Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Days 1 – 40

There are probably plenty of things that I could give away in the kitchen because I’m not the primary cook in our family and I only have a few standard menus. In order to avoid marital disharmony, however, I decided to take the low hanging fruit. (which were actually quite high) – baskets. As handy […]

It occurs to me that even with all the things I’m giving away and throwing away, I still have much left. When I put myself in the shoes (now only one of 13 pair of course) of young adults or people with growing families I think this project would be much more difficult, perhaps not […]

Today’s photo doesn’t look like much but I had recently cleaned out the linen closet in our main bathroom so there wasn’t much left to get rid of. I did, however, find an old electric blanket that I never use because I’m not sure I feel safe having something electric on me overnight. I also […]

We had 1,339 books in our house in the year 2000. I know this because our youngest child counted them. It was partly my attempt to give him a simple chore each day during summer vacation and partly curiosity. I’m sure it’s over 1,500 by now because we keep adding and seldom subtracting books. I […]

I had already gotten rid of a lot of baby clothes by giving them to the teenage mother we’re helping. I thought there wouldn’t be much left  since obviously our adult children could no longer wear the kids clothes I had stored in drawers. I was wrong. Commemorative t-shirts were the culprit! I was amazed […]

While pruning and purging the bedroom I found a number of miscellaneous things that don’t really fit any category, but need to go to a home that can use them, not just store them. I found a box of mementos from the US/Soviet Peace Camp our family did before the iron curtain fell. (I’m passing […]

Today was my first challenge to give away something really valuable. I hesitated about the one suitcase that was in really good condition, but I really never travel with more than a carry on so I don’t need two. I decided to send it to a good home and then added several sub-prime bags. I’m […]

I’ve been out of town so I figured Halloween costumes would provide some quick and easy choices today. I probably should have chosen more, but you never know when you might need a gag costume. What you see are things that will be thrown away – the home-made pterodactyl dinosaur collar, the tie-died shirt with […]

Life is starting to interfere with my well organized plan of giving things away. Our teenage friend had a C-section a week ago which meant being with her during labor and numerous trips to bring her husband back and forth to the hospital while also trying to help him get a job. Meanwhile, my parents, […]

I used to sew. I still mend but rarely do serious sewing anymore. Guess I can throw away that zipper – I’ll never make anything that requires one again. As you can see most of the things in this photo are in the garbage can. I only saved remnants that were big enough or unique […]

I’m jumping from the bedroom to the dining room today because yesterday Jim and I had to clear everything out of the dining room in order to repair the ceiling. This interruption to my plan uncovered numerous items tucked away in corners and behind bookshelves. A room that I hadn’t considered cluttered revealed some hidden […]

In order to save money, in the early days of our marriage I sewed a lot of simple curtains. Most of our windows are now dressed, thank you, but I still keep the fabric from previous homes and decorating stages because it’s large and flat and could be made into something else sometime. What? When?

I don’t know that the photo adequately captures the bulk of this day’s give-aways. I’ve been saving extra bedspreads for kids going away to college, setting up their first apartment, etc. Somehow they are currently settled in somewhere in the world without these items. But maybe they’ll boomerang home and need them? Susan, stop fantasizing.

Under the bed is such a handy place to store things. Out of sight, out of mind. In fact so far out of mind that I found some bed skirts that I didn’t know I had and thus had bought new ones. Mostly, however, I found a stash of purses. Some were nice but I’ve […]

Three questions for today: Do any women wear slips anymore? Why do I have 5 that I seldom wear? Does anyone really want to wear my used panty-hose and tights? Why do I have a bikini that I wouldn’t dare wear anymore and a swim cap nobody but Olympic swimmers wear these days? I threw […]

I’ve been pondering how pure my motivation should be about giving things away. I have to admit that a lot of what I’m giving away so far is rather satisfying because it’s decluttering our bedroom. It has taken some time and some cleaning, but it hasn’t really been sacrificial – at least not yet. My […]

OK, I realize these are primarily female clothes again, but I’m reluctant to throw away stuff from Jim’s drawers. Besides I don’t think you’d like to see his drawers. Again today I decided to wash one nightgown before deciding whether to give it away or now. The spots came out. I think I’ll keep it […]

Today was more of a challenge because in order to decide which tops to give away I had to get out many of my contradance skirts and dresses. So much of my clothing is mix and match and that is good but it also means that tops are dependent on which skirts they match. I’m […]

I decided to divide my tops into long sleeve and short sleeve. Perhaps I should have combined the categories, but I don’t want to run out of groupings before the 40 days are up. I think this kind of thinking contradicts the spirit of Lent and generosity – but then I’m also giving up guilt.

One of my packing strategies for trips is to take a bunch of scarves so I can make three outfits out of one. Scarves are also a small and light accessory which helps me fit everything into a carry on – a constant goal of mine. In reviewing my scarves, however, I did find some […]