on being minimalist

Let me start off by saying that this post, contrary to what the title states, is not a how-to on being a minimalist. Nor will this be a post on my decision to become a minimalist. While I respect minimalism, and I also respect people who have a natural inclination toward minimalism, I am not that person. I don’t wish to become that person either.

I do wish to unclutter my life though. I wish to unclutter my brain, my heart, my home, and my storage space.

With Joe in barber school we are posed with the challenge to find creative sources of revenue. Obviously our garden and home-grown meat will supplement our food budget nicely. We have a little bit of savings to work with, so that is a great blessing. But we also don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room for the unexpected hiccups that come our way financially.

Recently we have had to get some unexpected car repairs. Nothing major, but still pricey.

Reflecting on my recent posts and studies on dominion, I am considering all the things we have hanging around taking up space and rarely (or never) being used. Maybe I have some things to sell. Maybe I have things to toss. Maybe we need less “stuff” and more simplicity. I need to be a responsible keeper of my home, not constantly collecting “stuff” that I don’t need, use, or can’t fit into my space (which happens to be super tiny).

As I said, I am not a minimalist, nor do I wish to be. I am a realist with children. I want my children to have imaginations and learn to play on their own. But I also wish for them to have lots of books, art, music, and whatever outlet for creativity their personalities direct them. Which means that I will need to have important clutter in my life sometimes. But I need to learn the difference between what is important and what is just clutter.

Which brings me to minimalism. I love how the minimalist thinks!

I have been online looking for examples of questions the minimalist asks him/herself. At this very short season of my life I need to think like one if I am to rid my life of all my clutter. These are the questions I plan to ask myself:

  • Do I use it?
  • Do I need it?
  • Do I love it?
  • Will I miss it?
  • Does it have a home?
  • Is it broken?
  • Can it/will it ever be fixed?
  • Can someone else use this?

I am only working on my mess and my kids’ mess. I am hoping that by doing this Joe will at least be able to figure out what he owns as it tends to get buried in the rest of the family’s mess (sorry honey!).

Getting rid of the things that are taking up space and not being used is part of being a good steward of my home. My home is not my own space, but a space I share with my family. My family should be able to enjoy that space and not be crammed or cramped inside of it (if it can be helped). I don’t want to be embarrassed by my “stuff” or ashamed to have friends over because I can’t keep my mind off my own clutter.

It’s still a work in progress. I’m chipping away a little bit at a time. I pray that eventually I am pleased and God is pleased with the condition I am keeping the home He has loaned to me for the time being. I pray I will learn to be faithful with the little he has given me.

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the moment you’ve all been waiting for! (or at least i have)

My oven is in!!

Yesterday afternoon before he left for work, Joe and I brought up the oven. We weren’t sure if it would work since it was old, dirty, and we got it for $30 on craigslist.

I had to replace the drip plates under the range coils, because the originals had rusted out. As you can see there is one missing. That’s because I bought a pack of 2 large and 2 small plates. Only to discover that the range only had one large coil. So we won’t be using the back right “burner” for right now.

I used Dawn dishsoap and a magic eraser sponge to clean the oven top, and had to shop-vac out the underside of the range top. For the inside I picked up this stuff from the grocery store:

The selling points for me were that is was non-aerosol, fume-free, and biodegradable. No fumes in my apartment = good deal. I sprayed it all over the inside and left it for 2 days. Once it was in the apartment, I took a sponge and just had to wipe. Everything came up so easily, which for me was great!

I got to make dinner on it for the first time last night. That’s right, it works!

I think Joe thinks I’m nuts for being so excited about this oven. But it totally beats going back and forth, up and down stairs, with baby, diaper bag, pots and pans, meal ingredients, and finally a hot meal. It beats it by a long shot.

I am incredibly thankful, and my husband is the best for bringing my oven in for me.

This morning…bacon and eggs in our own home.