Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 1: Tossing the Throw Pillows (Ack!)


The Task: Give away (most of) my throw pillows.

The Why: I had a hard time deciding what to do for day one.  The whole point of this project is that 365 little changes adds up to a radically different lifestyle.  What one little thing could I do to kick off a series of little things?

So I chose the thing that I was most illogically apprehensive about. Some of the things we are going to do in this coming year are understandably frightening and ultimately life changing.  But throw pillows shouldn't be. Right?

But the fact that I am so attached to decorative pillows that I cringe at the thought of getting rid of them is a pretty good indicator that I should in fact get rid of them.

The bottom line is that my throw pillows just don't pass the William Morris test.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris

Sure, they are nice.  But beautiful? No.  And they certainly aren't useful since I've practically forbidden my family from putting their heads on them ever. Most of them aren't even comfy anyways.

Plus, throw pillows need to be washed occasionally and picked up off the floor a million times a day and replaced when they get worn and old or (more likely, since they never actually get used) out of style.

 I do not need throw pillows.

Full Disclosure:  We have two comfy throw pillows that we actually do put our heads on when lounging on the sofas watching movies, and my daughter has a somewhat sentimental throw pillow I made with her silhouette on it (I've blogged about that on my other blog), so we are keeping those ones. All the pillows in the picture above are being donated pronto!

The Verdict:  The part of me that loves to shop and own and swipe my VISA at stores that sell pretty shiny things is objecting big time.  (But who doesn't have throw pillows? Why would I get rid of perfectly good throw pillows. My sofas will be NAKED!)   But I'm excited about what this year will bring.  I'm excited to foster an atmosphere of cozy minimalism in my home and I think that in time I can get used to the look of my naked sofas...maybe.

We are doing one small thing every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!

34 comments:

  1. It is very commendable to admit that if you do not want to get rid of something, then you probably need to you. I hope this year goes great for you guys!

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  3. This exciting and inspiring. We're two lovebirds with two kids, and I plan to follow you in this endeavour and see what I can do, too! We live a pretty simple life, but de-cluttering is needed, for sure! I'm rooting for ya!!

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  4. Love this! I kind of started the "19:21 Project" for myself. I may just have to follow what you do to give myself more specific ideas. Have you read the book 7: An experimental mutiny against excess? If not, it's a must read. It's a lot like your rules. A great book!!

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  5. Wow, today after picking up my pillows for the millionth time I though about how unused they are. Problem is , I bought all the covers off etsy and put a lot of time and thought I to selecting them... BUT they are useless and make the couch look messier. I can do this! Though I might put them in a black bag in my car for a week and make sure I really don't miss them... Then toss them!

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  6. AAUAUGGGH! yay! I am so giddy with excitement....You are already my favorite homemaking blogger, and now. NOW! You are doing this challenge that is EXACTLY what my husband and I need:o) Our "theme" for this year was supposed to be "Simplify". It seems like its not been so, so far..but I am hopeful. I love the accountability of accepting a challenge, and I am having my husband on board...woohoo!! Also, I didn't know (most likely my fault, for not reading enough, not yours...) that you guys were about "real food, from sustainable sources." We made the transition a year ago. Anyway, excited about this new blog, and my newfound (ok, I did suspect...you should see the blue color in my kitchen) knowledge that we may just be kindred spirits:O) Yay!

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  7. Simplifying our lives is something I've felt called to do for several months now. its funny, all the "Rules" you have listed out are strangely parallel with the ones by husband and I have!

    I'm happy to see someone else following the same path and to go on this "journey" along side.

    God bless!

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  8. I just learned about your blog from a friend. It's funny how different people's perspectives can be. I think your throw pillows are beautiful, compared to my throw pillows... oh wait I don't have any! Haha, I would take your throw pillows any day!

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  9. What a great idea, Kelly and Luke....I hope your year goes well and you accomplish what you set out to do. I try hard to live simply...it helps that I absolutely despise clutter and live in a renovation project!

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  10. I love this idea!! I'm on board. I've been trying to unclutter all the spaces in my house but it takes so much time and energy, both physically and mentally. I'm so glad you started this blog!!

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  11. Great idea Kelly. Have you heard of Leo Babauta? he blogs at zenhabits.net, and I agree with most of his writing. He also has a book called "The power of less". It's a great book. I've been thinking a lot about simplicity, as I think it's necessary for me - even though I'm a naturally born messy person! It's great that you've taken on this challenge, and with a task each day, it breaks it down into manageable pieces (avoiding the word chunks here hehe) and makes it seem a bit more achievable! I find it difficult to part with things, so any motivation is great!

    Linda @ makingthingsbeautifulagain.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. Oh my, I love my throw pillows. I love them so much that I recover them instead of throwing them.

    Bet you can fit a few extra friends in the room now...maybe you are on to something.

    simple is good.

    Kimmie
    mama to 8
    one homemade and 7 adopted

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  13. I have throw pillows... 2 big ones that my daughter loves to lay on and two more that my husband and I use... and 4 stacked in the laundry room that I washed once and never put back... I have a feeling that those 4 should find another home! Thanks for the ideas and looking forward to see what ya'll do!

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  14. I love the idea of decorating my couch with throw pillows but whenever someone sits down on the couch the first thing they do is remove the pillows to the floor rendering them utterly pointless. This is a great first post - simplistic yet gets your point across. Best of luck with your journey! I will be anxious to see what each day brings.

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  15. You may consider donating them to an animal shelter. Same with any blankets or towels-they can use items like that as bedding and padding.

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  16. this is such a God thing! no joke just today I was debating internally about getting rid of our throw pillows for all the same reasons. confirmation much? thank you!!

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  17. This is so funny! I was thinking for the first time EVER today that I should get rid I my throw pillows. Then I read this post. Then I read the comments! Maybe God is doing something about throw pillows?!?! I'm with you! Tomorrow my throw pillows are kaput! :)

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  18. Good for you. I'll be following along to get some ideas, I'd love to simplify my life too. Love your reasoning behind it. Best of luck!

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  19. Yay!! I am happy you are striving for a more simple life. I hope that by getting rid of the pillows you will save yourself from the frustration of asking your kids regularly to "Pick those up!", "Don't touch!", or "Don't play with those!". I know there are plenty of other requests to be made in the day.

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  20. I hate my throw pillows, they are pretty and conferrable but they always end up on the floor. I can't bring myself to get rid of them though. Every single day they end up as part of a fort or a "camp site" or a castle or a house for the girls dolls or a house for their "pet dog" (a.k.a. their 2 year old brother). I figure I can keep 8 throw pillows that can be a million things or 50 toys that can be one thing.

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  21. I never saw the need for throw pillows. I don't have a couch. LOL

    I will be following your year of less!

    Belinda

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  22. I'm going to continue to read this blog! We actually did away with throw pillows a few years ago. They just ended up on the floor!

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  23. I've been following your blog for several months now- love it!! All summer I have been staring at 2 ugly throw pillows that we kept from our last couch, wondering why I haven't thrown them away. And all summer long I have been picking them up off the floor- or asking someone else to. It's really beyond time... so thank you!!

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  24. I would love to see before and after pictures! I agree that throw pillows are unnecessary fluff, but don't your sofas look naked now?

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  25. We haven't had throw pillows in years. We never used them and I was getting tired of picking them up out of the floor so often. We have never missed them.

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  26. I'm so excited for you - and thanks for letting us come along! I love that you started this on July 22nd. Not January 1st, not on some "National Simplicity Day" - just a regular, middle of the year, day.

    I'll travel with you, if that's ok. I'm trying to start a professional organizing business - but none of my jobs are magazine-ready, because I don't bring anything (like matching bins or baskets) into my jobs - we just use what the homeowner already has. Extreme? Maybe. But it works for me.

    On my very first job, I helped a 4th grader with a bedroom. We ended up taking all of the decorative pillows off the bed. I told her mom that she'd have to decide - did she want her child's bed made everyday (which the kid agreed to, w/o the extra pillows), or did she want her child's bed to be unmade, but with pillows. Easy decision, she said.

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  27. Lol it so funny that I found this today, because I've been thinking of MAKING some throw pillows!

    But that's because I have an uncomfortable couch and usually end up going to get my pillow from the bed to use. I also tend to be fairly cold natured, so I keep some throws on the back of the couch year round. I find that if they're kept folded when not in use (I just refold whenever company is coming or at the end of the night) that my couch looks inviting and not nekkid without pillows :-)

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  28. LOVE LOVE LOVE that you are doing this and have started a blog just for this. I too have recently been conflicted about all of the "stuff" we have in our lives and have made steps to change that - including a garage sale tomorrow! I've loved reading your other blog for years and am so excited for this new one!

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  29. I'm scared to get rid of them. I have two awesome ones that don't match my couch and two crappy ones that do...I have a dilemma for sure....:-(

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  30. I don't have any throw pillows except two beautiful ones that make my bed look wonderful. These meet the criteria of beautiful and because they were .25 cents each at a thrift store they make me smile everyday so there are useful.
    Your point though isn't restricted to throw pillows. I will now look at my house with new eyes and find the "throw pillows" (pointless clutter objects) that pertain to me. Yes I will hunt them out and add them to the donate pile. It is time for me to face the spirits of past thrift store splurges. :) Thanks so much, Deb

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  31. thanks for sharing..

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  32. well done I have naked sofas too they came with 2 small leather pillows and that is enough for hubbby and I to rest our heads on when we venture into the lounge to watch TV I rarely leave the kitchen (but it has a TV in!)

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  33. I've been thinking about it since July, maybe before Thanksgiving.

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