The countdown for Christmas has arrived! Every store I walk in the shelves are full with holiday toys, decorations and food. With all the materialistic consumerism and commercials and the stores pushing the “buy more, have more” attitude, I thought this would be a good time to start a series about minimalism. When I first started purging my house I didn’t know much about minimalism. My main goal was to get rid of the junk so I could spend less time picking up and hopefully reduce the stress and anxiety I felt as a result of all the things we had. In this series I’ll cover everything from how I first discovered the concept of minimalism, strategies to attacking the clutter, how to incorporate your kids in the process, and where we are at now in our journey. Minimalism is an exciting and freeing topic for me. I hope you all enjoy the posts and find some tips and tricks that will help you!
First, let me paint you a picture of our house in times past. If you were to walk into my house just a couple years ago, you would have been greeted with toys EVERYWHERE. Our front living room was converted into a playroom (more like a junk room full of stuff). The family room was overflowing with toys, there were baskets of toys in mine and my husband’s room, and of course our daughter Aubrey’s room and closet was bursting at the seams. I don’t use the terms overflowing and bursting at the seams lightly. It was literally an obnoxious mess everywhere you went. We accumulated all of these things through the generosity of family, friends, holidays, and of course my husband and myself. I only had one child at home but it felt like we had twelve! I wish I had pictures to show you the mess we had. Actually, maybe not it was quiet embarrassing. Instead, I will share a few pictures I found that will give you a glimpse of what I’m talking about.
I mean the cuteness is too much, but that mess! *Sigh
The over abundance of things was more than anyone could handle. Even my daughter was overwhelmed with all the toys and stopped playing with most of them. The few toys she did play with all she had to do was push a button and be entertained. That, of course, only lasted for a mere 2 minutes at the most. After some time, she stopped playing independently and needed someone by her side to keep her entertained. As a result of all of this, the mess got worse as I was trying to balance spending time with my daughter and keeping up with the mess. I started to become anxious and stressed out all the time. Instead of spending quality time with my little one I felt like I needed to be cleaning and organizing. My time became consumed with picking up toys. No matter how many times I organized, re-organized, and picked up I could never keep up with the mess. I even tried rotating toys as so many people suggested. It never worked for us. The toys would be packed away for months and I would forget about them or not want to take the time to bring them out again. It was then I realized, my daughter never once missed those toys or asked for them.
So one very stressful day I just could not stand it anymore. I became so angry with the overwhelming mass of junk that consumed my house. The mess, the chaos, I couldn’t handle the stress anymore, so I set out on a mission. I grabbed laundry baskets, boxes, and trash bags and decided to get rid of everything. I quickly realized that was easier said than done and I became overwhelmed with the massive task at hand. I had to prioritize on where to start and divided everything into categories so I was sure to get things accomplished. Now keep in mind most people start with their own things then move onto their kids possessions. Since our daughter’s things were what was taking up the majority of space in our house I decided to start there. I have slowly made progress over the last 2 years after taking endless trips to goodwill, salvation army, consignment stores, the list goes on.
Since I’ve started purging I’ve become much more familiar with minimalism and the thought behind it. I’m still working on getting rid of things and clearing out unnecessary excess in our home. Although I have made huge strides from where we started to where we are now. Whenever I walk into our house now I feel more relieved and less burdened simply by purging what was unnecessary. I’ve also noticed a huge difference in my daughter and how she plays. She will actually go play by herself for hours with just a few toys. Her imagination has blossomed into something extraordinary. Most important I can enjoy my time with my kids and even a little time for myself instead of concentrating on what to do with all the stuff. It has made our household a freeing and happier place to be.
If you’re interested in minimalism or just want to cut down on the clutter stay tuned for my next post about strategies on how to purge the clutter in your house!