From time to time I find myself feeling stressed not so much by a major issue but lots of little things that seem difficult to manage. Sure, life is complicated these days but there are some aspects I am able to do something about. Three areas of my life I am working on simplifying are clothing, kitchen and the garden.
Clothing Like many people I tend to have more clothes than I need. Some 'experts' say many women wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time. This sounds quite possible to me.
I have been working on having only clothes that I love and actually wear.
I find the disadvantages of having excess clothing include-
I can't find what I want
I forget what I own
Clothes get crushed and creased
Things get jammed and it is difficult to close drawers
I am disorganised
I feel guilty about not wearing things I own.
I have donated many items of clothing to local charity shops and now feel I am pretty much in control of my clothes. Even though I own fewer clothes, I find I get plenty of variety through layering, especially now the cooler weather is here. I also have a good selection of accessories that mix and match with numerous items of clothing. scarves as accessories
Scarves are great accessories Image by Marie Vonow
Now I need to avoid buying unnecessary clothing, even if it is an absolute bargain.
Kitchen Years ago I owned two dinner sets and multiples of other items. I have culled numerous thingsincluding unnecessary salad bowls and serving platters and I find this works better for me.
It is easier to find things and I don't have china and glassware stacked in hard to get at spaces.
When thinking of parting with something I ask myself two questions-
Is this item useful in my current lifestyle?
If I part with this item but found I did need it in a couple of years time, could I replace it easily and cheaply?
My next project is to reconsider the things in the pantry cupboard. For example, there are some spices I no longer use as my taste has changed. It is easy to continue to keep things out of habit without thinking if they are still useful.
Garden I love spending time in the garden, especially sitting and thinking or watching the birds. Yes, I enjoy gardening but sometimes I complicate things and then it isn't as enjoyable.
At times I have planted herbs I never use. Sometimes this is fine because they have pretty flowers or their leaves smell nice when brushed against. Sometimes it would be better to replace them with something else which I will use or which is easier to maintain.
Perennials tend to be less work than annuals so in future I plan to concentrate more on them. Some of the plants in my front garden died during the hot weather so I will replace them with hardy vegetation which should survive the next summer. I have found lavender and rosemary grow very well in my garden so I will be planting more.
Rosemary grows well where I live Image by Marie Vonow
I love growing my own vegetables but sometimes it is a lot of work for minimum reward. In future I plan to stick to those vegetables -
that are easy to grow
that I use a lot of
that I can pick a bit of and it will grow again eg silver beet, salad lettuce
that can be frozen for later use eg tomatoes
I have reduced the number of pots as they tend to be fiddly and require frequent watering in summer. These days I have a few large pots rather than lots of small ones.
Some things that worked for me when I was younger now seem like unnecessary work. These are things I can simplify to make life easier and to give me time to sit and watch the birds in the garden.