I’ve been de-cluttering in more ways than one.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the start of 2017 has brought so many shifts for me. In my physical space, my thoughts & around money. For this post I am just going to focus on sharing about decluttering my physical space, otherwise this will become a novel & I know you have other things to accomplish today.
January started with a massive decluttering of our house. You might even say I have embraced minimalism. My husband & kids were seriously concerned. When I get stressed I tend to clean & get rid of stuff. Somehow making the space around me organized & less occupied with ‘stuff’ helps me focus & become more calm. Everyday when there was another garbage bag (or several) of donations by the door after school Molly would ask ‘What are you stressed about now mama?’. Matt thought I was giving away our lives. Mim resisted the most (she’s the most sentimental in our family & resists change very strongly). For me, there was too much unused stuff everywhere I looked & it was overwhelming me. Books, clothes, papers, shoes, toys, dishes, overflowing junk drawers (I seriously had one in EVERY room of my house).
All of this ‘stuff’ began constantly attracting my attention, frustrating me & weighing me down. How many throw pillows does one family seriously need? Why was I holding onto my shoes from our wedding 16 years ago, when both my daughters have bigger feet than I do? Why was my daughter’s room still filled with polly pockets & dress up clothes that stopped fitting 5 years ago? Why did we own 23 dinner plates? It just all became too much.
Our house is small. I mean really small – under 850 sq. feet & there’s 4 of us. We also share it with a small dog, a large ornery old cat & a very resiliant fish (Mim is very hit & miss with feeding & tank cleanings – it’s a wonder he’s made it these last 2 years). It’s an understatement to say storage space is at a minimum & there’s simply no room for anything that isn’t useful. Yet we had lots of it crammed it in every nook & cranny.
Taking Marie Kondo’s philosophy of ‘If it isn’t useful & you don’t love it (sparks joy) then get rid of it’ I began. So many trips to donate unused items & toys (Value Village or Salvation Army are my usual spots). Consigning clothes that don’t fit or I didn’t wear that someone else might value & use went to the consignment store (Moda is great in Inglewood or SalvEdge boutique). Books went to our free little library or to Fair’s Fair to sell. The clutter disappeared a little bit every day & I felt better, lighter & like I can breathe & relax in our house now. Another upside is there’s less dishes to wash, less laundry to fold, less ‘stuff’ to put away & simply less overall. There’s space to move, to sit, to think, to appreciate what we do have. I love it. Having less physical & visual clutter led to me being able to start focusing internally…now this part gets really hard for me…but I’ll share that in a future post.
Having less stuff (to put away, clean, organize & take care of) meant I had more time to focus on what was important – my family, my business, my health & personal growth. There’s a great line in the movie Fight Club that says ‘the things you own end up owning you’. That really resonated with me.
If you’re looking to have less clutter in your life there’s a few resources I love; Marie Kondo’s book ‘the life changing magic of tidying up‘ is terrific. I can’t say I followed everything completely but took many of the elements that worked for me. Allie Casazza’s website has some good tips (especially if you have young kids & very little time) & the documentary The Minimalists on Netflix was also so great.
For me, having less is not about getting rid of things I love, it’s about loving what I do have.
One of my favourite things is PAYING less for things I love. Did you catch last week’s post all about our once a year one day only earth day sale happening April 22? Would you love to get new photos of your family this year? Check out all the details here & mark your calendars to save $100 off photography! See – less is better 🙂