I am on a minimalism kick right now. Basically, less stuff = more peace.
My minimalism kick could be traced back to my childhood where my dad drilled into us that “less is more”. But it really started to escalate when I was packing and moving in December. I used my move as an opportunity to get rid of things- toys, clothes, food storage, decor, etc. I loved it. But time got away from me towards the end and we were just throwing stuff in boxes. I knew there was much more to get rid of once I got settled in our new home.
Since the move I have had an underlying feeling of anxiety and stress. I wasn’t sure exactly why I was feeling this way. Then I came across a blog called Becoming Minimalist about 2 months ago and I have been hooked ever since. The blog helped me realize that part of my anxiety may have to do with the time, energy and money it takes to manage my possessions. The blog encourages you to get rid of stuff and in return you feel better.
It was worth a try.
I first decided to tackle the kids’ clothes. I mean how many clothes do kids’ need? They wear the same ones over and over anyway and the more clothes they have, the harder it is for them to manage their own dressers and closets. (The only time I wish I had more kids’ clothes is when Erickson family pictures come around.)
And on another blog I saw that her kids’ closets look like this:
The lack of stuff literally calmed me and inspired me to go through their clothes.
I went through drawers and closets and removed anything that was too small, stained, immodest, unused, really worn, or just down right ugly. I threw it all in a big pile.
It took me several weeks to make it through all of the kids’ bedrooms. And the pile just sat there in the basement staring me down.
Finally yesterday I mustered the courage to fight the beast. I made signs and sorted the clothes into different categories. The labels helped me and my little helpers keep track of what went where.
I donated some clothes to Desert Industries (a thrift store), passed down some clothes to siblings, and gave some away to family members.
(Liberating might be an exaggeration, but the experience was definitely rewarding and satisfying.)
Now I have my whole family on the minimalism kick too.
Elle and Croft went through their hair accessories. Again, how many flowers does a girl need?
Chad has been going through the movies and CDs. That is his area of expertise. He has been digitizing most of them.
Elle and I have been through every drawer, basket, and box in her room. We filled up a garbage bag of junk. I appreciated the time to teach her the questions I use when going through my things: “Do you use it?” “Do you need it?” or “Do you love it?” If not, then get rid of it.
The whole family cleaned out the garage on Saturday, and we took a load of trikes, home decor, sports equipment, and other stuff to the thrift store. I literally feel better walking out to my car.
Over the next few months I hope to continue my minimalism kick. I still need to purge
and a few boxes of misc. junk
Now I am going to be much more careful about what I bring into my home or what I buy for birthdays and Christmas because I feel better and my kids feel better when our house is clean, organized, and there is less stuff around.
To be clear, minimalism doesn’t mean you can’t own things. We have a garage full of bikes that we love and use. But we got rid of the ones that we have outgrown or weren’t in working order. We have a shelf full of art supplies, but they are used daily.
Also to be clear, minimalism might not be for everyone. If you aren’t stressed by managing and organizing your stuff and you are okay with clutter and piles and full closets, you need not force yourself to get rid of your things. If you find joy in lots and lots, then don’t worry about it.
But if you feel overwhelmed or anxious and are always reorganizing and decluttering, or you feel cramped or on edge, you might want to consider de-owning things instead. It really does feel great! Just start with the 10 Minute Rule or a garbage bag a day. I promise it is addicting and you will want to continue. (Just today I went through my measuring cups and our sippy cups. Both baskets were overflowing and needed to be pared down.)
And like I said in this post, the more you give away the more you open up space to receive more. But in this case, you just might receive more peace, time, money, space, and energy.