Changes are a coming!

It seems everyday that we battle the amount of possessions we have. We sort, toss, organize and yet, it still seems to be overwhelming. The closet that once was empty is now filled with canned goods because we ran out of pantry space and I got tired of looking at the clutter on the floor.

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But we gave some items to a relative:

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And changed the area around, which has made a large impact, like our new dining table, it’s an old typewriter table, (the sides fold down and it’s on wheels so it become half that size)?

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We even sorted through all our games, this shelf was just crammed, nearly to the ceiling, this is what we have left of them. We have more work to do on this shelving unit. All the discs you see are headed to become digital and then we will give them or sell them to some one else.

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There’s still a bit more sorting to do. We are actually contemplating a very small two bedroom where the second small bedroom is a library. We have a lot of reference materials and collections we’d like to keep. But perhaps that’s part of the issue, hard to let things go. I think in time this collection will dwindle, it’s just about taking the time to adjust to the idea then we can give it to a good home? Let’s hope. Other wise we will be living a situation just like we are now, and that will not achieve our goals!

Thanks for reading, if you have questions or thoughts, feel free to share! Also, my next post will be on tiny houses we love and hope to immolate when we get around to designing ours!

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Paring Down – Part 4 – Coats and Towels (34 down to 22 items)

This week we had random acts of sorting. First with our fall/winter outdoor coats and jackets then with our towels. Since we live in Northern Indiana we need an assortment and the ability to layer is important as the weather changes back and forth drastically. As you can see Steve has a bit more need for flexibility in his outdoor gear, since he’s the one who fixes the cars, shovels side walks and cares for his mom’s farm, I was understanding in his collection.

Coats and Jackets

Steve’s Collection Before – 7 items

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After – 6 items

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Yes, he only got rid of one jacket, because it’s purpose was repeated by the black hoodie. Left to right:  the orange coat is for dirty work, like working on the car in the cold (which we do often), working on the farm, shoveling, etc. The next one is a nice fall weather Columbia jacket for work, it can also be used to layer with all the others. The red one is another Columbia brand coat for work in the cold, cold months. The black hooodie is a staple in the American closet for cool evening walks and layering. The dark blue overalls are for when it is super cold and shoveling needs done, these will protect him and allow him to work for a long time.  The green rain coat, is not only for rain but it also packs into his back pack nicely. So, as I said, I’m understanding of his need for the selection. We hope to one day purchase a jacket “system” which is a sweater, jacket, and winter coat all in one, the different layers all zip together. But we would still need some items in which we could get. Perhaps it would not be the answer to all the clutter, but it might help.

Mine Before – 6 items

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I got rid of two items. I kept 2 coats and 2 sweaters. Left to right: the warm navy blue winter coat with a hood is for daily use, like taking the dog out, running errands, etc. The red fleece sweater is nicer in the cool fall weather and also good for layering with the winter coats including my black wool Pea Coat for nice outings. The blue hoodie is good for everyday use and layering too.

Towels from 21 to 12 

Who really needs 21 towels? How did we ever get there?? I imagine that over time, half were gifts and the other half were purchased. Some are ready to be tossed/made into rags because they are in such bad shape so, why did we keep them? We have no idea!

It was tricky to think of how many towels we actually need. So, we started with the same philosophy for bed sheets which states you should have three: one on the bed, one in the wash and one in the cabinet. Since there are two of us, plus my mom is staying till spring and we have visitors often, using logic, we decided the following:

3 for Me

3 for Steve

2 for the dog (for baths and wipe dirty feet daily)

2 hand towels

2 for mom and visitors

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12

We know the reality is that we will not be utilizing all 6 of our personal allotment of towels at once, so we should still have enough for guests. When choosing, we kept the ones that fit two criteria, one – we loved them, mainly the the soft, comfy, and colorful ones, and two – were in good condition.

Before & After

(oops! not pictured is one of the dog’s towels, it was by the back door for wiping his feet)

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Keeping this blog really motivates me to find things to sort so I can post my progress to you! Nearly every week I see such an improvement in our home. I hope that if you are feeling burdened by your possessions and would more rather have its space than its company, that you are inspired by my posting to give, sell or donate your items! Little by little, bit by bit, a new found freedom we will get!

