Monday, January 10, 2011

Food Group January Recap - Decluttering & Streamlining

2011 is off to a fresh start!

After a bustling December Food Group (our first Food Swap), January's first Wednesday proved a calm night of conversation and camaraderie. We shared tips and thoughts on "Decluttering Your Home and Streamlining Your Kitchen" and brought our bags and boxes of pared-down household goods to share and donate.


Why is clutter a problem for you?
-Stress? -Embarrasment? -Financial reasons?

What's your clutter excuse?
-This item is probably valuable/collectible? -I've had this for a really long time -It reminds me of a place or time -I paid good money for this -Someone gave this to me -I might need one of these someday

Where does clutter accumulate?

How do we change?
-Get rid of more stuff? -Buy less? -Contentment?

{Helpful Resources on Organizing and Decluttering} and Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider (no, that's not a typo). Tsh offers a very holistic approach to creating a simple and organized home. Highly recommended!

{A Smattering of Ideas from The Group}

Asking yourself, "Is this (thing) earning it's keep in my home?" What's the square foot dollar value of my living space? Is it worth that much to me to have "X" taking up room? What about the emotional space it takes up in my life?

Store kids' toys above ground level and get them down for use during certain times; clean up and put away directly afterward to keep things

Great sources for giving/receiving:, PDX Clothing Swap, and various local email lists.

Capture the energy at different times of year to motivate you to sort. For some, it's autumn and the return to home after the summer season, for others, it's the new year, and for others still, traditional "Spring Cleaning" comes to mind.

Invite a friend to exchange decluttering time with you; a second opinion on what to keep and what to throw out may be just what you need.

Don't be afraid to re-evaluate uses of space; maybe flip flopping entire rooms or areas of the house is the change that will help the whole space function more efficiently.

Pay attention to how you well you work in your own surroundings; organize and create physical spaces that will cater to your personal style.


"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful
or believe to be beautiful."
-William Morris

"Everything we posses that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden,
and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it."
-Robert Brault

"Material blessings, when they pay beyond the category of need,
are weirdly fruitful of headache."
-Philip Wylie

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
-Leonardo DaVinci

"The sculpture produces the beautiful statue by chipping away
such parts of the marble block as are not needed
- it is a process of elimination."
-Elbert Hubbard

{Updates & Notes}

Our neighborhood Real Foods comrade, Chris, from Lost Arts Kitchen joined us for the evening as well. A reminder: for those of you in the area, Chris teaches great courses on real food preparation and runs a neighborhood buying club. For more details, visit her website:

Thanks to everyone who donated their pared-down-goods. Several boxes of helpful household items went to My Father's House Family Shelter and will continue to be put to good use.

Hope to see many of you at February's Food Group. Remember to check the "Events" tab up top for details on upcoming get-togethers...



Chris said...

What an enjoyable evening and discussion. Thank you for hosting, Bethany, and for making sure our kitchen gadgets, etc., made it to the hands of people who could use them.

Rebekah said...

I appreciate these little recaps you post sooooo much!! Thanks!


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