The year of less

So I have been thinking a lot about my plans for the coming year.  In years past I have felt motivated to do more with my blogging: blog more often, do more tutorials, get sponsors, redesign the site, go to conferences, make patterns, the list goes on and on. But in recent months I’ve felt very strongly that I should do less.  I realized that all those things don’t come very naturally to me and are just not a priority.  I don’t think I’ll ever be a professional blogger, sewing competition winner, book writer or a pattern designer, but for now, that’s okay.

While I love this blog and I’m proud of what it’s become in the last few years, I haven’t felt much joy in blogging recently.  I feel like I’ve been busting my ass off to build the blog up, but I’m not really sure what I’m aiming for anymore.  And it’s hard to stay motivated when I feel like I haven’t been particularly successful at it.

Hideko and I have also been feeling pretty frustrated with the state of our home.  We are both naturally messy people and we constantly collect things. Our already small apartment is filled with clutter everywhere and while it drives us crazy, we can’t seem to find a solution to stop it.

We also feel like we just never have enough time to do all the things that we want to do. Our schedules are packed with lots of great things, but it doesn’t leave room for the things that we should be doing or need to be doing.  And it doesn’t leave time for doing nothing, and that makes us feel frustrated as well.

So after a lot of thinking and talking we realize that the one thing we need more of in our life is nothing. And less of everything. So our theme for this coming year is simplify.

you and mie // simplify

I realize that this is a very common idea for many people, to try and simplify their lives.  And I don’t know if there will be huge drastic changes in our lives, not right away maybe, but I’m hoping that this word will seep into every decision that we make. Before we buy things, we will have to ask ourselves, do we need this?  Will it make our lives fuller, or will it just make our home fuller? Before we set our schedules and commit to activities, we will have to ask ourselves will this enrich our lives? Or will it make our schedules more hectic and take away time from other meaningful things?  I’m hoping that this way of thinking will help our physical and mental well being as well.  Physical clutter can weigh you down in ways you don’t even realize and I’m really ready to just let things go.

So this year, I’m hoping for less. Less buying, less spending, less making, less doing, less eating, less commitments, less multi-tasking, less blogging, less tv and electronics, less stress, less clutter, less crap. And in turn I’m hoping for more time, more saving, more space, more family, more peace, more music, more playing, more creativity and imagination, more health, more walking, more reading, more breathing, more mindfulness.

you and mie

And yes, I said less making.  Or perhaps I should say, more purposeful making.  I feel like I get caught up in making things just for the sake of making something.  I am invited to participate in truly awesome pattern tours or blog series’ or a cool new pattern is released and while I sometimes make things that we need, I often just end up with something that wasn’t really necessary and sometimes doesn’t get used or worn at all.  And it’s to the point where the girls’ drawers are spilling over and we don’t have enough hangers in the closet.  And sure I can put it into a snazzy montage of all the projects that I made in one year, but really, we just don’t need all that stuff.

And I worry about what I’m teaching my kids.  Yuki is at the age where she has started asking for things every time we’re at the store.  I want to teach her that we shouldn’t buy things just for the sake of buying things (which I’m totally guilty of).  And our home isn’t here to just fill with as much stuff as possible.  I’ve been able to watch Yuki play in a variety of places recently and I was amazed at how long she and other kids were able to play in a open space where they were able to use their imaginations and interact with each other.  While in places that were filled with toys and stuff, they seemed to get bored quickly and needed much more attention from the adults.  I want Yuki to want less and appreciate more.  And I want her to know that we don’t need very much to be happy and healthy.  And that what we do have, is actually A LOT.

you and mie

So anyways, I’m not sure what that means in terms of this blog. I definitely won’t be blogging quite as often or as regularly. I may not blog at all, except for my Miss Matatabi posts (which I’ll still be doing). Or maybe I just need a little break and I’ll come back feeling renewed and motivated!  We’ll just have to wait and see. But I will keep sewing and making, probably just at a slower pace. And if you want to keep up with whatever I’m up to, with sewing and family and what not, please follow me on Instagram – it’s one of the things I just can’t quit!!

Thank you to those of you who have been so supportive and been along on this bloggy ride with me so far.  It really HAS been fun and I love the dialogues we’ve had and the flow of inspiration that goes around and around.  I really do appreciate you and I thank you so much for being here!