Thank you so much for reading, commenting, liking, following and sharing! Let me know if there are any topics that interest you most!

~Audrey

 NOTE: Unwanted items in decent condition will be set aside for friends/relatives in need to choose first, after that they will go to the local homeless shelter.

 

Winter is Coming! Winter is Coming!

Winter is coming here in Northern Indiana and in true tiny living fashion we are preparing by picking our priorities, paring down and organizing! Last winter we were snowed in a few times from 2-3 days! We baked and we cleaned, baked and cleaned! And just a little side note, it is not ok to use hot water and a blow dryer on a window that has ice on it, it didn’t get replaced till March! brrrrr…  Having lived here most of our lives we are ready for a blizzard, we have 3 days or more of food/water in our pantry, loads of blankets to keep warm and back up plans if the power goes out, which it did last year but only for a few hours. This winter we have different goals, my mom is here with us and she likes to clean, so that will leave us with lots of time on our hands. My husband wants to draw, make more art, relax and play games. I want to sew quilts, relax and do deep organizing. But neither of us can do that in the current state of the apartment. So, we have been working, working, working, not making much progress so, there’s still a lot to go.

You can see what the sewing area looked like before, and here’s what it looks like now.

sewing20141005_134239This is our go-to place for storage, so getting it ‘clean’ and ‘organized’ is a real challenge.

We changed sewing machines, the old one was a friends and I got a ‘new to me’ 1952 Elna Supermatic that comes in a case! We also have been storing the strawberry toy box and the large blue Christmas tote over here. The stack of quilts have been organized and are now on the new shelves in the laundry room (see paring down pt. 3), the pillows have been put with the dishes from the kitchen to be donated (see paring down pts. 1&2) and the three totes are all fabric for projects.

Since sewing is one of our priorities, we will find space in the tiny house to sew and store items for it after significantly paring them down, of course. I have 3 quilts I want to complete this winter but will consider it a success if I can finish just one! Also by tackling these projects it reduces the things stored away. Our 1st quilt is a “Crazy Quilt” made from blocks I was given from Steve’s grandma, who has since passed away (a block folded in half is on the table to the left.) I felt honored to be given something she worked on, these pieces were done all by hand, so much time and care went into them. We have flannel for the backing, it will be a warm and heavy quilt. The 2nd quilt looks like it will be fun to make, we have tiny little, adorable, puppy scarves my dog gets each time he goes to the groomer, you can see one on the right of the table. I don’t think I’ve thrown any away so there’s a lot to use up! The 3rd one will be made out of already cut up pieces we got from Steve’s mom, who found them at an auction. I plan to make it slowly, over time, by sewing two pieces together every day with out much of a plan, just to see what we get.

You can see from the photos the huge headway mad in Steve’s studio!

steve studio 20141005_122602 Most of the stuff has been consolidated, although I believe he took the broken Keurig coffee maker to his moms for parts or in hopes of fixing it this winter. The long shelf that was by the back door is now in the laundry room (see paring down pt. 3). The long folding table has been taken down to make space for moving around better. One tote has been taken to storage.

He hopes to sort through all his old work and decide whether to keep it, photograph it then toss it, or sell it, so he can have space to make more. Steve has decided that drawing is his priority in the tiny house and he will have a loft as a studio. He’s looking forward to focusing on drawing because not only does it require a lot less materials and equipment then sculpting and crafting but it also can be applied to all art that he does. He will have a small workshop on the property for his other passions. It’s difficult to make these choices for artists and it’s even more difficult for them to part with their work if they are not employed doing it. But living a more simple and less stressful life is worth making these sacrifices which will give him more time to actively engage his skills.

 

I know it doesn’t look like much progress at all, but the point of this post is that we have SO MUCH work to get done in a short amount of time because WINTER IS COMING! WINTER IS COMING! And admittedly, we are sorta looking forward to it!