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January Cure

December 31st, 2017

A few years ago, I did the Apartment Therapy January Cure with a friend. We’ve been doing it and loving it ever since. Basically, It’s a month long focus on clearing out the clutter and cleaning. Every day there’s an e-mail with task, generally they take between 15-30 minutes. Each weekend there’s a bigger chore, which takes a little longer.
Typically, I stay on top of cleaning/organizing throughout the year. I’ve developed habits that work for me. Last year, with all the traveling and my mom’s illness, I got a bit behind in the deep cleaning, decluttering chores that I did in big blocks of time. This year The January Cure will help me get back on track.

Every January my friend and I do the challenge together. As I was telling another friend about it yesterday, I realized it would be fun to do as a group. If you’re on facebook, join us during the week of January. Each day I’ll post photos of my cure project and you can post your photos in the comments of the Chiot’s Run facebook page.

Do you have a specific time of year you clean and declutter, or do you do it throughout the year?

Decluttering the Houseplants

January 18th, 2016

I’m one of those people that doesn’t really have trouble getting rid of things, in fact I’m in a constant state of going through the house and taking loads of stuff to Goodwill on a regular basis. The longer I live the less stuff I want to have in my home to clean around and organize. This past weekend I decided it was time to reduce the houseplants. I got rid of plants that I no longer enjoyed. Some were plants that never lived up to their expectations. Like a piece of clothing that never quite fit right, sometimes plants just don’t quite perform as expected. These all went into the compost bin.
houseplants 6
Houseplants that were staying also received a good pruning and then a dose of liquid kelp. I have a lot of houseplants that I love, these lovely little succulents in a tiny window in the bedroom.
houseplants 1
This lovely dwarf papaya tree lives large on my bedside table. I’m hoping it will produce fruit this summer when I move it outside.
houseplants 2
The dwarf banana in the living room is growing like crazy. It will probably be another year or so before it produces fruit. I repotted it a few months ago but it already needs a much bigger pot.
houseplants 3
Under a big window upstairs, I have a few containers full of lettuces and herbs. I like to grow a variety of edibles during the winter.
houseplants 4
houseplants 7
Just like reducing clutter in other areas, getting rid of houseplant clutter gives me more space to breathe. Not only do all my plants look better, I feel better as well. Tomorrow I’ll show you my favorite houseplants, one that I’ve had for almost 18 years.

Have you pruned and reduced your houseplants recently? Do you have a favorite houseplant?

Lightening the Load

February 1st, 2012

Every winter, I spend time going through all the rooms in the house getting rid of stuff. It all goes into a pile in the attic for a yard sale. It’s amazing how many things can accumulate even when you don’t shop or buy things. Most of these items were purchase long ago and have simply been gathering dust.

Six years ago, Mr Chiots and I decided to go one year without buying anything we didn’t need; that year was a turning point for us. We quit accumulating things we didn’t need, we saved a ton of money, and we set off down the path to a more simple existence. Ever since, we have done a pretty good job at not bringing extra clutter into the house and we’ve been able to simplify our lives even more by getting rid of lots of stuff we didn’t really need.

Every two years we have a yard sale with some friends. If you’ve never had a yard/garage sale I’d encourage you to have one. There’s nothing more eye opening than seeing a garage full of things you spent money on being sold for pennies on the dollar. I used to just have a goodwill pile in the basement that would be donated every few months. In my experience, saving it all up is a great incentive to buy less because you see it all in one HUGE pile. If you want, you can then give the money you earn at the yard sale to charity, put it in savings, or pay down your mortgage. Do something proactive with it.

The more we simplify our lives, the more stuff we realize we can live without. We have also learned to focus on buying items that will last for the rest of our lives and items that can be repaired. As a result of our efforts we were able to pay off our house a year and a half ago and achieve financial freedom. Being debt free is so much better than having a house full of stuff that doesn’t get used!

Have you ever had a garage sale? Is getting rid of stuff easy or difficult for you?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.