretend all the time. The two youngest are only 15 months apart, and I didn't think I'd see them grow into best friends still at such a young age.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Our bedroom. One HUGE task we've been avoiding since we moved in.

A little back story. We bought our house in Feb of 2013. It has 4 bedrooms so each of our children finally have their own room. One of the rooms used to be a garage, so we do not have one. We have a little shed in the back of the property, but it's not fit for storage. So, our closet is our storage. No real attic to speak of, or basement. That's it. Now, our bedroom is ENORMOUS! Which you'd think is great, right? But the issue is it is also my craft/office, and our workout room. So, too much going on to say the least.

My parents are here for a few days, so instead of them watching the kids so we could have a date (I'm too sick to go out anyway) we asked them to watch the little ones so we could figure out our bedroom and closet. I know, so romantic :) It took us a solid 2 hours. We went through probably 85% of our belongings both in our room and closet. Let me tell you, it was no easy task. Boxes and boxes of items and photo's and such we've had for years. Some things for decades.

We took a lot of trash out, and filled up my car with yet another load of donate items. I am only posting a few photo's because we still have a little work to do, but now we can do it here and there since the bulk of things are gone. I refuse to let it get to that point again. I refuse to bring in more things that will just take up space. Our lives are changing for the better so we can focus on what's really important :)

Please excuse the black squares. Hubby has a photo of him by the treadmill after his first deployment of non stop working out as motivation LOL.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 is going to be fantastic

Aside from still being sick, I have a feeling this year is going to start pretty well. We're already on a roll on our journey to minimalism. Really, we just want to keep up the momentum. And actually, my parents are here right now for a short visit. Our bedroom has really taken a back seat because we're trying to get the main rooms of our house in check, so our bedroom has been our catch all.

I think my new years resolution, is to be able to just maintain this new lifestyle. Meaning to have all the big things pretty much taken care of, and just maintain all that we've achieved. And also, to really get my business going, while keeping a minimalist mindset while doing it. Not having way too many supplies (I've had more than I need in a lot of things, and it's just created too much clutter)

Ok, maybe one more. To take better care of myself. Mentally, emotionally, and definitely physically. What are your new years resolutions?