Tag Archive | Home Making

(From the Archives) A Handmade Life–Sewing For The Kitchen

This is part 2 of the “Handmade Life” series here at Sunny Patch.  Today’s post involves sewing and creating for your home.

Sewing seems to be an art that is coming back to life as things become more and more expensive commercially.  The quality of factory made things really seems to be heading down hill, and as soon as you purchase a piece of clothing or fabric based item, it needs mending or ravels or rips.  Sure, there’s folks who will never get beyond the stigma of “homemade” items, but for the rest of the world who appreciates quality, a hand made high quality item is much better than the factory made.

This brings us to sewing for the home.

There’s many things in the home that are made of fabric that we can make ourselves.  Think about what you use in the kitchen: potholders, apron, tea or dish towels, dish cloths, curtains/valances, etc.  This is opportunity to not only save on expense, but also create a kitchen that suits your personality.

Today I’m focusing on potholders and aprons.

For the seamstress, making a potholder is probably one of the simplest projects one can do.  In it’s simplest form, a potholder is batting or some sort of filler sandwiched between 2 pieces of fabric and stitched together.  Of course this can be embellished, patched, made with just about any non-melting fabrics (second and third degree potholder burns just don’t sound too appealing, so use your cool polyesters for other projects).

Tipnut has a page of around 30 patterns just for potholders (free, I might add).  So why not whip out some scraps or fat quarters and try a couple of patterns out.   If you enjoy crocheting and/or knitting, this is a great time to break out some cool stitches and make your own potholders too!  I like to make mine double thickness, using 2 strands of medium weight yarn and crochet.  🙂

Aprons are also a wonderful cost effective items to sew for your kitchen.  Think about it–cooking can be messy.  If it isn’t in your kitchen..are you enjoying what you’re doing????  LOL!  I love my aprons, and really need to add more to my collection.  My son Mr. Kevin has inherited a more “manly” one to use when he helps me in the kitchen (he’s my little cook in training–he has helped make pizza from scratch, and then here recently helped make cinnamon biscuits with Christmas cookie cutters).  His apron gets flour all over it in under a second…perfect reason for him to inherit one. 🙂

Aprons are really easy to make.  Seriously.

At it’s simplest, it’s a square with ties to go around the waist.  At the more complex, it’s a fully covering garment that is as pretty as a beautiful dress.  But, the overall idea is the same–to keep the clothing underneath from getting dirty and stained up from working in the kitchen.

My own aprons are a bit complex.  I use pieces from the Country Cape Dress by Candle on the Hill to build mine.  I use the cape part of the dress and half of the skirt, add ties and a snap and have a fully covering apron.  Ok, it’s a little time consuming, but it works out for my purposes.  I follow directions similar to the ones found at Shepherds Hill with modifications to tie in the back.

Wearing these, I honestly feel more feminine, as well as tend to get more work done.  To me, this is a uniform.  My job is to tend the house and work in the kitchen, why not have a uniform that goes along with that?  I also tend to put an apron on first thing in the morning, and use it through out the day.  It helps open up the oven and in a pinch when I can’t find the potholders it becomes the potholder.  It keeps my clothes from getting totally soaked when doing the daily wash on the washboard and then doing dishes at the sink.  It keeps my handmade clothing from getting stained up and covered in sauces and flour and cooking sprays when I cook our meals.  And it makes a great hand towel when I can’t easily grab one and need it quickly to dry hands and catch the phone or help that child who has to have mom right now.  In the garden during the spring and summer it becomes a make shift basket to hold freshly picked veggies.

The kids see me in my apron, and they seem more at ease.  It’s like a comfort thing for them.  They also know mom isn’t going anywhere when her apron’s on.  They wait and watch for the apron to come off to see where I’m going…like maybe somewhere cool like the park or the store or something.  🙂

So, this is part 2 of the Handmade Life series….  I hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into our handmade life.. 🙂

Tip Junkie handmade projects

WestBow Press


This Handmade Life Part 9–Rockin’ The Washboard

This morning I tackled part of a job I do just about every day.  It usually involves standing a long while, getting wet, and dealing with someone’s dirty underwear.  It is….(drum roll please)…scrubbing laundry.

Now, ya’ll who have never done this, it really isn’t that bad.  Ok, the poopy underwear isn’t pleasing…I will admit that.

