Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Organized, Minimalist Knitter

In May, I was browsing through and a book entitled, “The Joy of Less:  A Minimalist Living Guide:  How to Declutter, Organize and Simplify Your Life,“  caught my eye.  I bought it and quickly read it cover to cover.  It was not only inspirational, but it changed my life.  
As I read through the book, a memory of visiting my father when I was about 10 flashed into my mind.  He lived in a remote little house with a bunch of goats, chickens and pond full of sunbathing turtles. On the first day, I went into the sparse kitchen, looked in the bare cupboard, and announced, “I need a glass for a drink of water.”  My dad replied rather slowly -- I have to imagine that the arrival of my brother, sister, and I were more than a little invasive to his quiet house -- “We only have the drinking gourd.”  He pointed to a dipper-shaped gourd that hung above the sink.  “Oh, . . . hmmmmm . . . .that?  We all drink out of that?” I thought.  I turned on the tap and filled up the gourd.  From that gourd, the water tasted cleaner and cooler than any I’d had before.  Maybe it was the hot day  . . . . maybe it was chasing after goats . . . . or just maybe it was the pure simplicity of it all.
That led me to wondering if a true minimalist at heart is born or made.  Do we all crave that simple, organized, and uncluttered life?  I think we do.  The decluttering spread from one room to another in my house, and eventually spread to my office.  Many of my co-workers have wandered in to see what I’ve been doing with the place.  “Wow, are you moving out?  Are you quitting?  Why is your office/desk so clean?”  I reply, “I just wanted to clean up and get organized.  I needed to simplify my life, and have less stress around me.”  The response is usually the same, “Oh I should do that too.”  
How has minimalizing and decluttering affected my knitting? 
  • It’s meant donating about 8 boxes of fabric (former quilter) and yarn to the Hospice Heartisans Shop.  
  • It’s meant only keeping the yarn that I REALLY do plan to knit into something.  
  • It’s meant only purchasing yarn when I have a specific color/fiber need for a specific project.  
  • It’s meant organizing my patterns into a filing system.  
  • It’s meant repurposing other containers for yarn containers because I am refusing to run to the “big box store” to buy any plastic bins.

(Pictured above Lanaloft Sport stored in an antique Yami Yogurt case.)

If you’d like to get started with simplifying something in your life (your yarn collection, one room, even one drawer) check out these blogs for some inspiration:

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