Diaries of a Reluctant Domestic: Is that a laundry bag of dirty clothes in your trunk???

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"Three Rules of Work: 

Out of clutter find simplicity; 

From discord find harmony; 

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." 

Albert Einstein 

Two years ago, when my husband and I moved from the Northwest Georgia foothills to the Gulf Coast of Alabama we had two weeks to find a place to live. We had a six-week-old baby and a house packed to the ceiling with junk. We had no plan, we were flying by the seat of our pants and I have never felt less safe or less secure in my life. I was exhausted, bleary-eyed and still in a little pain. And now I had to pack up my house and leave.

I was standing in my bathroom on Dec. 30, 2011. My mother handed me a giant black garbage bag. “Hold this and I will put all the dirty clothes in it. Then we will just shove it in the back of your car and no one has to know.” 

Yup. I moved two giant bags of dirty laundry. This could have been a great allegory of my life for the past 29 years. 

I had been dragging my dirty laundry around with me everywhere I went. It was in my head, it was in my heart, it was in my home. 

After the big move I stood in the middle of my living room, unable to breathe at the sight of all of the stuff. Why? Why did I feel the need to fill my life with so much stuff? Why couldn’t I say no to people when they handed me objects they no longer wanted or needed? 

Being in this old house in Alabama was a good opportunity to clear out the clutter. It is a long process. An ongoing process. A living breathing process and I am still in the center of it, daily. 

But deciding to declutter my home, heart and brain meant the opportunity to simplify, save money and learn a little bit about who I was. 

So, a year in I finally feel qualified to talk about everything I learned when my husband and I decided to “live on less” we gained so much more. 

This is not a blog about organizing, because I am not organized. This is not a blog about “green living” because I am not always green. This is not a blog about finance because I am not a financial advisor. This isn’t about having the perfect home, because my home is far from perfect. Laundry piles up, it’s dusty, our countertops are dirty. 

Living from scratch is not an all or nothing idea. 

For me it doesn’t mean cutting out all processed foods, baby wipes or cleaning products. It means finding a balance between living a great life and saving a lot of money. It means cooking more and getting less take out. It means spending more time being quiet or playing than at home. It means carving out time to be a simple family with simple needs. 

How are you living from scratch?