Monday's Musings

Monday’s Musings: Week 3: Turning Amish

less-is-more-2Sorry folks. I’m still on the purge. Rooms are beginning to look barren, my husband is asking what’s going on (i.e. he noticed!), and the housekeeper is happier (less to pick up/clean!).  My motto? Less is more or, when speaking to Angela, “Menos es mas!” which always brings a smile to her face.

Part of the purge, however, starts on the outside of the house. As you clean out things, you will defeat the purpose if you keep bringing things back INTO the house. Sounds obvious but it needed to be said.

Perfect example…the One Direction concert. A man was selling this cool, fluorescent light up “thing” (first hint that no one needs it…it has no name and can only be described as a “thing”) that when you throw it into the air, it does a hover whirlybird thing (again, another indicator…thing) before coming back to you like a boomerang.

In the dark, it looked cool.

My sister was tempted. And we all know about temptation and from where it comes. I had to talk her off the ledge.

Her: Wouldn’t that be cool?

Me: Until it breaks

Her: Should I get one?

Me: (slaps hand to forehead) No!

Her: Why???

Me: It’s bringing junk into your house that, in two days, you’re going to throw out because it either broke or you will realize its really not that cool.

Her: (makes a face at me)

Me: Less is more. Declutter is the game plan. THAT (pointing to the whirligig) is part of the clutter problem.

Turning Amish is more than just cleaning a few drawers and closets. It’s also a mindset. Organizing what you have is part one. Part two is making sure that you don’t fall into the Temptation Trap of buying unnecessary things like whirlybird gizmos or clothes you don’t need (perhaps because you didn’t follow Week 1 of Turning Amish…purging your closet).

So often, we surround ourselves with things…objects…that we feel that we cannot live without and yet, they serve no practical purpose in our lives and can create more work for us. Trust me, I’m not a saint…I’m guilty of this with books…I love books, I collect books, I have two library rooms in my house. I do, however, take responsibility for dusting then (no one is allowed to clean my library writing room but me) and making certain it doesn’t look cluttered. And whatever books come to live on my shelves must have a purpose.

I will tell you that since I began this adventure, my entire house has taken on a new look. It feels more open and organized which has helped me to be the same. This is my sanctuary, the place I find peace. Without clutter, it’s easier to write, reflect, and pray. It dawned on me that the Amish who have a purpose for every item in their house and do not live surrounded by clutter may have already known this.

I’ll be waiting to hear how your decluttering efforts are coming along…

3 thoughts on “Monday’s Musings: Week 3: Turning Amish

  1. I began trying to declutter last year after my mother in law died at our house. She had been here with us for 7 months or so.
    Next, I began trying to clean out my own clothes closets.It is an extremely slow process, as I’ve broken my back twice and have other debilitating issues.I try to do a bit of decluttering each week…quite slowly.
    I often think how liberating it would be to live in an Amish home with minimal “things !” ;sparse furniture, 2 or 3 dresses hung on pegs, etc.,seem inviting. Then, however, I remember how much ready made convenience foods, etc., enhance my life. Although I love to cook, I can no longer do canning, bake bread or desserts daily…in addition to fixing a main meal…or meals.
    I am thankful that I have such easy access to world renowned doctors, as many Amish don’t.I am thankful that my husband and I were able financially to start our own business, which is not the case for most Amish.I am thankful I don’t any longer need to tend a garden, or be a seamstress.
    As I am from a farming background, I know how hard the farming life is, how infrequently farmers can leave their animals even overnight.
    I am thankful, however that our God is available to us all, anywhere, anytime ! God bless you all ! Each day is a blessing !

  2. Decluttering is a journey, to be sure…4 years ago, I began to help my mom clear out 87 years worth of stuff that my father had collected. We are still clearing out, but there is more space in the old farmhouse now and she is more at peace with the process. What I have discovered through this is that I do not want any of my loved ones to have to do what I have been doing for 4 years. So, I have begun “gifting” things to those I want to have them …. fabric to my quilting friends, books to the women’s shelters, Christmas decorations to the church’s bazaar. New homes for no longer needed objects, and it feels right and good. Still there is so much to yet go through, but we do it one day at a time. Lots of tools, unfinished projects, etc. Next year, we will have a yard sale or take a truck full of stuff to an auction. It is time to let it all go.

  3. Thank you for this series; it has been very interesting. I started on my closet purge, so far I have only done my tops and have two bags for Goodwill. I hate clutter but even a person like me ends up with overflowing drawers of stuff. I figure even if I only do one drawer a day, it will still be helpful to the cause of simplifying my home and life.

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