Practical DIY No. 7: Caring for A Cast Iron Skillet

Do you want to cook with a cast iron skillet but don’t know how to clean it? Have you heard that a cast iron skillet is easier and healthier than traditional cookware, but then somebody says you have to “season” it and you’re checked out?

Me! I was that girl and I’ve learned how to competently cook with a cast iron skillet, so I’ll share what I’ve learned. (I’m no expert, but the food is edible and the skillet is surviving.)

A few don’ts… Never soak it. Never put it in the dishwasher.

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The Value of Time

The focus in our group this week is to think about the value of our time. We talked about donation versus selling and the recurring theme of Stuff = Time. I like to compare our jobs as Managers of Stuff to any other job. How much would you pay yourself to manage the process of getting rid of your stuff? When you think about your time’s worth in dollar amounts, it’s easy to reason that selling something is often not worth the loss of time it actually takes to sell the thing.

A few of our ladies, myself included, have talked about the freedom that comes with donating something and donating it fast. Once it’s gone, it frees your mind to no longer think about what you are going to do with it. It’s not just the time it takes to organize and care for the thing, but it’s also the time we spend thinking about what we are doing or going to do with it.

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All The Things

I feel like conversations are missing. Conversations about stuff. Specifically Stuff. Like right now I’m sitting in a chair, wearing sneakers, socks, sweats, fingerless gloves, and three shirts, and a blanket – because I’m a cold girl. I also have on my glasses and a little jewelry. Next to me is my purse with my wallet, phone, journal, pouch, glasses case and I’m holding an iPad.

Lots of stuff exist on or with me in this moment and none of it really matters without me needing or wanting it. What a weird conversation to have. But I am sorta the weirdo friend that says off topic things because I’m pondering out loud or shifts between 3 different stories in one sitting.

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The Sequence

“Where are you in the sequence?” I say this to my adults-in-training frequently. “How was the situation before you played a part in it? And how can you leave it just as good, if not better than you found it?” For example, last week my daughter was painting. She cleaned up after herself pretty well. Nonetheless, she is a child and cleaning up is a life skill that improves with age I think. As we were getting ready to leave the house, I noticed that there was a jar half-filled with water holding a paint brush left on the art table. I asked her to finish cleaning it up and think about what her place was in the sequence.

Had she found the paint brush and jar in that condition before using it? What could happened if she left it on the table while we were gone? Perhaps a cat would have jumped on the table and knocked over the paint water creating a mess for her (me) to clean up when we got home. What was her part in the sequence?

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Practical DIY No. 6: Hair Ties and Push Pins

I’ve struggled with losing hair ties at the bottom of my drawer. Even if I always place them in my bathroom cabinet drawer, they seems to slowly disappear over time until I’m hard-pressed to find one. I needed a better solution.

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Throw Me A Line

It happened again. I wondered around aimlessly looking for something I knew I had but couldn’t find. It was somewhere and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to find it, but I kept looking for 10, 20 minutes of my life. Wasted.

It’s been almost 3 years since I’d danced this dance. Me and my stuff, in my house. The last item that set me on the journey to declutter for life was weed-eater string. Weed eater string for my husband, because I knew we’d bought it at least the last three times he’d needed it.

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Don’t Blame Your Mama

How much stuff do we keep for the Great One Day? We say things like, “My mom taught me to keep everything in case I need it One Day.” or “I’m going to fix that One Day.” or “I’m going to make something else with that One Day.” One Day is not a day. Today is a day. Tomorrow. Yesterday. This Thursday is a day, but One Day is not a day.

There is a generational curse of Clutter Keeping and I think it’s roots are embedded in learned behavior.

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Practical DIY No. 5: The Bird and The Squirrel (Lamp)

My husband says I’m difficult to shop for. It’s probably because I say things like “I hate lamps that look like lamps, but we need some lamps for the house.” In my head I know what I mean, but in his head anything he buys is going to be wrong.

In my head what I mean is I hate lampshades. They always get dusty and bent or are too short or too wide, plus the cats love to rub up against them and knock them over with their tails. I went online to search for unique lamps and eventually found this beautiful Seletti Bird Lamp. I was specifically looking for lighting options in our bedroom and I loved this lamp, but it was more than I wanted to pay so I kept looking for cheaper options, and I kept finding other cute animals holding pendant lights. I just loved the playful aspect of them all but I was hard pressed to find anything under $100.

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“Getting rid of stuff is freeing. It’s so freeing… It’s addictive… It’s empowering…” It’s… it’s… it’s… all of those things, if you’re ready to get rid of stuff. But maybe you like you’re stuff. Maybe you don’t want to get rid of a lot of stuff but still feel overwhelmed organizing and caring for all of it. It’s OK to like your stuff. We (collective we) buy, keep and store many things for many different reasons. Many. Different. Reasons.

We need and desire to have things to assist with our everyday lives and the lifestyles we choose to lead. Some items have memories attached to them and it’s hard to let go because we feel like we are letting go of the moment it represents. Stuff is personal and getting rid of stuff can be hard. Doesn’t sound very freeing when you think of it that way.

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The Fastest Way to Clutter

It’s like there’s some right of passage we must all make to grow up and be able to fill a home with furniture. Don’t believe the social lies.

I honestly think the quickest way to clutter a home is to overload it with furniture. Furniture is big, bulky and often offers some form of storage, giving more opportunity to hide smaller things.

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