i need simple


My dear friend Maegan just wrote a beautiful post about living more simply, and it struck a chord with me. You see, I suffer from depression, it’s no big secret, and if you’ve known me for any time at all, you probably already know this about me. I’m not one to hide behind it or use it as an excuse. I just deal with things a lot differently than other people. It is what it is. The person most affected by it would have to be Ken, because I am 100% real around him – the good and the bad. But he hangs in there through it all, and without him, I would have never accepted it for what it is.

Having said that, I am affected most by my depression when things get out of control. For example, if the house becomes a mess, I can’t wrap my brain around what needs to be done, so I do nothing. Until one day, everything clicks and I clean clean clean until it’s done. I don’t know how to explain it – it just creates an overwhelming grip on me, and I can’t break out of it long enough to figure out what needs to be done.

Or if my desk was messy, I would just brush aside anything that needed to be done. Sometimes, that meant bills. It’s silly to forget to pay your bills, but when you suffer from something like this, it’s like you know they are there, but you can’t even fathom taking three minutes to pay them. Luckily, I’ve never let it get too far, and I’ve been able to keep things paid on time for a long time now. But that’s how I live.

And being the homemaker, I felt like it was my job to do everything around the house. I felt like I couldn’t ask Ken to help … until we had to pay late fees. I always felt so stupid, like I couldn’t even sit down and take care of something simple like paying the bills.

But I realized that if I was organized and if I kept things somewhat clean and clutter-free, things moved along much easier. If I organize the bills when they come in and then sit down every Monday morning and pay them, everything gets paid on time. Or if I set up a little schedule on what to do around the house each day, it stays clean.

This is where simplicity comes in. Clutter = me feeling overwhelmed. The more simple we live, the easier it is for me to function without feeling like I’m drowning. So this month is going to be a serious cleanup month in the Hoskins household. I’m going to be working through each room and getting rid of unnecessary clutter. I’m going to be organizing the garage and linen/coat closets so we have more room to store the clutter that we actually need.

Emma’s toys are going to get a major overhaul, and then we will be enforcing the “one in-one out rule” (1I1O) … anytime she brings one new toy in, one toy must be donated.

Same 1I1O rule goes for any items of clothing that are not necessary (i.e., underwear is a necessity, a new sweater is not).

It’s also time for me to start getting busy making Emma clothes with the huge fabric stash I have right now. I refuse to buy her new dresses when I have so many patterns for cute dresses/skirts and the ability to make them myself. I’m also going to work on making some really cool things for her that won’t cost as much as a new toy will.

Anyway, this is where it starts. Will I blog about everything? Probably not, but I’ll try to update when I can on what’s going on. Maybe take some pictures, too, if I’m brave enough to show you the messy befores. Yikes.

Baby step #1? I’ve kept the kitchen clean for 2 days. Yes, this is a big deal for me. Most of you will think that it’s easy to just unload the dishwasher in the morning and then load it all day, run it at night, and start all over the next day. But little things like that are things that I have to work really hard to do. 2010 is the year to make the positive changes that will hopefully lead to me doing things like that without even thinking twice.

I feel like 2010 is going to bring some big changes for me. And for us as a family.

25 Comment

  1. Erin says:

    I can relate to this so much. There’s always so much that needs to be done that I feel like I just shut down. Yet when I get it done, I feel better… I just sometimes can’t get my brain to do it in an orderly fashion. I’m working on that, though.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..A Thrill Of =-.

  2. Saj says:

    Well said! I can’t believe how crazy I can get when clutter starts to take over. And I think you said in another post that you tend to buy a bunch of stuff to help organize, which just adds to the clutter. BINGO! It’s a daily struggle for me. You’re not alone!
    .-= Saj´s last blog ..Here goes nothing! =-.

  3. Lady –
    I am so with you on this one – in every way. I spend a lot of time figuring out ways not to let the broken parts of my brain win… Sometimes I succeed.
    .-= Lisa Rae @ smacksy´s last blog ..Smacksy Saturday Photo: What I’m Listening To =-.

  4. Kelly M says:

    I can relate in so many ways! I am the same way with cleaning. In fact, I have just recently been through a major cleaning phase. I sit and wonder WHY I don’t just maintain. I totally get what you mean. I hope we can simplify here too. Wish me luck!!
    .-= Kelly M´s last blog ..Another Petit Elefant Giveaway =-.

