Category Archives: Eco Tips

Mush – The Stranglehold of Emotional Attachment: Part 2

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Oh, horse’s head, it’s been a long time, you and I. You weren’t always just a head – you started out as a whole horse. A plastic rocking horse. I can’t remember, but I’ve been told that I used to lean my head against your mane in the middle of the night. I pulled myself out of my crib and rocked till mom found me. “Mush, horse! MUSH!”Continue Reading

Where is Diaper Bear? – The Stranglehold of Emotional Attachment: Part 1

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Not one of the toys on my shelf impressed me as a kid. Sure, I asked for them, I had lots of fun playing with them, but I always wondered – how would my toys hold up over time? Would I rediscover Strawberry Shortcake  at 30 years of age? Would I press her moldy red hair against my face, reminiscing about my childhood? “Mmmm, smells like….strawberries?” If Strawberry wasn’t destined to be my my favorite toy, then who?

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Recycling The Bits and Pieces

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April’s intention wasn’t a complete wash. We simplified and donated a lot and now that we are all moved into our new place, let’s continue digging ourselves out of the pit of stuff.

Last weekend we slowly transitioned back into the process, by gathering up the bits and pieces that are lying around the house. Along with Windigo’s favorite kitty toys, random junk gets lost in the shadowy dust caves of our apartment. They have nowhere to go, they just end up in the junk drawer. I’m never sure how to recycle the bits nor can I give away the pieces, so they just sit until they find themselves misplaced again.

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Donation Day

College Hunk Hauling Wagon

College Hunk Hauling Wagon

Our house minimizing project is going well. We haven’t reached an amazing goal of owning 100 items each (maybe in a month or two), but we have drastically cut down our possessions. We are planning on moving to a cheaper apartment very soon (and  had a time limit of one month), so to stick to our schedule we declared this past Sunday Donation Day.

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Tornado Bin – Purging Our Self-Storage

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We took heed of the Tornado Warning and headed to the basement. What better time to clean out the storage unit?  When the wind picked up, I just wedged myself between a few boxes, tucking my left foot behind the camping gear. Everything we sorted was big and bulky and it took a few heaves and hos to lift the bike rack. But what at first seemed to be the worst process ever got easier as we made our way through the storm.

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No Easy Task – Finding Gratitude Among Change

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We’ve managed to smile most evenings while hunched over a box of clutter, but the stress doesn’t fade away with the morning sun. The small creases in my partner’s brow prove to be fresh with worry. Will we finish it all by May?

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Couple of Plates, Couple of Forks – Minimizing Our Kitchen

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Before – some of the stuff we got rid of.

With the anticipation of moving into a smaller apartment and someday living in an even smaller itty-bitty space, we’ve decided to simplify our kitchen essentials. To do this we ignored the “What every kitchen needs” list and paired down our forks and knives to fit the “Simplified Kitchen” model.

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15 Amazing Things I Learned When Simplifying My Wardrobe

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It’s amazing what you find when you get rid of all your stuff

The most important thing I learned through this whole experience was that my huge wardrobe didn’t make me happy. Instead, it resulted in frustration, guilt, and time wasted trying to keep my clutter organized. But despite this, the best part of decluttering my closet was discovering myself through all the piles of clothes. Here’s what I learned:

  1. I didn’t really need steps, plans or goal lists to simplify. I just needed to change my perspective and my relationship with “things.”
  2. I still had belts and hats that I “borrowed” from my little sister 15 years ago when we were kids.
  3. I was willing to wear clothes because they were adorable, but not willing to admit I hated wearing them because they were uncomfortable.
  4. I liked the idea of owning vintage, but didn’t tend to wear it.
  5. As I took the clothes down from the rack, a sense of space and comfort overcame me.
  6. I hid behind clothes – I created an identity.
  7. I don’t need 6 bathing suits.
  8. I now prefer having high quality stuff rather than more stuff.
  9. I bought clothes in hopes of generating those happy-go-lucky feelings when I was feeling stressed.
  10. Even though I owned hundreds of items, my wardrobe was not versatile.
  11. I owned clothes that I never wore, not even once.
  12. Fear was holding me back.
  13. I liked to hide money in my purses with the hope that I’d forget and be surprised one day.
  14. I refused to recognize the guilt I had for owning so many clothes, which prevented me from simplifying.
  15. If you smile, people will notice that before commenting on the new dress that you bought.

First the Closet, Then the Rest – Wrapping Up My Minimized Wardrobe (For Now)

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First the Closet

Before we dive into what’s next, I feel the need to clear the air; my final wardrobe is not 40 items. Its 40 items x 2 wardrobes. I have a summer and a winter collection of clothes that totals 80 pieces. It needed to be said, because a few people have patted me on the back, “You only own 40, I couldn’t do that!”

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We Just Walked Away – The Start of a Car Free Lifestyle

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As we handed over the keys, the new owner of our little black Neon gave a confused look around.

“Did you guys bring another car? Do you need a ride to the Metro?”

“No thanks, we’re going to walk.”

We looked back at my very first car parked on an unfamiliar road and then we just walked away. We were ready for the next step in our journey and it felt amazing. As instructed, we followed a woodland path toward the Metro. The buyers had jokingly warned us that the “Red Fox” guarded the woods and many neighborhood dogs had gone missing.  As we walked the path we saw a group of young boys chasing their black lab, “Get him before he reaches the woods! You know what happened last time!”

It was an truly an amazing path to exit upon.

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