Choosing minimalism isn’t something I would have ever expected of myself. I’m more of a hoarder/pack rat, if you will. I am really, REALLY good at accumulating stuff that I never use. It’s like a special talent I have. However, I was beginning to feel stuck before I began minimalism. Like big time. With one baby and another on the way and feeling like I was big time stuck playing the “let me try to keep my life in order” game.
Let me tell you what I hate. I hate being stuck.
Being stuck in traffic.
Being stuck in a gate. (Yes that happened…I thought I was going to have to grow old with that gate.)
Being stuck sitting.
Being stuck cleaning. You name it, if it even remotely smells of being stuck doing something than I’m not going to like it. My husband likes to point out that the reason I could never go on a cruise is because I would be stuck on a boat.
With that being said, I decided I hate being stuck with stuff.
Stuff that steals my time and clutters my home. It makes me frustrated and feel like an inadequate housekeeper while sucking away a ridiculous amount of my time that could be spent doing something other than rearranging STUFF.
I went on a big minimalist kick before our second baby. I wanted life to be simple and easy to keep up with. However I’m finding that I didn’t let go as much as I should have. Now with two children I find that it’s easy to accumulate so. much. crap.
IT’S TIME TO GET RID OF THE JUNK.
If all I’m doing is picking up stuff and organizing it over and over again and nobody actually uses the stuff- it’s just there doing nothing. It serves no purpose other than it’s in our home taking up space. Or there’s somebody else who thinks we just “can’t live without it.”
No more broken toys.
No more piles of toys that never get played with.
No more piles of clothes that don’t fit in the drawers.
No more hanging onto single socks because “someday the other one will show up.”
My boys love taking big toy bins and dumping them out. Then doing nothing with the toys. Absolutely nothing. It drives me crazy (it’s a short trip- or so I’ve been told.)
Currently I’m fed up with the piles. I swear if I find one more pile of toys that hasn’t been played with I’m going to scream.
I HAVE A SOLUTION.
We’re boxed it up.
We’re simplifying our lives.
Random toys? Those are going goodbye.
To help get my aspiring-to-be-a-minimalist lifestyle back on track, I’m purging the house big time. I’m going to get rid of as much as possible yet still have a kid friendly home.
I’m finding that minimalism is necessary for my life right now. I need less stuff so I can focus on what really matters, my husband and kids for instance. When I have lots of stuff cluttering my home, I get distracted by everything I should be picking up, or cleaning, etc. etc.
THINGS TO GET RID OF:
Toys: Somehow we manage to accumulate toys on a regular basis. I finally decided that since the kids don’t play with all of them I would get rid of everything they didn’t play with or that was broken. For instance, the dog chewed the head and legs off a small horse that my toddler loved playing with. He still went around the house with the chewed up stub pretending that it was a horse. I appreciate that boy’s contentment and creativity but I figured I’d rather get him a horse with a head……
We’ve still got quite a few toys probably compared to many peoples minimalism standards. But we’ve kept what works for us. We have two different sets of train tracks, a set of wood blocks, a box of legos, and puzzles. All of these things I only get on out at a time. Sometimes the boys will play with that one thing for days! It’s awesome. So yes, we still have lots of toys, but we kept the functional ones. Not all the little clutter-y ones. 🙂
Magazines: Magazines accumulate over time into an outrageous pile. Most magazines can come in digital format these days- look into getting them that way rather than having to deal with the magazines littering your house.
Books: Everyone gets gifted a book at some point that they’re never going to actually read. Get rid of books that you’re hoarding for no reason. That college textbook that you’re never going to use again? Sell it on amazon.com!
Junk mail: Any mail for that matter. I’m pretty sure almost all billing can be done online now so there’s no need to hang on to those notices and advertisements. I used to have an entire drawer devoted to mail. How ridiculous. I sorted through it and threw almost all of it away.
Craft “things”: Oh my, is this a tough one for me. I love projects. Love love love trying something new. But as a general rule I usually give something a try, and once I learn how to do it I move on to trying something new. I like to master new skills and then learn more. It’s a bad habit where I don’t stick with one thing very long. It’s like a compulsion that I just can’t fight- I call it the “new and exciting compulsion.” (I could write a whole post on this compulsion.) And so I’m always accumulating things that I want to try for a “new project” I’m learning how to do. Then I hang on to the supplies I needed for that one project. Now I’m getting rid of the stuff and removing my tools that I only use a couple times a month to the mystical location called the “garage.”
Miscellaneous dishes: My kitchen is already pretty minimal because it’s so much easier to keep the dishes clean when there’s less to wash, however it never hurts to keep sorting through stuff and getting rid of more.
Towels/linens: We have lots of company at our house. I love having people over- it’s just fun. So I have a bit of a conundrum as to how to be a minimalist but be prepared for company. My solution is to have everything in the linen closet ready for company but not in the bathrooms or bedrooms that are used everyday. I’ll make these linens off limits to myself so that I don’t continually have to deal with the pile of towels.
Clothes: I dare you to go in your closet and get rid of ten things. Things that you haven’t worn in weeks, things that are a color that make you look ill, things that shouldn’t be in your closet in the first place, get rid of them all. Simplifying your wardrobe will help simplify your mornings in a huge way and has other amazing benefits on the side.
The freedom of minimalism is that you are no longer tied to your stuff. You own your life and the way your time is spent rather than being consumed with things. When you are able to say no to excessiveness, you can say yes to what matters most to you.
You control what you allow in your life. What will you fill it with?