I’m keeping it short and sweet today because I’m on a mission… in a couple weeks I have a bunch of friends and family coming to stay, and I’ve just realized the house needs turning upside down. I am unable to stop myself walking into every room of the house with the eyes of a visitor, “They’ve been here two years and they still have unpacked boxes?”.
What was even in these boxes? Why do I have so much stuff I don’t need?! As someone that has moved house twice in three years, I know very well that we have way too much stuff. And since our last move two years ago we’ve only added to it further. So I’m here for a personal intervention… less stuff is on the immediate agenda; and to help I’m having a brief look at minimalism and what it means. It’s not procrastination, its research (cough, cough).
I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but at some point after having children I became a hoarder. The twins closet makeover required sorting of stuff before I could get stuck in, and this sparked a mission to declutter the house. I have made a new friend in the process; the charity clothes bin outside Safeway. Once I sorted a single box of high quality kids clothes to sell, I still had 12 trash bags busting with adult and kids clothes to get rid of. My new friend is a three minute drive away and it took me moments to dump the entire lot into its belly. Why on Earth didn’t I do this last month, last year? Heck… I even had two boxes of kids clothes that were shipped over from the UK over three years ago.
It’s very common for parents to hoard baby clothes, and it not only affects women:
“I was unbelievably frustrated. I didn’t understand his fixation with this giant bag of torn and stained clothes that no one was ever going to wear again.” (B Sanders, Romper.com)
Is Minimalism the answer?
Beyond the hoarding of adorable socks, I’m getting really fed up with tidying up… anyone else? The twins are a walking/running path of destruction these days. I feel like one of those vehicles that drives along the road on autopilot, picking up trash and cleaning surfaces behind them.
In reading the welcome page to The Minimalist Mom blog, I soon realized less stuff would really make my life less complicated. No DVD shelving for the twins to throw to the floor with one arm swoop, no cubbies stuffed with dozens of shoes that end up deposited in every corner of the house. No cupboards full of plastic plates bought for a picnic 2 years ago that get pulled out onto the floor every.single.day.
In dipping my toes into the world of minimalism, I came across the wise words of Joshua Becker, author of ‘The More of Less’ (affiliate link):
“Minimalism slows down life and frees us from this modern hysteria to live faster. It finds freedom to disengage. It seeks to keep only the essentials. It seeks to remove the frivolous and keep the significant. And in doing so, it values the intentional endeavors that add value to life.” (becomingminimalist.com)
That pretty much sums up what I want from life right now… less hysteria; more freedom; intentional endeavors. I’m hoping these words of wisdom may resonate for others, as they did for me; and I’m sure I will come back to this later and consider how all this decluttering affects the design and function of my home. So, without further ado… I’m keeping this post short, because I have some more purging to do.
Update: Six weeks later I share what I’ve purged and what I’ve learnt. Tips from my experience, and the experts on how to declutter and organise your life… read the post here.