Monday, 4 November 2013
I’ve written before about how I’m purging and letting go of all the extra crap in our house. And surprisingly this phase hasn’t been just a phase. It’s still going strong 6 months into the year.
I think part of the added oomph is due to my soon coming return to work. I’m only ONE MONTH away! Do you know how long 12 months is when you’re waiting to return to your dream job? SO SO RIDICULOUSLY LONG! I’m thinking my current situation is a bit like nesting that happens in your last trimester of pregnancy. You want everything in order before the baby arrives. In the same way I’m hoping to get everything in order/cleared out before I return to work and my life changes forever.
The other reason the purging fuel is burning strong is due to
drinking the Kool-Aid reading more about minimalism. I’ve always been attracted to sleek modern interior design. The simplicity and clean lines and open white space. It’s only been recently that my Pinterest searches in this area lead me down the trail to minimalistic living. Living with less in order to spend more time and money on what matters most – family, charity, vacations…..
I also discovered the Tiny House Movement. People who build homes (most of the time on a trailer in order to be mobile) with an average of 180 square feet. They downsize, pay cash for their homes and live with less stuff. It’s so appealing to me. Check out TINY: A Story About Living Small on Netflix if you’re interested or check out the Tumbleweed home designs.
Because I dream all the time about selling everything and moving somewhere crazy, this lets me dream about selling everything and living wherever we want/traveling around the country. It get really excited about it. And while it doesn’t seem to fit our family right now, maybe it’s the perfect retirement home?
The thing is, I can’t get enough of this stuff. It’s like crack. Looking at tiny homes and minimalist’s blogs is stirring up this fire in me to GET RID OF ALL THE THINGS! And today I stopped for a minute to figure out why. Because I’ve always lived with less than most people, I’ve always loved organization and purging (thanks mom for passing that along), so why this newfound passion?
It’s what I’m feeding myself with. Most times its from the Pinterest feed.
I used to look at big homes with back yards. I’d see what houses were for sale in the neighborhoods we liked best. I read about storage and organizing (which is different from simply living with less), and I’d dream about MORE.
But now I look at LESS. I see tiny houses and read about capsule wardrobes and spending freezes. And you know what? Not only does it make me want to clean out all the things, it makes me so thankful for what I have. I can treasure what I have, use the items often and well, and have room to breathe. And that desire to have more, more, more, is gone. Most of the time.
Right now I have a long list in my head of all the areas we need to clear out and evaluate. I have to be ok with taking things one room or one closet at a time. I’ve also realized that sometimes it takes a few passes through the same area to really get rid of items you don’t use or need. I wish I could be as radical as a blog I read about where they packed up the whole house like they were moving and only took out the items they needed as they needed them. I love that idea.
I’m trying to let go of those items we save because “we might need them someday”. Because, sure we might, but in the meantime that coffee table is in the way of my car door every time I get out and we probably won’t move for another 3-5 years minimum. And when we do move, won’t we want to start over with fresh furniture anyway? And why the heck do we have four computer keyboards in my daughters’ room?
The next step is not brining a bunch of new crap in to replace the old crap. Ok ok, not all of our stuff is crap. Some of it is good. It’s just extra. Extra things that take up room that doesn’t need to. Anyway, when something comes in, something else should go out. That’s the idea. We also need to really evaluate purchases, no careless buying. (Darn you Target)
I’m trying now to prepare for when Christmas and Birthdays come around (they all happen in 3 months time for my girls). How will we limit the extra stuff? How do we approach gift giving? How to do we help the grandparents see our point of view? How do I keep myself from making a huge wishlist and focus on less?
I’ve got a few more months before I get there, so for now I’ll focus on the clearing out :)
If this interests you, you can follow my Pinterest boards on tiny houses and ways to live with less as a family as well as some books I’d like to read. I highly recommend the blog Minimalist Mom she has some great practical tips for clearing out. I also love this post about Raising Minimalist Kids in a Maximalist World and this one about how to limit children’s toys to just one box! There’s so much out there to read. If you’re like me, once you start reading it you won’t be able to stop!