Spring Cleaning, meet October Overhaul.
The other day a friend blogged about her progress with minimalism. She’s done a capsule wardrobe, has set goals and focused on her health, and has changed to a more plant-based diet.
All of this spoke to me.
I’ve decided to try to make some changes in the following 3 categories: Home, Activities, and Diet.
Let’s start with
My foray into minimalism hasn’t gone too well.
Awhile back I wrote about my desire to declutter and to develop an appreciation for the items we have. I started out strong, ridding the kitchen of some bakeware and unused appliances, and starting the process of cleaning out my closet. I culled the kids’ clothing and took out the too-small pieces to give to friends.
Then… we sort of hit an impasse. I (perhaps unfairly) blame my husband, as he has many hobbies which generally come with a fair bit of equipment. I’ve casually mentioned cleaning out stuff a few times but I understand that in his spare time he’d rather spend it with the kids then sorting through jackets and shoes. But there is a three day weekend coming up…
I also blame my almost 3 year old daughter, who made it impossible to toss a few items. I gave the basement playroom a cursory clean-out but foolishly left the bag by the front door (to remind me to toss it in the car for the next time I went by a donation box). She saw the bag and started pulling the toys out to play with. Totally my fault. Mouse & Kitty did get a new lease on life, however, and have become staples of her upstairs play scenarios so… perhaps it wasn’t a waste. But I’m setting up a pick-up with the Diabetic Society and plan to try harder this month to declutter things we don’t need and have’t used in a long time.
Onto the next:
I’ve become the biggest fan of the Ontario Early Years Centres and their free programming. There’s a centre practically across the street from us and it’s been a lifesaver. They offer drop in programs every day and recently we’ve started registering for some of the other groups, including an Explore & Discover group, a Walk & Rhyme group, and this month we’re trying out one with a focus on preschool.
I also registered my daughter for swimming lessons which she loves with a capital L but there’s no way financially we could swing several of these programs while I’m on maternity leave. The free OEYC programs are fantastic for that reason.
They also give us something to do which keeps me out of the shopping centres. I can only stay in the house for so long with the kids before I need to get out. Usually once or twice a week we venture out to the mall or Walmart or Michaels just to poke around, but rarely do we leave without purchasing a few things. Often things we don’t really need. Like more toys.
My overhaul here is to continue to make use of these free programs and try to limit unnecessary spending. It’s fun to shop but it makes decluttering the house redundant if I’m bringing more things home.
Last but not least:
For the past few weeks, I’ve been strangely drawn to the idea of vegetarianism and even veganism. I love meat and am completely at peace with the fact that we, historically, are carnivorous mammals. But twice in the past few weeks we have driven past a truck full of animals most likely on their way to the slaughterhouse and it made me cringe.
I will be the first person to point out the hypocrisy of disagreeing with animals being slaughtered for food and then digging into a steak for dinner. I like meat and I like the dissociation of my food and where it comes from.
I’ve also read about how reducing the amount of red meat you eat can lower your carbon footprint. Our environment is already messed up, and maybe one small change won’t matter big picture, but it seems worth it to try.
So I’ve decided to try a more plant-based diet. I’m not giving up meat, just trying to eat less of it and incorporate different sources of protein into my diet.
Will I survive? Will the house become cleaner? Will we save money by staying out of the stores? We’ll find out in November!
P.S. If you’ve got suggestions/recipes/advice for incorporating more plant-based items into my diet please leave them in the comments!