So Happy New Year to you!  I hope that you get everything you want out of 2015 and more!  Or less, as the case may be 😉

Much love,

you and mie


75 thoughts on “The year of less

  1. Best of luck to you! I have been trying to simplify also. It’s a slow process sometimes but I have much more time to enjoy life now and I am starting to enjoy blogging again….and everything else. Good luck to you. 😃

  2. Wow…we are a lot alike! I wish I were a naturally clean person, but tidying up is just not that important to me, until my house is a wreck and I can’t stand it! We started daily chores (I feel like I must be a kid needing a chore chart for myself) to help me battle my messiness! This year I want to enjoy the process, of everything. But it’s funny with this internet world creating more quickly seems to be everyone’s goal. I want to slow down and enjoy the process of making this year. I want to enjoy the process of parenting this year. I just want to enjoy the process this year 🙂

    • Haha, glad I’m not alone – we JUST started up daily and weekly chore lists too 😛 I hope it goes well for you. I’m finding it pretty difficult to make any real change (besides the break in blogging), but I guess we can only take it day by day.

  3. you’re blog has always felt authentic and i am sure that takes a lot of effort. you are a wonderful seamstress and your little family is so sweet. i love your instagram account as well 🙂 it is so easy to get caught up with life online and all that that means. kudos to you for trying to change in the new year.

  4. I hear you! I feel like I spend the whole time in a store with my kids saying “no” over and over. Ive actually started telling them as soon as they ask if we can buy things, we’re leaving. That made them stop 🙂

    If i chose a word for 2015 it would probably be along these lines. I want to take my time with makes and make them really well. I want to cut down on all the extranneous stuff and have time for things that have fallen by the wayside. Like gardening, family walks, enjoying nature with my kids.

    Here’s hoping you have a wonderful, simple year!

    • That’s a good idea (about getting your kids to stop asking to buy things), I should try that! I hope that you have a chance for all the things you want to do too! We should all check back in in a couple of months 🙂

  5. I hear you on this one! I’m naturally a sentimental hoarder and I often find myself taking care of objects that I don’t use or need. I’m definitely trying to do better with this in the new year but it feels as if I’m fighting against my true nature. I know it’s for the better though so the battle continues.
    I also hear you on trying to cut back on the needless buying. I told my husband that we should change our amazon password to either “needversuswant” or “wantisafourletterword.”
    Best wishes in the new year!

    • Oh, I feel ya! I think what I’m realizing more and more is that we can’t expect ourselves to suddenly change and become uncluttered people, but that we just need to revisit it every couple of days or weeks or once a month to make sure it’s not getting out of control. Best wishes to you too!!

  6. We are on the same wavelength my friend!! I can totally relate to this. I have thought seriously about quitting my blog, but decided to leave it and just blog when I feel like it. I still love making (obviously) but it’s more the documentation that is driving me nuts. Have you heard about the book “The life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo? I actually saw it on Sanae’s blog- I am reading it now and working my way through our house. It is amazing how good it feels to get rid of extra stuff that I have been hanging on to. You should check it out! Glad to hear you will still be on Instagram 🙂

      • I Just. saw that book on Jen Hewett’s blog and looked for it at the public library, 92 people on the waiting list!?!? can you even believe it? and an additional 42 for the digital copy! must be good then right??

    • Yeah, the blogging part can be soooo time consuming and not always very rewarding. Haha, yes, I read about that book on Sanae’s blog also, but thought her little 2 point recap was enough 😛 But people kept talking about it over and over again so Hideko bought it, and I’ll be reading it soon hopefully!

  7. You got it girl! I hear ya! I’m excited for you. And it really resonates with me about making things just to make them. As I’ve gone through my house and de-cluttered this fall and winter (and I read the same book as Kelly), it really hits home making me realize I made stuff that I never even used. It feels a bit shameful. Now focusing on making things and then giving them to someone who will use them or really considering if I should make them in the first place. I’m trying to be super selective about what things I make my girls. So easily I’d find something to make them to wear that I think they’d like, make it, but then it would just sit in their drawer. Anyway, I hope we both find this year – that less is more.

