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Contest Winner & More Thoughts on Simplicity

First, congrats to Amanda!  I’ve sent you an email.

Regarding some of the comments:

I actually, um, like to declutter.  And I can be ruthless.  Our house is small, so everything needs to be in its place, or else it’d be total chaos.  Freecycle, Goodwill or other charities & Craigslist are great if you want to give stuff away.  Just putting stuff on the sidewalk works too.  I’ve sold various things on eBay and yarn, books & magazines directly to other knitters on Ravelry.  Hardest thing for me to get rid of:  crafting supplies.  I know I don’t really want to do cross stitch again, but I have all that embroidery floss….I tell myself I’ll use it for embroidering my knitting.

I go shopping only when I’m looking for a particular item — I don’t view shopping as a fun activity, in and of itself (unless, of course, it’s a yarn or antique store).  I find, if you don’t see something, you don’t want it.  Catalogs, sales flyers, etc etc go directly into the recycling bin.   (Despite various remove-me-from-your-junk-mail-list attempts, we still get some junk mail.)

I’m not nearly as organized with our meals as I’d like to be.  This is a bit surprising, considering how much I like to research, plan & organize things.  We have cut back a lot on eating out & ordering take out, which is good.  I really should get into the habit of planning out at least a week’s worth of meals though.

Yes, Real Simple mag in general drives me nuts.  Of course no one is going to tell you to buy less in a magazine or magazine article — magazine revenue, I think, is achieved primarily through advertising, not subscribers.  Even Natural Home doesn’t emphasize reducing and reusing as much as I think it should.

I’ve read & re-read Getting a Life — it is very good & inspirational.

Books & yarn are the hardest things for me to cut back on.

I’ve always been a frequent library user.  Since Dave drives past the library to & from work, he usually picks up (& drops off) my library books for me.  All the people at the checkout counter at that particular branch know him.   Apparently there’s only one other person who checks out more books than me, and she’s a mom getting books to read to her kids.  I make great use of the online hold system — put a title on hold, choose what branch to pick it up at, and they email you when it’s there & can be picked up.  Even so, I generally run out of library books to read before the next library run occurs.  Also, the library doesn’t get all the trashy Urban Fantasy books I eat up like chocolate.  I’m trying to cut back on the latter, or at least get them used at a local used bookstore, or, worst case, get them at Amazon with a 4-for-3 deal or at Borders with a 30% off coupon.  (In my defense, I do re-read most of my books.)

Yarn:  well, my new “rule” is no more yarn til I’ve gone through most of my stash. I don’t even want to know about Sundara LE postings, or the next Fiberphile shop update.  (Back to the ‘if I don’t see it I don’t want it’ rule.)

Exceptions:

  • local yarn purchased on a farm or farmer’s market visit especially if I’m on vacation (and especially if the ranchers open just for us!)
  • sale yarn so incredibly cheap AND that I can use right away for this year’s Christmas presents  (well, this just happened last week, and I don’t expect it to happen again, because I’m avoiding just going to yarn stores to browse, even if there is a sale, but this time was an exception because mom-in-law Rosemary was interested in going too, and….sigh.  $1/ball.  Angora.  Jamieson’s Spindrift.  Kidsilk Haze.  More.)
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