I’ve been using this Dubl-Handi washboard for nearly a year now.  I found it at a local antique shop for $4, with some wear, but plenty of use left.  Believe me, with 5 people in the family it sure gets it.  When I bought it, it still had all the pretty writing (in red) saying the Dubl Handi name and some other little things about the sturdiness.  This all went away when I put the first bar of Fels Naptha on it.  I like this little board.  It is just the right size to use in a sink (say if we ever once stay at a hotel), bucket, or other small space.  It also has a second side that is for silks, handkerchiefs, nylons, etc.

The main side has extra ridges on the metal, allowing for water to get in the fibers and wash out dirt and grime as the fabric is rubbed against the board.  If used roughly, it can and will put holes in clothing if too much elbow grease is used.

I’m lazy.  I like to let my homemade soap do most of the work.

There are benefits for using a simple washboard…seriously!  Sure, it’s physical work, but there’s reward.  In using a washboard, there’s no need for an expensive washer and dryer.  You do the work of the agitating the clothing against the board to get the dirt out.  You have a portable “washer” you can take anywhere.  You can get out stains and dirt that you didn’t realize was in your clothing.  It saves trips to a laundrymat if you don’t have a washer/dryer.  You can wash without having electricity.

Now, I can hear some ladies saying “that’s hard work!!”  Well, yes, you have to use your shoulders, arms, hands, and back.  You may even break a nail or two, or scrub them off on the metal.  You may get tired.  I know I am after a day of rocking the board!  But after seeing crisp clean whites hanging out on the line, bright colors drying in the breeze, smelling the scent of fresh air in the clothes, it’s worth it.  The monitary savings is very much worth it, as is showing my children and husband that I’m willing to work hard.

How do you use this simple little board?  First, fill up your basin/bucket/tote/sink with water (your choice of location, just make sure you have room for your clothing).  I use hot water, with some liquid Fels Naptha laundry soap I’ve already made.  Set your board in legs first, and add in a couple of pieces of clothing.  As in a regular washer, too much clothing doesn’t leave room for agitating and they won’t get clean…the same principal applies here too.  Take up one piece of clothing and have it flat against your palm and fingers, and then do circular motions with it across the board until you feel it’s clean.  I’d say 2 to 5 times max for one area.  Then, go across all areas of the piece.  It works for something as small as a dishcloth all the way to sheets and blankets.  Heavier stained areas will need more work.  Since most folks don’t get out and filthy dirty, like you’d see with farm work or mechanics or the like, most clothing won’t take long at all to get clean.  I personally do get farm work dirty (even though we don’t live on a farm, I do the outside work here, and there’s plenty to do), at least sometimes, and so I have to work a little harder on my own clothing.  Of course I keep some older raggedy type pieces for that type of work so it’s not so hard on my nicer clothing.

After you wash your piece(s), you put them in a bucket of clean rinse water.  This allows the soap to rinse out of the fibers.  Many folks use fabric softener in their laundry, especially in regular washers, or they feel stiffness and static in their clothing.   The reason this happens is that the soap doesn’t get totally rinsed out of the clothing, leaving a stiffness and residue.  I personally set up 2 buckets most days, or one that is changed out very often if I don’t have room for two.  A nice long dip in the rinse water takes out the soap, leaving your clothes nice and soft, even when put on a clothes line!  Even my towels come out soft (when I’m not rushing and let them sit in the rinse water a while).

The hardest part comes here.  Wringing clothes by hand is not for the faint of heart.  Twist em, squeeze em, do what you have to do to get the excess water out!  This is the equivelent of a spin cycle in the washing machine.  You can spin if you want to. 🙂

Next, haul it all to the line.  This is God’s dryer.  This was used long before the electric ones that heat up the house.  Believe it or not it can be used year round too!  A warm breeze and sun works great, but clothes will get dry even in the dead of winter when humidity is low.  I found this through the winter when using the line even well below zero.  I did get hit with some freeze dried clothing, but they all eventually dried and my hands warmed up. 🙂

I’ve found that hanging pants by the bottom hems work great.  I’ve also found hanging shirts by the bottom work nicely.  Socks I hang by the toe area.  Skirts I put up by the waist, merely to save room on the lines.  I have 6 dedicated lines and occasionally I use hubby’s dog run (a large cable that runs from my T poles to a tree), making 7 lines.  It takes a full day of scrubbing to fill them up, but does get a lot done.

Some days, I admit I get weary in scrubbing.  When I hear ladies complaining about their HE or top loading washers, I think of my little simple scrub board.  It never leaks.  It doesn’t grow mold.  It never needs a repairman.  Should anything happen to it, replacing it is as easy as going to the antiques shop or to the Columbus Washboard Company’s website.  Or Etsy.  Or Ebay.

