Wednesday, August 14, 2013

You Watch One Documentary...

... and you put your life in upheaval!  Maybe 'upheaval' is a bit strong, but it has certainly created an energy shift around here.  A few weeks ago I borrowed Chemerical from the library.  It's about the toxins we use regularly in our lives, via things like cleaning products.  There was nothing new in this video for me.  Years and years ago I used to make my own laundry soap, air freshener, deodorant; all that stuff, because I read this great book.

Then I had babies, and moved house three times, and life just kept happening.  Costco came out with a great unscented laundry detergent that none of us were allergic too and all I had to do was whip out my debit card instead of grate a bar of soap. That's a big sell for a new mom who wants to do creative things with her spare minutes - and no, grating soap did not make the 'creative' cut. Conveniently they also sell a huge box of OxyClean powder and mega bottles of dishwasher detergent.  Those large dispensers of disinfectant wipes were wonderful at doing a quick and thorough job of cleaning bathrooms too.

After I watched the video I decided to go back to my old way of thinking and go non-toxic.  I pulled all the toxic substances out of my cupboards and could not believe how much I had.  I also couldn't believe how much room it all took to store this stuff.  So I made a batch of laundry soap and did not grudge the ten minutes it took me to grate the soap.  It was ten minutes to myself on the front steps on a beautiful summer day.  That's a good memory to attach to soap grating!  Then I organized my laundry cupboard since I had all this extra space.  Then I started looking on the internet for other home made cleaner recipes and organizational ideas.  That sent me off on a fury of organizing around the house.  Closets, basement, pantry, and cupboards have all fallen victim.  A trip to the library to find a cleaning book led me to this book, which has had the biggest impact so far.

This book isn't just about organizing your spaces, it makes you examine why you have the stuff you do.  I was shocked to realize how much stuff I am holding onto for 'someday'.  When the heck is that ever going to come?  The last few days have had me purging stuff I never thought I would get rid of.  I have felt liberated to get rid of some of these things, but also very sad and a bit angry too.  Sad because I have to realize that the person I was planning to be when Someday came isn't going to materialize either.  I let go of about 50 cookie cutters because so far I have not become the mom who bakes and beautifully decorates sugar cookie works of art.  The saddest part is finally admitting I never will.  If I haven't done it by now, what's the likelihood of it happening later?   The anger part is kind of the obvious - knowing how much money and/or time you invested in these little dreams and now letting them go.  The upshot is thinking how much a local charity is going to make by re-selling these things of mine.  Kind of nice to think those trinkets will pay for someone's overnight stay in a shelter or a hot meal when they have no other access to one.  There's perspective for you.

However, despite these feelings I will press on.  I am not going about it in a terribly organized way:  I might be looking for something in the storage and end up clearing out the room.  Drawers and cupboards and getting done in a random fashion, but at least they are getting done.  I will not have any great before and after shots to show because this really is feeling quite spontaneous to me, and when the mood strikes there is no time to run for the camera!

The last few days I have been attacking my craft cupboards, and it has been really hard.  After two days I am starting to see some empty spaces and feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I am starting to think that it might be pleasant to do some sewing without having to clear off the table first. I am focussing on the things I like to do the most and getting rid of all the rest.

 When I start feeling down I think of how I always seem to be cleaning up things and putting things away instead of doing fun stuff.  I think of how the next time we buy a house I want it to be smaller, so all of this stuff will not fit into it anyway.  Our current house is really too big for a family of four and I want to spend less time cleaning and filling it up.

 I need to break up with Stuff and it's really hard.  Now I am starting to feel bad again so let's talk about other things.

In between  all this organizing and purging I have been doing a bit of what I love.  I started a new cross stitch (seen above).  The blue poppies remind me of trips to Butchart Gardens with my Mum.  Lovely memories to stitch by.

I have been crocheting flower dish cloths like a madwoman every night and every time I take the kids to the park.

These are rapidly cutting down on my cotton yarn stash and are a great project for me to satisfy my desire to make one object in multiple colour ways.  Six down, many more to go.  I am taking these on vacation with me.  When I am finished they will all be donated to our church holiday bazaar in November.

We celebrated two birthdays and I finished up a little stitchy project for My Favourite Girl:

I started the cross stitch portion in January; finished it in April; and only got the backing sewn on the pillow two days before her birthday!  I also stitched two cards for the kids too.

It's been a good summer so far, despite the self re-examination.  After all, I am always telling people that changing your thinking is the hardest thing to do.

We had to cancel our camping trip due to work issues, but we did manage a lovely day at the beach.

That trip inspired me to get a few more rows done on my ripple blanket.  Yes, I am STILL working on it!  I put an updated picture in the sidebar.
I think that's enough rambling for now.  Today is a big drop off day for some of our stuff.  It should feel good:)

No comments:

You Might Also Like

You Might Also Like