If you’ve read my blog posts, you know that the title RWords was chosen to define what I feel is everyone’s responsibility. That is, to keep things green by recycling, reducing, reusing and repairing what we have.
I have been a lifelong fan of recycling, although I’ve never really called it that. It’s just how I’ve lived.
This is good.
I can’t, however, seem to reduce. Things are starting to pile up. I have succumbed to the pack rat lifestyle.
This is bad.
When you are the child of parents who grew up poor, you are taught to avoid debt by making do with what you have. Recycling is just repairing what is broken (or re-purposing it for another use if it can’t be fixed) instead of throwing it away and buying something new. My parents called it being thrifty.
If you’re not careful though, it can also be called hoarding.
This is a link to people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free locally.
This link gets things from people who have them but don’t want them, to people who want them but don’t have them.
Everyone talks about “living green”, but I was raised in the middle of a small Mormon farming community where everyone baked their own bread, planted big gardens, canned their produce, raised chickens, milked cows and sewed their own clothes. This life always seemed normal to me, but I later realized that sometimes “normal” is what’s left of a person after society has squeezed out all differing opinions and hopeful aspirations.
I’d rather be abnormal and remain true to myself.
Link to “Free” stuff listed on Craigslist for all of Hampton Roads
This website provides links to help you live free and/or cheap.
In the late 60’s/early 70’s city dwellers across the U.S. were heavily influenced by the Hippie culture, but in Utah we were already living that way. The exception being, that while our people were unconventional in their habits, they definitely were not in their views. No marching to the beat of your own drum allowed there, by golly! Individualists were encouraged to get back in line. Carefree, laid-back attitudes were unwelcome. It was all “nose-to-the-grindstone” serious.
The trouble with that reality is that there’s no background music. Life in the box is drudgery. What’s a rebel to do?
I wish I could say I knew the correct answer, but I don’t. I’ve stayed on the path (for the most part) with only sporadic expeditions. They’re always interesting though. This past weekend I decided to venture slightly “off-road”. It did my first ever Kon-Mari purge.
What is the Kon-Mari Method? See: Marie Kondo CLICK ON THE LINK
Step 1 – Gathering: Take every piece of clothing you own and lay it on your bed. Clean out your closet so that there is nothing in it at all – even the top shelf. Empty all your dresser drawers and put the contents on the bed. Gather up all your shoes, hats, scarfs, gloves and pile it on the bed too.
Wow! Look at that mess. I didn’t know I had that much stuff! When was the last time I wore that awful blue zigzag dress? How many shoes does one person actually need? If all this was for sale, would I buy any of it?
Step 2- Sorting: Pick up each piece of clothing and ask yourself if it “sparks joy”. If it doesn’t – for whatever reason- get rid of it. Fold everything neatly and put it away. There now, don’t you feel better?
In all de-cluttering processes this part has always been the hardest for me because (as a crafter) I think to myself, “I could cut this flowered skirt up into little squares for a quilt.” Or, “I could take all the pretty buttons off this shirt and use them on something else.” I COULD do those things, but WILL I? Probably not. I’ll just have another bunch of old buttons and swatches of chopped up skirt material added to my crafts collection. I won’t live long enough to use it all.
Once I finally tossed aside the idea that I had to PERSONALLY recycle each piece – it was actually liberating! Wait a minute! You mean recycling can be as easy as just donating everything to the Goodwill? Yes! If you’ve used it, and no longer need it or want it, then …
Let someone else decide what happens to it. Move on.
Marie Kondo teaches you to fold your clothes into neat little bundles for storage.
Step 3 – Tidying Up: Now that you only have items that make you happy, you can put them all away neatly. (See the Kon-Mari folding method in the link above.) Get rid of all the little baskets and containers that previously held your overflow. The clutter is gone. You can see what you have. You can see what you need. It feels great. It really does.
Next steps – jewelry, books, papers, photos