After nearly a year, I have to say, I don’t think I’d really want to have a washer or dryer again.  I use less water, as one tub of water can do a lot more wash than one run in the washing machine.  rinsing takes longer, but again, uses less water.  I have no electricity (except what it takes to heat the water) need when I wash this way.  I can take my board and buckets outside and enjoy the warm air in the summer and work outside if I desire.  That is something I enjoy in the hotter months, as the sun warms the water, I can take things directly to the line just a few feet away, and I get to be outside.  Ok, so I get some odd looks from folks driving by, but that’s fine.  It’s my back yard and I’ll wash if I want to.

Well, I needs get back to the wash!


Handmade Laundry Soaps

This past summer I started making my own laundry soap, and I’d love to share with you!

At my Etsy Shop I’ve added listings for various sized packets of homemade laundry soap.  Choose from a sample pack of 10 loads, up to 150 loads.  All come simply packaged, ready to pour into your own container, whether it be a beautiful antique jar or an old bucket.  You will love the difference with the more natural soap blend than the commercially made!!

Have you been looking for a safer, more natural soap for your wash? 
During this last summer, I decided to try making my own laundry soaps, as I honestly was not impressed with the excessive sudsing, and the commercial soap left my clothes so dingy and sapped the color out of newly purchased items.  I’m a budget conscious mom, so the prospect of having my newly bought clothes look old and dingy in one wash was not appealing, and then paying an arm and leg to get the soap to make my clothes look like that was even less appealing.
I put together my own blend based on an old fashioned recipe, and was immediately impressed with how bright my colored clothing turned out and how white my whites were!  My whites looked brand new, even the ones I knew were a few years old! 
So, I went on and tried this blend in an HE washer, which uses low to no sudsing soaps, and it worked wonderfully.  I tried it in a top loading older machine and had the same results.  I even used the old fashioned scrub board and hand washed pieces, and am very very happy with the results! 
The soap is very easy on the hands, leaves no residue/film, and a little goes a long way!  Use only a tablespoon of powder for a large load!  It’s safe for allergy sufferers, and great for those with sensitive skin issues.  My own children have not had the rashes they used to have with commercial brands since we switched.  You may not want a liquid softener with this soap as well, as it softens nicely, but it is entirely up to your tastes.
You can add your own scent to the soap as well, by simply adding drops of essential oils to the powder mix.  I do not add to my own, but I would think a nice lavendar, lilac, or rose would be lovely.
This is hand shredded and mixed, and packaged simply in order to save you cost.  Pour the powder into your own pretty container or bucket (I use ugly 5 gallon buckets for mine, but prettiness is not a factor for my own use).  An antique jar would make a beautiful powder container!  And there’s plenty of them floating around here at Etsy!
This blend is great on your pipes, and I’ve noticed it keeps my drains open and free flowing.  I use it in the kitchen as well, as it is versatile for cleaning not only laundry, but can be used in washing dishes by hand or dishwasher, floors, countertops, bathtubs, toilets, etc.  I use this all over the house with great results.  I’ve been trying to get away from more commercial cleaners, and I’ve found a winner in this!   

150 Load Package

40 Load Package

80 Load Package

60 Load Package

Sample Package, does up to 10 loads

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Growing HomeTip Junkie handmade projects

Home Sweet Home

It’s late at night and the house is quiet.  Not a creature is stirring, except for the little Blue Russian kitty.  The wind is blowing hard outside, up to 45 mph gusts that shake and rattle the house.

I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

I had opportunity to spend some time this weekend endulging in some Waltons dvds, and noticed the ongoing theme of how mom (Olivia) and Grandma were home bodies and tended the home and the needs of the family.  They made home cooked meals, washed on a washboard (til John Boy worked his hiney off and bought mom a second hand wringer washer), made their dairy products with milk from their own cows, ironed clothes, made clothing on a treadle sewing machine and by hand, etc.  The 2 women stayed busy all day tending their home and family.  No going and gossiping with the local ladies, no chatting on a phone (or computer) all day long.