  5. Maegan says:

    Keli, I’m so with you! A big part of my 2010 goals involve getting rid of the excess in my life and much of that is physical stuff. I feel like I spend way too much time just taking care of all. our. stuff!!! I’ve been organizing, weeding through, and throwing out all week long. And the whole “It’s silly to forget to pay your bills, but when you suffer from something like this, it’s like you know they are there, but you can’t even fathom taking three minutes to pay them.”…I about cried when I read this! So true. We actually started out the year with an overdrawn checking account…not for lack of funds, just because I never got around to depositing our money. Brilliant, huh?

    I hear ya. I’m with ya. I love ya! xo
    .-= Maegan´s last blog ..Intentions… =-.

  6. Jess says:

    I can totally relate as well! And I am clutter-er by nature, unfortunately. If I have a counter, its gonna have stuff on it. Piles. I love to make piles. Then I look around my house in disgust because I have so many piles of JUNK everywhere. I feel like I have ADHD when I clean as well, no focus on anything and I never finish what I start.

    I think your goals are awesome and I am excited to begin this journey right along with you!!

    Good luck!
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..New Year’s Resolutions =-.

  7. Suki says:

    I wish you good luck in getting more organized this year.
    We all have our little packages to carry and when I read your blog I noticed that everyone has a story and is has not the easy life like other people, unaffected people have.
    I do live in a well organized chaos too. :)

  8. wendy says:

    Love your blog Keli. Love your flickr pics and have followed you over here. When I first was married, everything more was better in my mind. Now I can’t stand all “my stuff” and strive to live more simply too. One thing we did this Christmas was cut our own Christmas tree right from our little woods on our property. It was free, easy (we didn’t have to haul it on our car) and just a little satisfying being self reliant. I think you are awesome to be so open about your struggles!!
    .-= wendy´s last blog ..moments not to be forgotten =-.

  9. Beverly says:

    Wow, great post. I am a lot like this but I never thought I could be depressed but maybe I am?! My goal is to declutter this year. I have been working on this since this past summer and now I am going to get it done once and for all!

  10. tammie says:

    thank you for sharing. i feel exactly the same way many times. good luck with your 365 (i’m doing it too) and good luck with simplifying.
    .-= tammie´s last blog ..end of the year =-.

  11. Bo says:

    The most important step in this whole process is to purge and get rid of “stuff”. It controls more of your life than you think it does. Clean out an area, then go back and get rid of 4 more things in that same area. I am speaking/writing from experience. One of the best things I ever did was get rid of stuff (and I made money). Don’t feel like you have to keep something because someone gave it to you years ago. They gave it to you, you enjoyed it then, you will always remember them for it, now give it to someone else (if it’s something you do not use). Keli, you and Ken can do it (yes, it will take you both) and I promise you, yall will see a difference in your lives. Go for it, girl. If you can’t do it, call me and you and Ken leave home for a few days and I will clean it out for you (remember your stuff in your Dad’s shop). Love you lots and am proud of the young lady you have become. Mom

  12. Melissa says:

    I MUST be organized to function as well, but I tend to not shut down but get VERY moody and grouchy. My husband says that I spend 90% of my life organizing and reorganizing, but it keeps me sane.

    I think it sounds like 2010 WILL be a great year for you – share as much as you can – I love it! Sharing amongst others keeps us all inspired to keep at our goals as well.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..two-thousand and nine… a very good year =-.

  13. Casey says:

    Good luck with everything! I’m struggling with a lot of the same things. Clutter is a monster in our house, and I can’t wait to get rid of it! It may be a little at a time, but I’m gonna do it. Your post is helping me get inspired.

    I hope you’ll post about the things you sew for Emma – I’d love to see them!
    .-= Casey´s last blog ..Here’s Hoping… =-.

  14. Christie says:

    I feel the same, exact way as you. Clutter and mess that I know I should get rid of brings me down, too. It is so weird that something so simple as that can turn you in an instant, but it does. And I think starting 2010 with being organized and more simple is a great idea. Maybe I can reel myself into doing it, too.

