To me one facet of simplifying making do with reclaimed, recycled and jerry-rigged stuff rather than purchasing new things. But another facet is decluttering. Which creates a bit of a dilemma when I'm working at the local public school at the end of August cleaning up after the music school weeks and sitting in the lobby, waiting to be picked up to go to the landfill are two ratty-looking gym mats.
I knew that if I brought home two ratty-looking gym mats they were likely to be clutter 95% of the time. What to do?
I took them home. They filled the living room floor for about a week and then went up to the loft, our storage area, where they helped cushion knees as we crawled around under the low ceiling. Mostly they just sat there looking awful, but thankfully nobody saw them much. (The photo shows them upside-down, with their firm, but relatively un-ratty sides facing upwards. Trust me, the more cushiony right sides are UGLY.)
After aikido today, the mats came down from the loft. Since the living part of our house is concrete slab floors with just a thin layer of no-underlay grotty carpet, no one would want to go ka-thunk-flop on them as-is. All day the three younger kids have been busily practicing aikido on the mats. They are thrilled to have them. They've been working like crazy on their rolls, helping each other, coaching Fiona, refining their skills, and the mats have made all the difference.
It was a lucky break and a good call, freecycling those mats last summer.