Ok, I know that the Waltons is a fictional series.  But there’s somethings that can be gleaned from even the fictional lives played out there.  We’re in a society that tells us women we have to go out and work 80 hours a week at a job we don’t like for a boss we hate and then come home and work on maybe throwing a take out meal together and sleeping.  We’re told to hold off on families, to limit the number of children we should have in order to keep climbing “the ladder”, and if we get pregnant, to abort that interfering child.  We’re told that we’re liberated, that we should wait until later to marry, but go ahead and test drive some men from our teen years on up til marriage.  Our society even tells us to go ahead and test drive a woman or two as well.  We’re told we need to be a size 6 or smaller, we just have to have all the latest fashions on the catwalk, and if we don’t look like an anorexic runway model, we’re too fat for any man out there.

What happened to the days of old?

I hate to say it, but not too awfully long ago, I was too of the mindset of this world.  I was one to hold down a full time job and a part time one as well to earn as much money as I could.  I didn’t NEED it, nor did I have dependents that needed me to earn.  I just WANTED it.  I also fell into the false theory of test driving the car before buying, only on a dating scale.  I bought into the feminist lie that you must go out with and even sleep with many in order to find that elusive “one”.  I bought hook, line, and sinker, every single lie of the world, that things make you happy, children are a burden, and work work work work and build the bank accounts first and foremost and make that an idol.

NO more!

Today, I am blessed.  I am able to stay at home, to cook home made, from scratch meals for my family.  They may not all like what’s fixed, but there’s hot food on the table.  I am blessed to have constant dirty dishes, as they show that I have food to eat and family to sit around my table and enjoy a meal.

I am blessed to be able to stay home.  I do not have the desire or drive to work multiple jobs and long drawn out hours away from home.  I can go days without leaving home if need be.  There’s plenty of work to be done around the house, it is in itself a full time job.  Sure the monitary pay is minimal to none, but the rewards are more than money can buy.

I am blessed to have the family around me.  Some days they drive me insane, and the thought of spending a nice relaxing vacation at the local psych unit has crossed my mind, but they are my family nonetheless.  Had I stuck with the mindset I had, I would not have them.

I am blessed to have a husband who doesn’t care that I am not a size 6 or below and am absolutely not anorexic.  I do not have to be a stick thin model for him.  I can have curves and padding, an imperfect non-airbrushed body that real women have.  He doesn’t expect me to be the epitome of fashion as well.  I don’t have to have high end clothing and 100 pairs of shoes to have what I need.  A simple dress and pair of shoes suffices.

We really need to look back behind us, to the women who came before us.  We’d do good to learn from the days gone by, from the Depression era when women had to stretch everything to make ends meet.  We need to learn to do more on our own, from cooking to sewing, to homemaking and being there for our families instead of out of our homes.  The lies of the feminist movement have taken so much from us, but we women don’t have to believe the lies.

I fear I’ve rattled on….  It’s late into the night and morning comes so soon…  You all have a blessed night and good morning to come!



This Handmade Life-Part 6–Made From Scratch Biscuits

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm the smell of a fresh, made from scratch biscuit right out of the oven and buttered….mornings don’t get better than this!

I don’t know about you, but I was brought up on those canned nasty cheap biscuits that explode and fly across the room.  Can I hear an “eeeeewwwwww”?  Momma wasn’t much into baking, especially from scratch, but I had an aunt and cousin who showed me how rewarding (and tasty) it is.  Now, my family enjoys (well most of the time) the yummy hot from the oven breads and biscuits.

If you’d like to try out my “cloud” biscuits, which rise very well and make excellent monster sized very filling biscuits, keep reading!

First, grab yourself a good ol’ mixing bowl.  Doesn’t matter if it’s plastic, metal, wooden–whatever suits your fancy.   Then grab a heavy duty wooden spoon or a metal one that’ll hold up well.  No wimpy ones here!!  Locate a baking sheet of some kind.  I use my 16″ pizza pans and fill em up!  Then turn your oven on to 350 to 400 (your choice, I use both).

Then, put in at least 2 cups flour into your mixing bowl.  Add in a tablespoon sugar (yes, you read it, sugar), and a tablespoon of baking powder.  Add 2 tablespoons of fast acting dry yeast (I’m not sure how that translates to packets, as I buy mine in by the pounds at a Mennonite shop).  Then, I add in hot tap water, just enough to make a sticky dough (1 to 1 1/2 cups generally).  You will see foam from the yeast loving it some sugar…this is a good thing!  Then add a half cup of shortening (your choice of kind) into the mix and blend it up well.  The hot water helps tremendously in melting down the shortening or at least softening it up to make it easier to work with.