  15. Wow. This truly sounds like something I could’ve written myself – with the exception of making clothes for my kids (totally not crafty like that!). I, too, feel overwhelmed and do nothing as it spirals out of control. I finally did relent and looked at my husband a few years ago and said “you have to take the bills”…too many late fees for no other reason than I was too overwhelmed. We also have a new deal we just worked out in the past few months…one makes dinner and the other cleans up. It seems simple but, as you know, sometimes the little things make you feel so out-of-control. Thanks for posting this. I feel slightly more “normal” now. Hugs.
    .-= audrey @ the lewis 4´s last blog ..a look back =-.

  16. Melissa says:

    Oh my goodness, you could totally be speaking from my head right now. I struggle so much with the very same issues. I suffer from “the downward spiral” as I call it. I love your plan. I, too, feel that if I could ever get on top of the clutter and cleaning (I’ve been trying since we moved into this house 2 1/2 years ago) I would be so much more lighthearted. My husband totally doesn’t get this and thinks I’m crazy.

    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..If there is no struggle, there is no progress. =-.

  17. Thanks for your honesty Keli. I can relate. I do the same thing…when things get to be too much, I shut down and/or ignore it. I have this craft room full of paper scrapbook supplies that I don’t use, probably won’t use and it’s time to just let it go and let it free me. Here’s to a great 2010. I’ll be with you on the journey.
    .-= jen@ourdailybigtop´s last blog ..Happy Birthday MG! =-.

  18. I hear you there! I have periods where the black curtain closes in around me and I just can’t do anything until it lifts. It always feels good to get things back in order again.

    Here’s wishing you a happy 2010, and thanks for sharing!
    .-= Erika Mulvenna´s last blog ..A New Addition =-.

  19. jen says:

    keli hon – totally with ya. i suffer from “overwhelmed syndrome” myself. i look at all that needs to be done, i get overwhelmed, and i do nothing.

    what’s helped me? the flylady. she is awesome. when gabriel was a baby and i had collected so.much.baby.stuff and had a house overrun with cloth-diapering-business supplies, she taught me to let it go, to love myself the way i am, and to take baby steps to get things done. check her out, read some of her essays. it may change your life. http://www.flylady.com. i still cry when i read some of her writings.

    .-= jen´s last blog ..today’s fave 12.24.09 #2: christmas bokeh =-.

  20. Hope says:

    I hear ya! Sweet sassy molassy, I hear ya! I get into these ruts and I don’t take care of things… and it just makes everything worse. I also find that I think I need more stuff when I have too much of it. I can’t find anything in my closet/dresser because there is just too much crap in it. So I end up buying a new shirt instead of wearing one that I just couldn’t find.

  21. Jade says:

    This entry made tears well-up in my eyes. I too suffer from depression and I too get so consumed sometimes that I can’t even fathom cleaning up the mess on the kitchen table or making that phone call I’ve been putting off. And I too am lucky to have a partner who has stuck with me through it all and picked up the slack when I just couldn’t bare it.

    I want to strive to make things more simple this year too: I believe it is necessary in order to obtain happiness… to obtain sanity… to obtain peace of mind.

    Wishing you, Emma, and Ken a fantastic 201o.
    .-= Jade´s last blog ..Intense Complexities… Intense Simplicities… =-.

  22. I read this on my phone the other day. Sometimes it is not conducive to leaving comments so I did not. But as I read I prayed. And I prayed that God will not only make this year one that is filled with blessings but that he will help you use your challenge to help others.
    .-= Life with Kaishon´s last blog ..Our Architectural Failure =-.

  23. Mrs Soup says:

    Yes exactly. I hear every single word in this post, especially the overwhelmed bits. And especially the keeping the kitchen clean.

    I’ve added your depression and simplicity to my list of things to pray for you….it’s amazing what accepting the knowledge of what to work on helps though. It’s like it’s a switch that makes it able to be dealt with.

    You can do this. We are ALL here for you.
    .-= Mrs Soup´s last blog ..I Am. =-.

  24. I love how real you are… how honest.

    We all need simple things, whether we admit it or not… and I think it’s beautiful that you are aiming for all this in 2010, I wish you the best of luck!
    .-= Johnna LaFaith´s last blog ..fairies : one =-.

  25. […] live near family that dropped by randomly, I might come close to being considered a hoarder. This post resonates so much for me that I have it bookmarked and sometimes I go and read it again on days I […]

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