I've been in the process, the past few months, of simplifying my life. Or at least as much as possible. When you live in a small house and own lots of belongings, they have a way of beginning to wear on you. After all, there's not a lot of space to store (i.e. hide) items, so it ends up in piles here and there, which ends up driving me a little crazy.
I took advantage of the snow days to go through my yarn stash, sorting and reminding myself of what I have. I've actually avoided buying yarn (or fabric!) for the past year, attempting to make things from what I already own in an attempt to pare down some of my craft collection (don't get me started on my paper/bookmaking stuff...I really, really need to love fewer hobbies). While I didn't get rid of anything, I did reduce the space it took up and felt motivated to finish up a few oddball projects lurking around.
Then, as kitten has developed a taste for technical fabrics (she has chewed on running short strings, sports bra straps, and ruined a pair of my running socks), I rearranged some of my clothes to put all of my workout gear in a closed box. In this process, I decided to weed out items I don't wear or no longer fit (this game, while fun, is growing a tiny bit old--several pairs of capris were deemed too large to wear because I can pull them off without unbuttoning them, which is my general rule for getting rid of something), adding to the already large pile of clothes I'm giving away either to friends who need them or charity.
You see, I have a thing for buying clothes: I love clothes, and when I feel good about my body, I love putting clothes on it. Lately, however, I've been trying to think in terms of simplifying my wardrobe, investing only in quality pieces and not in the cheap crap that falls apart after a season of wear. It's hard because TRENDS, but I think it's somewhat forcing me to reconsider how I view my wardrobe. I want to own clothes that I love, that make me feel good, and that also are well-made and will wear well for a long time.
Which leads me to my other point: repair. Since I have sewing skillzzzz, I already am in the habit of repairing clothes. However, shoes are another matter. There's a cobbler about a 15 minute walk from my house, so in one of my cleaning/purging moods a few weeks back, I rounded up several pairs of shoes I love (but needed repaired) and took them to him. For the low price of less than $20, he repaired three pairs of shoes: putting a new heel on my black pair of boots, reattaching heels to a nice pair of Mary Janes that are comfortable to walk in but teaching-appropriate, and repairing the soles/lining of a cute pair of wedges that are super comfy AND stylish.
And as I was picking these up, I noticed some beautiful Hobo wallets, and asked if they repaired those, and they do--so I left my tired/worn Hobo wallet to get refinished, restoring it back to its former glory and further protecting the leather to extend its use-value. I had been thinking of getting a new wallet, but I love the Hobo I already own and didn't want to buy a brand new one (I bought this one used on ebay for cheap), so I'm excited that I can repair mine instead for a reasonable price.
It can be difficult to get out of the mindset of owning more and more stuff, and I don't think I'm to the point yet where I carefully choose what new items enter my house and work to live with less and more simply. But I'm trying, and I think I'm making some progress. I am beginning to understand the freedom, however, that comes with a simpler life.