one small change: our january re-cap

by eringoodman on February 8, 2010

in at home

I’m a little late in sharing my One Small Change January re-cap (one very important change I made this past month is that I am spending much less time online, which makes keeping up with e-mails and blogging a little tricky) but I am happy to report that January was an amazingly transformative month in our home.

(For anyone who is new here, you can read about the One Small Change project and why we chose “clearing our clutter” as our family’s first step here.)

As I scroll through the photos I’ve downloaded from the month, I have to pinch myself to believe that these photos were taken in our house.

Recycled wooden clementine boxes, painted with chalkboard paint, now sit on the shelves my cousin Dan built for us. Project supplies are grouped and ready for us to dive in when inspiration strikes. Then when it is time to eat a meal on our table, supplies get tucked back into their box and returned to the shelf.

I have been cooking SO much more — and really enjoying it! A clean sink + a well-stocked pantry + clear kitchen counters = joyful, creative, healthy culinary expression.

Pizza dough rising on our wood stove.

This kids have been pitching in to help and we’re working together to create a weekly chore chart. Lily especially “gets it” about how much better it feels to live in a home where we can find things and enjoy our space.

We have not yet solved the issue of where to store all of the materials I use for my workshops and John and I both use for various volunteer jobs we hold, but this quick fix (an old batik that has been everything from curtains to a beach blanket to a table cloth), hung minutes before friends arrived for a potluck, is actually working quite nicely for the time being.

In our cleaning we also did some shifting and re-focusing. Our couch no longer faces our TV. (Hooray!) It now lives in the middle of our living room, flanked by cozy chairs, facing our woodstove, inviting us to gather — as a family and with our friends and neighbors.

And that is just what we are doing in February for our contribution to the One Small Change project.

We are gathering.

We’re hosting potlucks. (Something we were not able to do when our house was in a constant state of cluttered chaos.) And enjoying homegrown, casual music. And looking forward to gathering and sampling local food and drink at the 2nd Annual Evening of Refreshment on February 27.

I will be sharing photos and snippets of our gatherings here, along with my thoughts on why I believe gathering in community is one of the most important steps we can take towards living a simple, mindful, eco-conscious lifestyle.

Want to join in by making One Small Change in your home this month? It’s not too late! Check out Hip Mountain Mama’s blog for all the details.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

eringoodman February 8, 2010 at 8:02 am

i would just like to say for the record that our kitchen is a *mess* this morning! there was much gathering (and football-watching) this weekend and very little kitchen cleaning.

oh well. a good chance to reinforce what i learned this past month and start fresh tomorrow!!! ;-)



Denise February 8, 2010 at 8:51 am

it looks good Erin. We just had a group of jr. high boys over and you are right – it is good to gather. It was a fun time. I’m trying to spend less time on the computer and more time doing other things too. it just feels right.
.-= Denise´s last blog ..a boy in my kitchen =-.


minnesota:madre | Sarah Jane February 8, 2010 at 9:00 am

Looks great!
.-= minnesota:madre | Sarah Jane´s last blog ..365 :: January 2010 =-.


Jill B February 8, 2010 at 9:11 am

Looks awesome…nice and cozy!


Hip Mountain Mama February 8, 2010 at 10:25 am

Your photos look so great! I have to agree that an organized and somewhat clean house makes for more peaceful days! I love your plan of “gathering” for Feb…sounds like a lot of fun!
Thanks Erin…I am so glad you are participating in this project!


kristen gilmore powell February 8, 2010 at 10:42 am

Your lovely spaces look great! I love the recycled clementine boxes. I also included the goal to decrease internet use in the evenings as part of my 2010 intentions. It feels great!
.-= kristen gilmore powell´s last blog ..more on yoga =-.


Zanna February 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Looks beautiful, Erin! And I bet it feels even better.

I’m decluttering, too, but it’s a slow process… totally worthwhile, though!


Hillary February 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Fantastic–and I also love the idea of gathering for February. It just warms the heart :)
.-= Hillary´s last blog ..flowers13: New Post: RT @flowers13 Family Strategy =-.


Ivy February 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Erin, it looks great! I have a hard time keeping up with the clutter, which tends to zap energy, so I am really impressed with all that you’ve done. And I love your idea for Feb.

I haven’t done Hip Mountain Mama’s challenge, just because I couldn’t think of other small things to do that we haven’t already been doing, but you have come up with some creative ideas that I just love. So while I haven’t done any personally I’m loving all of the ideas I’ve been getting from those of you who are doing it.
.-= Ivy´s last blog ..Hope, Peace, Love and Harmony =-.


MamaBird February 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Oh, your home looks warm and inviting, and clutter free. I am a huge believer in living clutter-free and I often go over-the-top in clearing stuff out… only to wish I still had it later. We all must find the balance.

I love that you are incorporating your kids into the weekly routine; we’re still trying to get in that flow here.

And I am so drawn to you intention to gather. We’ve been spending more time gathering as a family by our fireplace this winter (and less time in front of the TV) reading, playing games and telling stories. We kicked off the month with a potluck amongst our tribe of families , and this weekend we are having a multi-family campout (in Florida, we can do that in February) out on a friend’s ranch. Happy gathering to all!
.-= MamaBird´s last blog ..Back-In-Time Valentines =-.


renee @ FIMBY February 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

These are awesome changes Erin. just awesome. I love the sounds of your home more peaceful and less chaotic. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


kyndale February 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm

A peaceful home is a peaceful mind. I am so grateful to have you and others that inspire me to keep going on the path to simplicity!
.-= kyndale´s last blog :: valentines =-.


Kate February 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm

It absolutely makes every difference doesn’t it? I can’t think when my house is over-cluttered ~ a cluttered house makes for a cluttered mind!
Good for you! :)
.-= Kate´s last blog ..My Everyday Magic 2/8/2010 =-.


6512 and growing February 8, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Wow. I think you did a lot in one month. And the best part is how much you and your family are enjoying your de-cluttered space.

I recently decided to not use my computer at all on Saturday. It is interesting to observe the craving to check my e-mail if Dan has the computer on. It’s almost physical – this escorting myself away from the computer.
.-= 6512 and growing´s last blog ..Col wins this round =-.


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