Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Decluttering, Knitting & a Challenge

I'm still decluttering along with Chile but I jumped ahead a little and began tackling some majorly cluttered corners of my kitchen cabinets. (Forgive me Chile, I had to, otherwise the boxes I'm using to declutter might have become part of the clutter!)

We've weeded out all of the plastic cups, as well as an insane number of coffee mugs and an odd assortment of champagne flutes. How many of any of these things do I really need?? We've packed them in boxes to be donated on Thursday. We're not done yet, the pile of boxes is still growing.

Using Chile's 10 minute technique as a jumping off point, we've been cruising through rooms, cabinets and drawers. Obvious clutter is removed and packed away to donate or just tossed if not donate worthy. Going through the house this way is a lot like pretreating a stain. I'm making the first pass now to make the final round go that much easier.

In knitting news, I just took Mason-Dixon Knitting out of the library. What a fun book. There are patterns in there for things I'd never considered, like a curtain or a hand towel or a rug or a super absorbent bath mat. I'm inspired! I did have to go online and look up what the devil yarn forward and yarn back meant, even though its totally obvious. I can't help it, I had to make sure it meant what I thought it meant!!!

Today's agenda includes washing tons of laundry, making a batch of chili for dinner and making bread. All the while I'll be peeking around for clutter to dispose of while making sure new clutter doesn't enter the house.

I've also got a birthday present to plan for my nephew who's turning 1 this weekend. Hmmm...maybe that bib pattern I saw in Mason-Dixon Knitting...I certainly have the yarn to do it. Actually I thought this post was over but the thought of my nephews birthday reminded me of something that's been on my mind for a long time.

What is the deal with gift giving for kids anymore? I'm especially talking about little kids. We give them more stuff than they could possibly use. Giant plastic toys, noisy toys, toys with gazillions of little parts that always are missing. I can't be the only parent who noticed that most of it just sits around once the party ends. This is the very genesis of some of the clutter parents are dealing with right now.

Trends start somewhere. If everyone who reads this blog vows to never buy another present for a child, just to buy a present and instead gives something useful and handmade, image the impact we could have over time. Maybe there are others in each of our circles who are dying to do the same. Our simple act might empower them to give more thoughtful and less consumption based giving a try. Not comfortable making things? What about a savings bond or a donation to a college fund? What about the gift of time? Can you spend a day doing something with the gift recipient that makes a memory rather than more clutter?

Come on people, we can do this!


Chile said...

Katie, I'm not the Decluttering Dictator. You may jump ahead if you wish. :)

I think it's great that folks are really getting into this and going after all the clutter they can find. I'm still working on my files, which is why I'm a little behind in more assignments. Hopefully I'll get another one up today, but you've already tackled it (drink containers).

Anonymous said...

I so agree about the kids gift thing...I usually make a card with an offer for a trip to the theater, and we catch a kids play together - the mom is happy for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon free, and the child and my child are happy with a trip to the theater.

Barbara said...

I love the Mason-Dixon book. I love the pictures of log cabin afghans in there.

I'm one of those organized folks, so I don't really need to declutter. My partner does, but I can't make her do anything. :)


Anonymous said...

I love the Mason-Dixon book too esp. the rugs:) Totally off the subject I am wondering about your experience with your wood stove. My husband and I are seriously considering one but really don't know how well they work in a practical sense. Would you mind sharing your experience if you have the time? My email is margaretc39@aol.com
Thanks and thanks for your great blog.


Ruthie said...

I third the mason dixon book. Their web blog is also *so* *funny*. I started working on my log cabin blanket just a few days before you posted this. Crazy.

Don't you love the idea of knitting with rags, too? Pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Yay for no useless toys! I swear, if I get anouther stupid battery-operated toy for my 4-MONTH-OLD it's getting donated immediately, because that's just ridiculous. We've asked for blocks, Lincoln Logs, and Legos if the grandmas just CAN'T resist buying something. But, honestly, my son's two favorite toys right now are a little teething ring and a plastic spoon he can chew on.

Katie said...

My files are in pretty good shape. I went through them about a year ago. What I really need to do is put the folders themselves in some kind of logical order so that I'm not the only one who can find things!

I do love the idea of knitting with rags! I'm very intrigued by the rug that uses both yarn and rags. I might need to own this book.

Its so cool to hear from others who understand the toy gripes.