Its been six months since we started to get rid of stuff. So much great has come out of this ‘experiment’ that I no longer feel like its an experiment. I know it works. I know this is how I want to live the rest of my life. That said – like all good things in life – you have to work at it.
I have noticed that as long as I don’t go to a store, we are good, but if I need to grab something at a store I don’t usually go to – I still come home with a cute dress for the little or shoes I only sort of needed. This still needs work. To be fair I am better at not buying every cute dress and the one i bought was 2 sizes up in a size we don’t have anything in yet. And I have been wanting the type of shoes for probably close to year. since my last ones of that style were done.
I also noticed I am a lot better at getting rid of things that are too big or too obvious to hide – stuff that is in boxes….feels like its too much work to pull out at sort. I still have not finished projects that I said that once I finish I will get rid of all the things that go with it….
Birthday parties have been successful with curbing buying to things that are indeed needed or are very thoughtful gifts….but maybe its because I am cheap – I cant bring myself to get rid of the extra party plates/napkins etc so we have 3 whole boxes of mishmash party food related paper and plastic. Anyone having a party and want paper plates???
The house has been far easier to clean and I love living in it again. This has helped a lot with feeling like I can be the parent my kids need – but simple summer is about to wear me down! I thought it would be a good thing to build in time to be at home, but the kids are on each other night and day – feeling like our minimal back yard is a bit too small right now.
We are getting there – but it isnt overnight that you can declutter a whole house AND change a entire families mindset and 6 months in I would say we are 80% there, but that last 20% is the hardest and the hardest to stay motivated for.
Have we missed our stuff??? Not at all, and finances have been a bit easier, and dear husband is able to take a vacation for a week – for the first time since our honeymoon 5 years ago.
I just started reading this and love it. The past month I have become very aware how much the bible addresses “stuff”… more often then not you can find Jesus telling people to sell thier stuff, give it away, give it to the poor, to store up treasure in heaven.
One thing I love about God is all the things he asks us to do not only store up treasure in heaven but are also always things that help us live the healthiest most meaningful life on earth. It’s no wonder Jesus preached a minimalist lifestyle even before overabundance was so prevalent. When our eyes are on God rather then our possessions we can be freed of needing to fulfill the craving of stuff -which does nothing but steal our time and joy..freed to love people and to treat our body as the temple and all those other things that we know intuitively are healthy and also backed up by scripture.
the dream of returning to the forests and mountains. This is what motivates me. I used to be an avid outdoor enthusiast…canoeing, backpacking, camping etc before I had kids…I have always drawn my joy and energy from nature. We’ve had a hard few years since kids and my health issues that are directly related to stress and hormone imbalances, hypothyriod chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, some days it’s hard enough getting out of bed …and therefor haven’t gotten out nearly as much as I had dreamed about with the kids.
The days we do have I’m often too tired to go or the house is a disaster or the kids are crabby or what have you…
My dream is to get back to the place where we are not ruled by stress, that cleaning is managed during the week and that even my body can find healing in the process of removing stress and adding in more outdoor time that I know was and is so vital to my wellbeing. This is what drives me to declutter my space my time my emotions…to make space for the thinges that will help to heal me…emotionally, spiritually and physically. And give the gift of nature to my children…the gift that once delighted me that they would be just as delighted and in awe of God’s wonderful creation.
It seems wrong…to be acquirering more space as we embark on a simpler life. But it makes a lot of sence when we look the the future. We need the office space if I’m going to ever love my home…and ever sleep without stress while I attempt to grow a business that allows me to be mostly home while the kids are young.
We need dedicated play and guest spaces as the whole and storage for camping and canoeing which are big passions but much neglected because of lack of access to the equipment needed.
How does it tie in? A year ago we were looking at moving to a bigger house. To a new place, to find something more. In the past 6 months we have discoured this was a bit of a paradox though…. when we bought this house we loved it. It felt huge coming from an apartment! What had changed? 2 adults plus 2 kids plus stuff with a main floor that is all one room…as overwhelming as the stuff was…stuff can be dealt with…but as much as I love my kid’s and they love us…they are getting to an age where being in a room with mom all the time actually was stressful for me and causing them to lack problem solving skills at all and my son has some sensory quirks and being sent to his room feels like punishment but being in the only common area is often too much for him. Extra space means we have room to exist without being on top of each other every waking moment.
Sometimes minimalism isn’t about downsizing….but it’s about not up sizing or moving and learning to be content where you are, and only keeping the stuff that enables to do that.
I like tea. I like having people over for tea even more then I like having tea. Pulled out the mugs the other day and noticed they were stained inside…and of course this would never have bothered me before…but since beginning to purge I’ve started to care about taking care of the stuff I want to keep ….
Anyway back to the story, 10 minutes before someone was coming I frantically searched the Internet on the quickest way to clean mugs. Baking soda vinegar and blue dawn seemed like top quick favorites…since those are staples I’m our house anyway…I didn’t bother following instructions and just put some of each in the mugs…and viola..a little bit of elbow grease and they look beautiful!
Tea was had and enjoyed…but of course I couldn’t stop there…now they needed a beautiful home….so the cup cupboards got decluttered…
And then it didn’t make sence to leave the kitchen a mess…so a few hours later… and another 3 boxes ready to go to the thrift store…
I no longer loath this room….in fact right now it’s my favorite room. In the house…. but I do feel a little bit like the mouse with the cookie…. if you give a minimalist a project….
It’s amazing how tackling such a lived in room can change the whole mood of a house…my house now feels welcoming and eager to great us when we start the day.