  8. You’re in a season of life that’s busy even if you’re just trying to eat and sleep! Everything has a season. Maybe blogging will be front and center again, maybe not! Either way is cool. Life is good. Will happily check out whatever you share whenever you share it!

  9. Thanks for this post, Cherie, you are so right on the money with all of it. I just got that book Kelly and Anna (and Sanae) mentioned, and I read through half of it last night…I think it would speak to you! I’m completely inspired to declutter and purge all the unnecessary things in my life. And blog-wise, I just long for the days when I made what I wanted to make and shared it if and when I felt like it. It’s taken on a life of it’s own and it’s just totally crazy (and pointless, it seems) sometimes. Like everyone else, I look forward to whatever you share, even if it’s just photos of your beautiful family! xoxo

    • Haha, this book is everywhere! So we bought it and I’ll read it as soon it arrives! I’m glad that a lot of people are feeling the same way and maybe we can make blogging more of an organic thing again, rather than it feeling so forced. I wish you the best, Gail!

  10. I started feeling this way last year and really got sick of making things just because I liked the pattern, or loved someone else’s version- and then to have to take pictures and blog too? It takes time, and it’s not always fun (though much of the time it is- mostly because of all the great people in sewing blog land). Anyway, I started selling things to friends and on etsy because I could not stomach only making things for my kids when they already have so much, including so many hand-me-downs. Making something special and selling it gives me a different sort of satisfaction. I like knowing that someone will appreciate one unique thing made by me. It still keeps me sewing (which I could never give up!) but doesn’t make me feel like it’s too self-indulgent or gratuitous. I’m still making for the kids, but way less. I love that last picture of your family. That is what it truly is about! XO

    • I didn’t realize you sold things on Etsy! Very cool – I’m glad that you’ve found something that works for you! I don’t know if selling things is right for me, though I’ve totally considered it. I guess we’ll have to wait and see! 🙂

  11. Wise words. I just couldn’t agree more with you.
    Simplify has been my motto for quite a few years – we also live in a small house and when the kids were born I just knew this was the right option. They don’t have many toys – but never seemed bored and they surely don’t lack creativity and whenever something is needed, handmade is always our first option (and they still prefer handmade over something bought at a shop. Even the older boy, who is 14!). Obviously, blog-wise that means that I might be missing some “opportunities” but I prefer it like that – It keeps me focus on the important things (and judging by your last picture, you certainly made the best option). Happy 2015 🙂

    • That’s so great that you’ve been able to keep the number of toys and store bought clothes down. It’s a struggle for us and I think that it’s hard when your kid is already used to a certain amount of toys and lifestyle to help them also understand that less is more. But it’s certainly not impossible, so here’s to trying! Thanks for the encouragement! Happy 2015 to you too!

  12. I can really relate to this post. I’ve slowed down my own sewing for the kids unless they actually need something. Love your goal! Hope you have an amazing 2015!

  13. I am a big fan of your blog and really enjoy reading about your projects, but I won’t enjoy it less for there being less of it, especially not if you enjoy it more. Wishing you all the best in 2015 and especially in your decluttering quest. For me (also naturally messy) it feels like a continuous battle.

    • Aw, thank you! That means a lot to me. And yes, it is a continuous battle. I’m realizing that decluttering is not a one time thing, but it has to be part of our routine from now on. Best of luck to you!

  14. love this post Cherie!!! so many awesome and authentic thoughts here, I’m so excited for your decision and hope it brings you lots of joy!!! (also selfishly hope you’ll still feel inspired to post occasionally, because I love reading but totally understand if not!)

  15. Well I think I’m really going to miss your posts! but I really identified with the entire post (minus the blogging part since I’m not a blogger). I have a son who is about near the same age as your daughters and I’ve been thinking the same things lately. For the last year I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to keep our home organized and clutter free and have failed. Somewhere I read that you can’t put things away if they don’t have a place. SO THIS YEAR: everything needs to find a place and the things with no place that I don’t use – letting them go. (maybe store them in the basement for a few months just to make sure I’m ready to let them go lol)

  16. Happy new year! I love the idea of simplification and am trying it too. One thing that totally jump started me was having a swap with some girlfriends. This one was all kids stuff. The nice part is because I was giving things to friends I pulled out a lot that I would normally consider too “nice” for goodwill (I felt like I should sell it because it was nice, but then never actually got to it). I volunteered to take everything that got left behind and donate it, which I did the next day so it was out of the house. Though I did acquire a few things at the swap, they were small and things we’d truly use. I got rid of much more than I took and didn’t spend a penny. Plus, girls night! Good luck to you! I enjoy following you on Instagram, I had a blogging revelation similar to yours a few years ago, and it sure gave me more time with my family!

