Free at last ... from the decluttering roller coaster

Over the years (now decades), I’ve repeated a cycle of decluttering and organizing.  Seriously ... decades of doing those two things over and over. As if I were just treading water. In fact before she passed, my sweet friend Diana and I had that very same discussion. She mentioned that her family and friends would chuckle when she mentioned she was decluttering and a few even commented that she’d been decluttering for many many years.

Like many of you all, I’ve read tons of books and tried countless organizing tools and gadgets.  I love to organize.  I even love homekeeping - cleaning is something that I enjoy as well.

But when it came to decluttering I always thought the answer was to find just the right organizing tool.

It wasn’t until I read this book (actually I listened to the audio book ... twice) that I realized I had the wrong mindset.  I didn’t need to be looking for better and neater ways to organize the many items I chose to keep ...  I needed to look at them entirely differently. I didn't need to hold each item to determine which feelings they evoked.  In fact, many times emotions weren't even a part of the decision-making process. 






I didn’t need more or better storage containers and bins after all.

In a nutshell, one eye opening aspect of Dana's method is the Container Concept - in it she explains that every space in our home (and even our homes as a whole) can be seen as containers. For example, a shelf can be seen as a container in that there’s a LIMIT to the number of items it is able to comfortably hold.  So rather than search for gadgets that allow me to store even more items on the shelf, she suggests acknowledging that, if comfortably filled, that is its limit.  I determine the number of shelves I dedicate to a particular item, all dependent upon my clutter threshold - mine is very low.  Regardless, our homes only hold so much stuff and by using the processes Dana shares, we're left with items we love, comfortably stored in the spaces our home naturally provides - no need to rush out to buy additional bookcases, wall shelving, clothes rods, storage bins, etc.

For someone like me who loves the creative challenge of finding ways to  neatly store more, this was life changing.  It gave me a total set limit and released me from the exhausting and stressful task of searching to store more in that area.

I realize I’m making this sound overly simplistic ... Dana describes it much better in the book (and gives detail on her simple two question process to determine which items to keep and donate/toss), but I wanted to share in the event that you, like Diana and I, have been spinning your wheels for years or even decades as well, and you’d like to look at things in a whole new way. It may release you, too, from the roller coaster and give you peace and new insight - and the ability to live in your home in the present!

You can find her book wherever books are sold.  And she's also on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest and also has a blog, A Slob Comes Clean.  Be sure to sign up for her free newsletter.

If you do check her out or read or listen to her book, please let me know how you like it. 💕



Learning New Homemaking Skills


The vision of a pantry overflowing with rows of colorful jars containing home canned vegetables and fruits has appealed to me for quite some time.  Along with a freezer loaded with meal-sized containers of produce and neatly labeled packages of meats and poultry.  Add to that shelves brimming with colorful jars of dried fruits and tasty jerky, and you have several of the items on my list of 2020 goals.

Tractor Supply


To achieve this wonderful vision will involve learning a few new homemaking skills.

My canning experience is very limited and began years ago with an ill fated attempt to make pear jam from rock hard pears gleaned from our back lawn tree.  I boiled and simmered those pears for hours, and they never did soften sufficiently for canning.  My second attempt was much more successful and resulted in beautiful jars of lemon marmalade made from an overabundance of lemons we acquired.  That gave me the confidence to someday try it again.

Tractor Supply


My dehydrating experience, however, is nonexistent.  But, I'm up for the challenge.

As I tend to do, I'm going to jump right in and let my overflowing enthusiasm take over.  Equipment has already been obtained in the form of these beauties:





NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, Gray



FoodSaver FM2435 Vacuum Sealer Machine with Bonus Handheld Sealer and Starter Kit | Safety Certified | Silver



 

Granite Ware Enamel-on-Steel Canning Kit, 9-Piece

These are all midpriced versions - and the canner may even be on the low end of the price range, as it's a water bath canner and not a higher end pressure canner.  From what I understand, you can use a water bath canner for practically anything except meats and for that you do need a pressure canner.   However, I've read that the Instant Pot can be used as a pressure canner as well, so I may give that a try when I'm brave enough to experiment with canning meats.  (Thanks to the Instant Pot, I've finally overcome my fear of pressure cookers.)

I did tried out the FoodSaver vacuum sealer and it works like a charm although I've not yet tested the jar sealing accessories.

Will update you on each one as I put them to the test!

Do you currently practice food storage in the form of freezing, canning and dehydrating?  What methods do you use and are you pleased with the equipment you have?  What would you do differently if you could? 

Happy Homemaker

I’ve been pondering this season of life that I now find myself in .. that of a stay at home wife and homemaker. 


In my working life, I worked full-time outside our home for over two decades and all of those years my heart longed to be home.  I really enjoyed my work life roles, but the one I have now is by far the most spiritually rewarding and personally enjoyable. Caring for our home blesses my husband and family, and that brings me sheer joy.

I’ve always enjoyed anything home related ... cleaning, organizing, decorating, DIY, crafting, cooking and baking, caring for and nurturing our children when they lived at home, gardening, and sewing.  I lived for a very long time with an inner struggle of wanting to be home.

Thankfully, I’m blessed with a caring and wonderful husband who also prefers that I not work and who loves reaping the benefits of having a wife who enjoys and doesn’t find maintaining a home to be a dreaded chore.  A win-win for both of us!

There are countless helpful books dedicated to guiding women along their homemaking journey, but the greatest source I've found is God's Word.  Who better than our Father to provide valuable direction and insight into the important and honorable role of a homemaker? 






Meyer Lemon Blender Pie

Looking for a good and super easy lemon pie recipe?  We had this one on Christmas Day and really enjoyed it. It’s so simple and yet very tasty.  And, you use an entire Meyer lemon ... peel and all.  Just remove seeds and place all ingredients into a blender.  Thank you to my friend, Dannie, for sharing the recipe!







Thanksgiving Tablescape


Plans for Thanksgiving Day are moving right along!  So excited that our grand kiddos will be spending the day with us!  All the kiddos will be home except for our youngest son who is vacationing overseas at the moment.  We'll sure miss him but he's having a great trip and we're thrilled for him.

This year we cheated a bit and are having our main meal catered.  I only need to make a few appetizers and desserts.  It's been a wonderful break. The caterer will be providing our baked turkey with all the trimmings and sides.  We did this a few years ago as well and the food was every bit as good as home cooked.  A plus is that the turkey is already carved - boneless and sliced except for the legs.  Easy peasy!

Our tablescape is super simple - leaving plenty of room for serving dishes and platters when we remove the centerpiece.  Found these cute Thanksgiving wheels for the littles to color and draw.  And a couple of Thanksgiving Berenstain Bears books will be fun.   Made raspberry bars and oatmeal cookies today and will make brownies tomorrow.  Ordered a pumpkin pecan pie from a local bakery. We’re really looking forward to Thursday!