Declutter Challenge: Day 2- Tuesday

Ok, out the door today are…

5- men’s shirts

3- women’s skirts

2- books.  One doesn’t even have a cover (that’s what happens when you loan it to someone who loans it to someone who does NOT want to read it.  Sigh).  I kept it as a “loaner”… and never could bring myself to loan a book without a cover.  So why did I keep on keeping it?  Supidity?  I thought so.

Amish Love ~

What’s all the hubbub about Amish fiction? Major media outlets like Time and ABC Nightline are covering it, and authors like Cindy Woodsmall are making the New York Times bestseller list regularly. What makes these books so interesting? Check out the recent ABC Nightline piece about Cindy and her titles When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends. It’s an intriguing look at Amish culture and the time Cindy has spent with Amish friends. And don’t forget that Cindy’s new book The Hope of Refuge hits store shelves August 11, and is available for preorder now.

I think Americans who live lives of busyness and business envy the apparent simplicity in a lack of drive to be busy for busynesses sake and who don’t see business as the ultimate goal in life.  It makes me think of that line in Gaskell’s North and South when Margaret says about southern England, “It may be a little less energetic in its pursuit of competitive trade…”  I think that is the difference.  While life isn’t necessarily easier for the Amish (they certainly work harder than anyone I know), it is much less complicated and we crave that.  I just think we have a tendency to romanticize simplicity to mean ease as well as a lack of complication.

I’ve never read anything by Cindy Woodsmall but I can guarantee I’m off to find out more!


Photo courtesy of

I didn’t think we had it but alas, today I got an eyeopener. Now, we don’t have a collection of three hundred bed pans or fifty dead remotes form machines we haven’t owned for years. We don’t have exercise paraphernalia that we never use for more than a clothing ‘valet’ or a collection of trolls from 1984. My husband doesn’t have a ‘workshop’ of tools he’s never used or used once and my children have a fraction of the number of toys that the average American children have.

But today, we had to move everything up off the floor. All closets emptied, all book cases moved, all the storage under the living room pew set on the table. The result is absolutely amazing. Our living room table is COVERED (100″ table) Of course, part of what is on it is a chair and similar things but still… My bed… is loaded. Nothing is frivolous per se… a guitar, crates of pictures, Kevin’s bicycle trainer and pumps, the suitcase… Even the piano bench I think. But still, there is stuff. Everywhere. We’re loaded with stuff.

I am not of the “it’s evil to own a bunch of stuff while the rest of the world has little” camp. I consider everything we own to be a blessing and a gift from the Lord and I am thankful that we have the means and opportunity to appreciate it. I am, however, wondering how much of what I see is worth the space we allocate to it.  I keep looking at what is up on the living room table and it’s used/able stuff.  At the moment (in preparation for this extermination) I see

  • Fan- we use it every day.  It has to stay.  We’re desert rats.  We need our fans.
  • Chair- we use it every day.  Anything that increases seating is a must.
  • Two wooden folding chairs.  Used daily.  See above.
  • Air purifier.  Used during fire season.  It doesn’t need to be in here year round but where else do we put it?  It can’t get dirty, it needs to be easily accessible for the rare times an oven smokes or something.
  • Bike trainer that we don’t use/need anymore (had to get a different one for Kevin’s new bike)
  • Drill box.  Need the drill.
  • Tool bag.  Need the tools.
  • Serger.  Must. Keep.
  • Sewing Machine.  Must. Keep.
  • Trash can.  I like having one near me.
  • Cart for carrying books around the homeschool convention.  I think it needs to go to the shed, don’t you?
  • Wheeled luggage dolley we bought to help a kid with her route once.  Don’t need it anymore!  Why is it STILL in the closet?
  • Nebulizer.  Can’t live with out it.  Dad burn it.
  • Kleenex.  I’ll keep it.
  • Folded clothes… I’m thinking we probably have too many.  That’s common this time of year.
  • Sock basket (we need to cut half of the socks out of our lives)

On the bench we have…

  • An empty box
  • A fabric tote
  • The Roman Coliseum
  • More fabric
  • Plastic drawers for paper, pens, etc
  • Plastic drawers for sewing supplies

That’s just the living room.  Let’s not forget little things like my bed, the boy’s room, the girl’s room etc.

It is time to do something.  I don’t know what, but it’s time to do it.

What to do?