Christian heart meets minimalistic lifestyle

It’s march 2017, spring is here and it’s time for deep cleaning and clutter-free living.
Some months ago I started checking my unit for clutter and I start wondering how to get rid of most of it as soon as possible; it’s a real challenge for me, well I’m not the person who’s collecting a lot of stuff – my sisters would roll their eyes right now, telling me, that it takes at least 10 minutes for me to sort and trash out letters/mails, because I’m oldschool having some penpals writing real letters (not the electronic mails). And with this, I’m very picky what can be thrown out and what I need to save.

So this one is a big challenge for me, as I don’t like to clean much, honestly I’m not the best cleaner but with this post I want to change and take you with me on my trip to

  1. Declutter step-by-step
  2. Organize the things to
    – sell
    – throw away
    – keep
  3. How to clean a 74qm unit in no time

To be clear, this is a plan I’m really looking forward to take place, as I will start – I will upload pictures and steps until I will reach the end.
I want to include some advice and essential DIY tips I found on Pinterest, and which I tried myself (especially hacks for cleaning the couch/sofa).

But back to my first intention and thoughts about this post, as a christian I was wondering if there is advice in God’s Word about this life issue. I felt restless while I was running behind the kids and even myself cleaning and picking up things, to put them from one place to another. And my heart was telling me, there is something you can read about in God’s Word, the Bible about our life and our lifestyle. So this is just for myself, everyone has a different feeling about this”issue”, well in my case I felt simply not well and just revised with this daily chore.
With so many things and plans in my head I was thinking about “how to organize my household” with 2 small kids leaving their toys and stuff around and overcrowded rooms.
I know, there need to be more hiding places for things, but the most important thing in my case is – sorting out!
Everyday there is at least one piece going inside the unit, that could stay out in the first place. Let it be the envelope of any mail. I already started to not take in the brochure we receive every wednesday and saturday – but I will change this as well – we don’t need so much rubbish, to do = pin a sign that inform “no advertising please”
In the end of my decluttering season I want to be less stressed when I come home, to be honest with you there is at least 50% of things in my unit I actually don’t need – or my kids. So in times where there are refugees coming to europe and germany there are plenty of possibilities to give away those things that seem unnecessary for me. (I have to ask the kids first of course, but I know they will agree to help)

  • Sell what you own and do tzedakah — make for yourselves purses that don’t wear out, riches in heaven that never fail, where no burglar comes near, where no moth destroys. 34 For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12,33-34 CJB
  • In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the ‘olam hazeh. Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed.” Romans 12,2 CJB
  • “Now true religion does bring great riches, but only to those who are content with what they have. For we have brought nothing into the world; and we can take nothing out of it; so if we have food and clothing, we will be satisfied with these.” 1.Timothy 6,6-8 CJB

These three bible verses gave me the impulsion to start, okay I need it to be well organized (because last year I started this clutter free life, and it ended frustrated and unfinished because I tried to start all at once without any plan at all)

  1. Try to make a roughly plan in your thoughts and if you want and need write it down
    – As I have a 2 story unit I will start from top to bottom
    – Work from room to room (as I mentioned before, you risk to get frustrated, because it can be a lot!)
    – in every room, seperate boxes e.g. laundry baskets to split what you are going to toss out, what you can donate and what you will keep
  2. Before you start in your first room now, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea first and then get things started.
    – Clothing, ask yourself if you used/worn the item the last year, or if you’re going to wear it in the next 3 months
    – if the answer is no/no check if the item is still wearable in good condition, so you can donate or sell it. If not = toss it.
    – if the answer is yes = keep it
  3. Second room (Bathroom)
    – check for outdated products, parfum, deodorant, nailpolish,….
  4. After finishing the upper floor I have to check my big living room – this will be my biggest challenge (besides the kitchen) as I store a lot of things there, like as mentioned before Mails, Documents, Photos, Books, Yarn, some toys from the kids, domestic appliances (vacuum cleaner)….
  5. Last but not least the kitchen, this will be serious too, as I have to ask myself what I really need and what I can donate, like for example how many cups do I actually need? Or cutlery? Pots and Pans? And then I will start organizing drawers for bags, binbags, shoppingbags, freezerbags (one of my next blog posts will be about foodprep)

After this plan I really hope and am looking forward to see a clutter-free home of mine!
Start date will be Monday March 20, 2017.

Update 13. April 2017
So I started, I sorted out and already gave 4 big bags to charity in a nearby church, later there will be more who will be donated to another organisation near my place, for singleparents in need.
And I did my kitchen on Monday, still a long way to go – I want to reach a minimalistic lifestyle even with kids.

The following 4 kitchen cabinets I show you now, were photographed before de-cluttered. 

© cabinets before

On Pinterest I found some nice essentials, well maybe it’s just for bakers, I still have to find my right balance for my family and me. I started to sort out some of my cups, and those heaps of glasses (on picture 3, still unpacked and 12 in total) and some of my plates.
I got my own list now =

  • Cutlery (for lets say 4-6)
  • Glasses ~4
  • Wine Glasses ~2
  • Cups ~4
  • Plates ~4
  • Bowls ~4
  • at least one good knife (I got 2)
  • wooden spoons (2-3)
  • whisk
  • can opener
  • bottle opener
  • measuring cup
  • mixing bowls (~3)
  • cutting board (~2-3)
  • pot (2-4)
  • frying pan (2)
  • colander
  • cookie sheet
  • baking dish

Well reviewing this small list, I still got too much. So, next step after the easter break – more de-cluttering!! I still need some more food containers for continue my prep meals, as I don’t use and don’t have a slow-cooker (I don’t know if it would be the right machine for me) I’m more the person to prepare food on one or two days to be prepared for a whole week or 10 days. I tried some pasta already, worked for me, as I don’t like too much spice, but when my sister tried it, she notes that it’s too tasteless. Guess I stick to asian food, I will try some israeli/arabic food next time to prepare and store in the fridge and freezer. As well as I need some JÄMKA IKEA food storage basics, and basics for sugar, flour, rice, noodles etc. right now I’m using TupperWare they are nice, but well way too expensive honestly, and sometimes I like the style of IKEA.

I’m still working on my clutter-free home, and the big dream is still this Tinyhouse… One day, if it’s God’s will.
By Whatcom Lake Cottages

Thank you for taking time following my spring deep cleaning plans 2017.
God bless you!

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