Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
I live in a neighborhood where the houses are all about 50 years old and are between 1500 and 2000 square feet. Most have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a 2 car garage or carport. Almost all are one-story houses. The house just around the corner was a bit smaller than most and had been poorly maintained. When the original owner decided to move last year, it wasn’t long before the new owners knocked the house down to the ground and scraped away the foundation.Â A few months passed and contruction began on the new home. The architect left the house plans in the permit box, and being a curious person, of course I checked them out: 3700 square feet of heated/cooled space, plus 2000 more square feet of un-heated/cooled space including a three car garage plus a pool. Three stories;Â 5700 square feet of house.
As you can imagine, there was immediate chatter in amongst the neighbors. Those who thought is was a bad idea were concerned about its looming massiveness and its lack of appropriate style and balance with the rest of the neighborhood. Others thought it was a waste of resources – to build, to maintain, to fill. Other people though said, “If they can afford it, good for them.”
That last response gave me pause.
Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
Do four people (two adults, two children) need a 5,700 square foot home? What about the costs to build, maintain, heat, cool, and fill this home? The resources that will be used for all the lumber, furniture, appliance, etc. Can you imagine the dusting and vacuuming? The clutter?
When it comes to clutter, we all know how easy it is to do and how difficult it can be to un-do. While my future neighbors are providing a rather extreme example, we’ve all done things we should not: purchased more than is necessary, purchased a new thing when the old thing was perfectlyÂ functionalÂ still, bought new things to make ourselves feel good / be fashionable / because they were such a great bargain / because we felt we needed to keep up. Â And, on the other hand, we’ve all failed to get rid of things when we should: things that were broken that we could not or would not repair, tools or craft supplies that might be useful someday, items that we received as gifts and stuck in a drawer, forgotten, clothing that will never again fit no matter how much we exercise, pieces of paper that became obsolete as time passed.
Before you buy or when you don’t feel like decluttering, remind yourself: Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something made fromÂ paper.
Today’s Declutter Item
I didn’t have any paper items to declutter today but here are some mechanical pencils and a fountain pen that Liam doesn’t want. They are all off to the thrift store.
Eco Tip for the Day
When buying bars of soap, by ones without wrappers or multipacks that come in a simple cardboard box. Every little bit of plastic saved from landfill counts.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast