Until Next Time

A little more than a year ago I started my Simple Year project. When I took over this blog, almost three years had passed since I’d left a long-time teaching career, which included very early mornings, a long commute, and lots of stress. Quitting helped me find more balance, make new friends, and be a different kind of mom. I’d also hoped to address the numerous home and personal organization issues which had been bugging me.

But early last year I was stalled, and stuck, and overwhelmed. I needed to somehow find a way to focus, and organize my plan to organize, which sounds pretty redundant and just a bit pathetic. There is a saying I’ve always liked, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” and though I tried to approach my project the way I taught my students, my true role was that of a student.

I think this blog, and all of you who were kind enough to read and comment and share your own ideas and experiences, were my teachers over the past year. Even if I didn’t get to respond, I read and appreciated every single comment, especially during the many moments when I felt behind, or frustrated, or just tired of sorting through another box or pile of stuff. And knowing that people were reading and relating provided additional motivation. Writing a blog is a great way to keep yourself accountable, I learned. Even though I often fell short of my expectations, I was okay with admitting that I’d made an effort, and when I was faltering. I was okay with admitting when I failed. But I never wanted to come here and admit that I just gave up.

Overall, I made a lot more progress than I would have if I had not been blessed with this opportunity and outlet. I wouldn’t have thought of taking photos of all the boxes and bags I donated, but those photos make me feel proud when I look at them and I hope they provided some inspiration. And I wouldn’t have known that others struggled with similar challenges in running their homes and their lives.

The journey continues...

The journey continues…

Even though a little more than a year has passed since I started, I’m not finished. I might even say I still have a ways to go, which is a fact I can live with. I’m not sure when it happened, but I realized it’s never done. It’s always a process. I’m going to keep donating things we don’t need. I’m keeping my dream of parking the car in the garage one day. I’ll continue to write my monthly menu plans and not really like cooking. I’ll try every day to do a little something because that’s the least I can do, reminding myself that little steps add up to big improvements.

And so I say good-bye, and thank you. My successor will introduce herself on Friday, and I’m excited to begin hearing her story. I loved all the submissions and thank everyone who took the time to send them. There was so much creativity and heart in all of them. It was a tough decision and I hope you all decide to start your own blogs because there is no such thing as too many great ideas. It has been an honor and a privilege to have shared this past year with you.

32 Responses to Until Next Time

  1. Tracy, I think you did a really great job. It is a process and ongoing. I’ve been on a Minimalist journey now for 3 years. I’ve gotten rid of more than 1/2 our stuff and it still keeps coming. I’m older than you but I can say with some certainty, just keep going. The more you release the better it is. Today I dropped off 2 boxes at goodwill, it felt good. plus I’m giving away all my Waldorf play silks tomorrow. yes, I could sell them but , really, someone will enjoy them.( She has 3 children under 5). Just keep going and thank you for your blogging this past year.

  2. I will miss hearing about your efforts, successes, and life in general. I think I commented only once but am proud of you and the impetus you gave me to deal with my own clutter. I’m glad there is a person–mom, wife, and caring individual (the whole package) like you on this Earth. Warmest regards.

  3. Thank you Tracey, I have really enjoyed hearing about your year. I have been trying to simplify my life and home for the last six years and realised it is not always a linear process.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story Tracey – I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts this past year. I still use your trick of having a different bag for each activity my daughter does and always keeping it restocked and ready to go. Best of luck with your journey from here.

  5. Thank you for sharing this past year with others who are traveling on their own journey towards simplicity. I’ve really enjoyed your perspectives (the good, the bad, the ugly : )) and used your updates to kickstart my own decluttering. It really is an ongoing process: declutter, organize, repeat. I hope you will pop in from time to time and let us know how you’re doing. Good luck!

  6. You have done a great job! I’ve been inspired by your progress and thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts. One box and bag at a time, it’s a success!

  7. I agree with others, you have inspired me to keep trying. I have enjoyed your year’s entries. Your end-of-term assessment gave me pause to look back on my own efforts and consider what grade I might obtain. Best wishes in your ongoing projects.

  8. I wish you the best, and you might be interested in the becoming minimalist blog, where if you pre-order his book, you can participate in 12 weeks of decluttering challenges which include the garage! Take care! It may be that the accountability and community (there are over 1K doing it on a private FB page once you join) are just what you need to keep going.

    • Thank you Amy, I’d heard of Becoming Minimalist but didn’t really have a chance to follow regularly. But I will check it out. The garage was definitely the hardest part so I could use some additional inspiration, especially since I don’t have the accountability of the blog.

  9. I have really enjoyed reading all your posts, thanks so much for the inspiration! It is always hard when the year is up because I just want to keep reading the posts that I have been getting all year but then the new blogger arrives and we are off and running again. Thanks again, I will miss your posts.!
    Best wishes,

  10. Although I haven’t commented on any of your posts I have read and enjoyed them all. The idea of meal plans are helpful as I also find cooking a chore. Best wishes to you and your family.

  11. I really enjoyed following your progress over the last year Tracy. Will miss hearing from you! Best wishes on your journey 🙂

  12. Tracy, will really miss reading your posts and seeing the cute pictures of Emma. Your posts were always interesting, inspiring, honest, and realistic. I really appreciated that. Best wishes to you and your family.


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