Turn this sticky mess out on to a very well floured surface.  I use my dishwasher top (it’s portable and has a butcher block top and a dough board I keep on it as well).  Add as much flour as you need to make this a firm and pliable dough, and knead 1o times, folding and pushing down each time.  The dough will rise as you do this.  Or at least mine does, and grows like I fed it miracle grow and steroids.

Pat out your dough, and grab whatever you want to use to cut out your biscuits.  I use anything from cookie cutters (I have given away numerous Christmas tree biscuits, angels, snowmen, etc), to glasses.  My favorite is a plastic tumbler about 4 inches in diameter.  I pat out my dough to about an inch thick, give or take.  Then I cut out as many biscuits as I can get out of the dough.  Whatever scraps are left at the end make a wonky biscuit and tastes just as good.

They will rise as you cut and place them on your baking sheet.  If your oven is warm or your kitchen is already warm, they’ll grow faster.

Place them in the oven and let them bake.  I allow a good 20 to 30 minutes due to the size.  I also place water in the bottom of the oven, usually in a cheap pie pan or bread pan or something that can hold a lot of water.  The moisture helps the baked goodies rise higher and nicer.  It works well with these yeast biscuits too!

When they are golden brown (as in the first picture), pull them out and butter them.  If they look like the picture directly above, they’re only half done.

My average biscuit runs around 3 to 4 inches in diameter with a 2 to 4 inch height.  No joke!!  One is a filler, especially when baptized with some homemade gravy (or the powdered mix–my favorites to make).  Pull these apart, jelly them up, cover em with syrup (like a pancake), make monsterous bacon/egg biscuits, etc–these will definitely fill you up!

This is definitely a goodie to learn how to make!

Once you get the basic recipe down, you can tweak it to make cinnamon raisin biscuits (think Hardee’s type), or any sweeter treat for a surprise!  My son helped make some over Christmas, and we iced them with chocolate frosting for a very delish breakfast. 🙂


A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-HomeTip Junkie handmade projects

A Handmade Life–Part 3–Cooking From Scratch

Today is part 3 of “A Handmade Life”.  Again we begin in the kitchen, this time with cooking from scratch and using those potholders and aprons made in part 2 of this series.

Cooking from scratch really isn’t that hard, and it’s pretty rewarding.  Think about it–throwing together a nice meal and having your family/friends/guests gushing over it all..and not having to hide the boxes!  <wink>  There’s benefits of cooking using the scratch ingredients vs a box mix or opening up a can.  You get the freshness of the item you made, without the preservatives.  It won’t sit and look the same on day 5 as it did on day 1.  You also get the choice of what is used in your recipe–you choose what, if any, fats, sugars, type of flours, meats, veggies, etc, without having to rely on someone to make that decision for you.  If you or someone in your family have food allergies, you totally understand!

I personally enjoy cooking from scratch.  It saves us a lot of money in our budget, and I get to practice on recipes new and old.  As in the picture at the top, that is made from scratch cobbler filling with freshly cut apples and spices and a few other ingredients.  I enjoy pulling together ingredients from the pantry, the fridge, freezer, etc to make a dish, a full meal, snack, you name it.  The kids, well, they’re not as thrilled, but they’ll survive.

For my kitchen, I keep basic things in supply as much as I can.  I purchase spices in bulk when possible.  I like to shop at a Mennonite shop in Missouri, which has containers of spices in all sorts, from just a wee bit to pounds.  I’ve purchased many packages of basil, Spanish paprika, cinnamon by the pound, star anise, nutmeg, and so much more for a fraction of the price I’d pay at the local grocery store.   I also purchase a year’s supply of yeast at a time and keep it in the freezer.  I’ve also been known to buy a 50 pound bag of stone ground wheat flour and store it in the freezer as well.  Baking sodas and powders are a main stay in the kitchen as well, and I buy multiple containers at a time and pour into a larger covered bowl or cannister instead of tracking down which box or can is open at the time.  I’ve found that recycling those little cottage cheese, butter, and other plastic containers with lids work excellent for this.  Simply use a sharpie and mark what’s inside and keep the lid on.

I’ve also found that keeping milk powder is a good idea.  It’s as expensive as liquid milk, but it lasts so much longer, and can be stored in the fridge or freezer to keep freshness.  A teaspoon or so of milk powder blended into a recipe can make a nice taste difference!  A $14 dollar box (at Walmart) lasts us around 6 months to a year, and is used in biscuits, bread, and other items, with a quarter cup or less of the powder used at a time.