  17. Amen! Nice to hear someone from the blogging world (who I think is quite successful although you don’t seem to think so – I would consider you to be one to the most creative sewers out there!) admitting that all of what they do is alot! I got post natal depression many years ago and realised then that the only way I survive is with a lot of down time so I have time to breath. Hope you are able simplify – I know I really enjoy it (although I often feel inadequate because I am not doing 1001 things 100% of the time). Also good to see that some of that is for your health – as we get older it is even more important to eat well and maintain some kind of fitness.

    • Thank you!! Yes, it is hard to feel like you’re not doing enough – but I think it’s a fault of our society – it puts too much emphasis on doing EVERYTHING. But what’s the point, really!? Anyways, thank you for your encouragement and very kind words!

  18. Will this mean less pics of your gorgeous girls? Nooooo! Maybe I’ll have to get into this instagram malarkey everyone keeps talking about… Good luck! Hope it works, and hope you’ll give the rest of us some tips.

    • Haha, yes, definitely less pictures of the girls. But if you do get on instagram you will see pleeeenty of them. But be careful, it’s easy to get addicted to IG – I know I did! Anyways, thank you! If I have discover any secrets, I’ll be sure to share 🙂

  19. Cherie, first of all, love that picture of the four of you at the end of your post! Second…I hear ya!! I’ve been feeling pretty much the same way for the past several months…the constant …I need to make this to blog about it kind of thing is exhausting and often times unnecessary! Thank goodness for IG to just be able to show sneak peaks, right?! 😉 I wish you luck in your simplifying! I admire you for it, and hope to do a little bit of the same thing as well! Happy New Year! 🙂

  20. Agree, same here, planning for a year of less as well in many respects, though I won’t apply it to blogging currently, still enjoy that immensely 😉 Looking forward to your incidental and inspired creations!

  21. I’m new to your blog, but I think your plan for simplifying is great. I too recently told myself that I need spend more time doing something I value, and not just something to fill my free time. Good luck.

  22. Preach, girl! I love your thinking and applaud your resolve. I am struggling with many of these same feelings (and the whole issue of shopping with my 5 yo, who wants to purchase everything he sees…. ugh, don’t get me started!!). I wish you a happy, simpler and more fulfilling 2015!

  23. I felt the same thing after few months I started my blog, I was thinking do blogging is not my priority and I restrain myself from sewing unnecessary things for my children although I wanted to make for them. I bought less toys, clothes and fabrics last year but I still feel that I have too much stuffs. You have made wise decision, Cherie. To simplify my life and to lessen more are two things that I’m focusing this year. Wish both of us have wonderful year of less, cheers! 🙂

    • Thank you, Yeka! Yes, I feel like it will take a long time to get to a life of true simplicity. But as long as we’re working towards that goal constantly, right!? Best of luck to you!!

  24. Love this post – I’ve been trying to simplify too, in my case by cutting out spending but its reaching other parts of my life slowly and its such a satisfying thing to do, even if its just bit by bit – I hope it goes well and you enjoy it! Really interesting thinking about what we teach kids too – about what makes us happy and how much of the material things we actually need. Happy New Year!

    • Thank you! Yes, I can see how it all is connected! We started planning meals to cook at home, so we wouldn’t eat out as much and spend extra money or waste money on food that goes bad in our fridge because we don’t use it. And because of that we are eating healthier and I’ve started enjoying cooking more since we’ve been devoting more time to it! Anyways, happy new year to you as well!

  25. Hi Cherie, I just came here because I had the feeling it has been very quiete around you 😉 All that you’ve said above makes so much sense and I wish you the best of luck with more nothing! I’ve been thinking along similar lines, too. Things change and priorities change. With two children (same here now) time gets even more precious – and flying. Enjoy your family and offline life!
    Lena x

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