Monday, March 12, 2012

Living Simply: Stewardship

When I think of a simple life, I think of de-cluttering, buying used, making things by hand.  I think of guarding against materialism and not getting too attached to things.  I think of doing more with less, living within one's means.

I've become a master de-clutterer.  I love the feeling I get when I know there are 8 trash bags full of donations sitting out front, waiting to be picked up by our local charity.  I love going through our dressers, closets, toy boxes and separating the things we need and use from the things that are just taking up space.  I love cooking from scratch, and finding a good deal at a second hand store.  However, in my ambition, I've lost sight of another "Simple Living" principle.


I was reading a "Little House" book to my kids the other day and the thought struck me that the characters must do a lot of repairs.  Not just on their home, but on their clothes, their furniture, their linens.  Not only was there no "Purple Heart" man to come lug away their donations, but they needed those things and knew the wisdom of stewarding what they already had.  They made repairs.

Life creates wear and tear.  In this small house with 5 rowdy kids, there's a LOT of wearing and tearing going on!  The easy thing is to look at a worn item and say, ah well, time to donate!  But perhaps that's not always the right thing.

So, in the spirit of stewardship, today I'll spend watching the rain fall and repairing a few things.  Well-loved quilts with popped seams.  A dearly loved dress in need of a new button.  A chair that needs to be re-glued.  A sweater that needs a shave.

Embracing simplicity - by repairing.  Stewarding.  Making the old new again.

I like it.

How are you doing on stewardship in your home?


  1. I'm sure you've heard the old adage but in case you have not, it is one of my favorites: "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without." Love it. We are kindred spirits in the decluttering dept. Lately I've been reading a lot of Minimalism blogs to help motivate me to be moreindful of what I bring into the house not just being good at getting rid of things. A good deal is not a good deal if I don't need it and only donate it a year later, right? : )

  2. So true! In a time of "Throwing it away and buying new" stewardship of the items we own ,of the land we live on, and of the animals we care for seems not only logical, but humane.

  3. Beautiful blog! Lovely to stumble across. You inspire me to think about stewarding amidst all the purging I've been doing lately, both for Lent and spring cleaning. It's satisfying to haul the bags to Goodwill, but what am I teaching my boys - that we always simply get rid of things? How do we also repair, reuse, re-purpose?

  4. Yes! This is where I am. When is it truly time to let go of something, and when is it time to save it and use it either by creatively repurposing or repairing it?

  5. Where can I find the pattern for that lovely sweater? :)

  6. Thanks for the good reminder. :)

  7. Hello Shannon! That sweater is the February Baby sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It is published in "The Knitter's Almanac" by the same author. You can join ravelry and view other projects and tips by other knitters for upsizing this pattern, etc. Just click on my ravelry link in the bar above this post!


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