Flour is a huge huge item in my kitchen.  I purchase the cheapest white flour I can find–white flour is a base for just about every baking project, gravy, sauce, that we use.  I purchase either at Aldi’s or our local grocery store (with a 10 cent difference, I’m not overly worried about travelling across town to save that 10 cents if it’s going to cost more than that in gas and then time).  Honestly I prefer the smaller 5 pound bags, which fit great into the freezer, but also I’ve purchased 25 pound bags, froze them for 4 days (to kill any possible travellers that may have snuck in from factory to home–I do this with all grains), and used a flip top container to hold it all.  Now I simply use a recycled coffee can and refill as needed.  I keep white and wheat on hand, sometimes rye, and corn meal.  With those basics, one can make many loaves of fresh bread, biscuits, rolls, cakes, muffins, tortillas, and use as a base for sauces and gravy as well.  There’s tons of tried and true recipes for all of those! 🙂

For scratch cooking, I keep a few (yes a few) sets of measuring cups, spoons, mixing wooden spoons, cookie cutters, and other utensils.  Hubby and I put up a board with tons of holes (I can’t think of the name right now, but the kind that you put hooks on and hang things, like in a mechanic’s shop or garage), and I have lots of hooks and hangers on it to hold my most used utensils and cups.  Oh, and the aprons.  With easy access to what I need/want to use, it makes cooking a lot easier.  I use an old blender top with handle as a means to hold utensils at the stove as well.  It holds up and I can fit a lot of spoons and spatulas in there!

Pots and pans are an essential as well.  I’ve been blessed in this area!  I have multiple stock pots, frying pans, and soup pots of all sizes, as well as 2 or 3 roasters, many bread pans, pie pans, bread bowl pans, muffin tins, crock pots, and other items to cook in.  Ok, so I do have too many, but I’d rather have too many of these than not enough to cook a good meal.  Anyhoo, it’s very hard to cook without these–how are you going to bake a loaf of bread or a pot of soup or the like without the proper pan or pot?  Pick what style you like, teflon, cast iron, etc, and take good care of them.  They are your best friends in the kitchen!

Next you need recipes.  All cooking is is simply reading instructions in a recipe and doing what the recipe says.  Seriously!!  Whether it’s one your great grandma used and handed down from her great great great grandma, or one you found in Paula Deen’s cookbook, it’s still a set of instructions of how to put ingredients together in what order and what to do with them.  If you can read, you can cook.  I really like the Betty Crocker cook books, the ones with the red covers.  I’ve got 3 different ones of the Betty Crocker series, and they are my lifesavers.  I’ve learned how to make the best bread, sauces, cinnamon rolls, and other dishes from the Betty Crocker books.  I truly recommend the Betty Crocker books!

Using the basic ingredients, the cookbooks, and your pots and pans, you can whip together a nutritious and hearty meal for your family, with little to no preservatives involved!  During the growing season, you can bring in fresh produce from the garden (or farmer’s market) and quickly make soups, casseroles, salads, side dishes, main courses, and not have the processed canned food in use.  As your experience in cooking grows, you can make your own pastas, tortillas, flat breads, grind your own flours, etc!  Your meals become all that more flavorful and nutritious the closer it is to the original source!

Why not try scratch cooking if you haven’t before?  🙂  You’ll be glad you did!
Raising HomemakersA-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home

Removing The Clutter

As I’ve been taking out boxes of books, removing some old school desks, and bags of new or unused sewing patterns and putting them all in the truck, I’ve had time to think about the simple act of removing clutter.

The clutter–we all have it, even if in small amounts–that builds up in our homes, our day to day lives, our minds, our hearts.  It permeates if not tended to, taking up precious space and collecting dust.  It creates a look of chaos in the home, the feeling of chaos in our minds and hearts.

Today I am decluttering our house.  At least one room anyway.  Our main living area is our dining room, and so it collects everything.  I do mean everything!  Papers, toys, clothing, shoes, books, dishes, you name it.  If it can grow legs, it collects there.  This is my work area today.

Do you have a lot of clutter in your life?  Do odd and end things pile up in a corner over there, stack up on a table over here?

It’s easy to talk about the physical clutter and how to clean and get rid of that.  Now, what about the clutter in your mind and heart?

Do you have clutter in your spiritual life?  Do things piled up–thoughts of life and all the things to do, worries of finances, health, etc, clutter up your mind and heart and leave a chaotic space?  Do the thoughts that invade from the world clutter up your prayer life?

Just a few things to think about today as we go about cleaning and working on our clutter. 🙂