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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tying Up Loose Ends

Today I am going to try to tie up some loose ends and in my next post I plan to set some semi-guidelines. (How's "semi-guidelines" for a nonspecific, non-legalistic term???)

First - the loose ends.

Finishing up the story of how we started this journey --

Dearest Syd did get the generator fixed, so we were able to save all of the groceries. The realization of what could have happened if we lost all of the food in this freezer:
and this freezer --
and this freezer:
and this freezer:
made me shudder. I worried about it for hours -- tossing and turning and basically losing a night's sleep over STUFF.

And then I thought what family, even a family as big as ours, needs that much food squirreled away in freezers?

I had been thinking about doing a 365-style blog, but hadn't hit on a topic that felt like THE topic. Off and on, I read minimalist blogs and sites, and they had lots of good ideas, but they usually were done by an individual or a small family with 1-2 young children. I may not have looked far enough, but I couldn't find any sites where a large family had attempted a minimalist challenge. As anyone who has a large family can tell you, we really do need more stuff. The economic pie is only so big, and the more pieces there are, the less there is to spend per person. If we didn't pass clothes down from one child to another and buy in bulk when grocery stores run great specials, we would be wearing ratty clothes and eating beans all the time. But there has to be a balance between responsible purchasing and hoarding. I admitted what I knew to be true for a long time -- I had crossed the line.

So the ice storm met the overfilled freezers met the minimalism research and now we have a blog topic.

Next post --

The logistics of the challenge OR
How honest do you REALLY want me to be?


  1. Keep writing Kathleen. I am reading and taking notes! :).

  2. Can't wait to see what's next. I'm starting to feel claustrophobic in my house with 6 little people. We have too.much.stuff! I'm having to be intentional about getting rid of clothes we don't need and not overbuying for Christmas/birthdays, etc

    1. Lindsay,
      I have lived your life -- except we had 8 little people. Now we have six children ages 11-19 still at home, and believe me, the bigger they are, the more stuff they have, and the more apt they are to mimic our bad habits.

      You are so smart to try to get a handle on this now -- I wish I had started long ago. Don't get discouraged -- "little by little, inch by inch/ by the mile it's hard, by the inch, it's a cinch!" Baby steps DO count!

  3. Kathleen,
    You are the only person I know who has more food than us! But no matter how much you consider yourself a hoarder, you also so graciously share what you have. You are hospitable in a nation where that's such a lost art. I know you're not going to say that on this blog, so I'll say it for you as you share your struggles and challenges. I agree that we do have SO much, which is not a sin unless we hold onto it with white-knuckled clenched fists. I have never seen you do that. :o)