At some point in 2011 I learned what it means to be a minimalist and that really rang bells for me. I am by no means an extremely tidy person. My house is usually in disarray. I prefer the term "lived in". I did not grow up in a "lived in" house, my childhood homes were always tidy and my mother seemed to keep it that way so effortlessly. I just don't get it. It's not in me. Oh well.
What I do know is that life in a family of 5 can get.... overstimulating. I'm quite easily distracted and overstimulated and that leads to frustration and irritability. I absolutely hate that feeling. I'm the girl that puts her food in the garbage and her trash in the refrigerator. It happens at least twice a week.
Being a minimalist, to me, means that I don't want to live with things that I don't find useful or beautiful or helpful. I don't want to hang on to something just because it was a gift (sorry) or because I thought it was awesome once. The objects in my home are ever changing to the needs of my family. My kids don't own things they owned last year, and if they do, its pretty darn special. I don't still own things that I owned when I was a child, I just don't have a love for things. They are just things. I won't take them with me when I leave this world and I don't believe that me or my husband should work our tails off to make money to buy more things because everybody else has the latest this or that, or brand new this or that. I don't keep up with the Jones'. We pay for everything with cash. We do not and never will own a credit card. The only note we pay is our mortgage. We own our car and everything in our house we got from thrift stores or family or yard sales. It's .... freeing in a way, to be so simple.
Having said that, I do still find myself having too much. A friend of mine has a friend whose house burned down recently and I donated some things to their family. Things like dishes, silverware, blankets, a lamp and it was then that it hit me that I really just have too many things. What are these things doing to serve me? That book shelf collecting dust- I'll never read those books again, so why do I have them? Do I really need 5 pie plates? When is the last time I baked a pie? Really? The top of my closet is full of sheet sets and none of them even match.. But my grandmother gave them to me and well, it's special. But why? Why did she give them to me? Because her closet runeth over? Yes. Exactly. Sometime I can look around and count end tables in my house without a single thing on them. Why are they there? What is all of this stuff doing here???????
I'm constantly taking things to the thrift store. Find myself with too much laundry? Go through every one's closets and dig out what they don't wear any more and take it to the thrift store. Too many hand bags in the closet? Thrift store. You get it. But now..... this is serious. I am done with things... heavy things that take up space in my life and make noise in my head. Ya'll know that noise, you can't really hear it until it goes away, then you realize it was there.
I started today with my craft crap. And computer crap. Possibly the worst crap in the house. Being crafty can get you booked on an episode of hoarders quick. All those fabric scraps and ribbons and elastic and buttons..... BUT I MIGHT NEED THOSE ONE DAY! I COULD MAKE SOMETHING AWESOME OUT OF SCRAP! But you never find the time and it eats at you and that "to make" list becomes a thorn in your side and crafting just isn't fun anymore when you've made expectations for yourself. Wait- wasn't this a hobby?
So I cleaned out my sewing desk. I threw away an entire garbage bag of trash and an entire garbage bag of fabric and things that I just wasn't into anymore went to the thrift store (where I'll probably repurchase my own crap, just wait) I switched the craft and computer desk around and used a dresser to store my craft supplies in so it wasn't so visually alarming. Here is the proof of how productive our day was!
That pile of stuff in the corner? That's my fabric stash. Yea.
oooooohhh, ahhhhhh :)
Fabrics are neatly tucked away in the dresser, everything wanted and in a place. No more ridiculously large sewing desk to lose things in. No internal storage. Pure awesome. I truly believe that first picture is blurry because even my camera couldn't take the heat.
And now for the before and after of the computer desk:
Looks good right?! Like an actual computer desk! Excuse that little fire hazard on the wall there, my house was built before electricity was popular. We seriously have less than 10 outlets in our entire house.
I can't look at this and not grin! The universe smiled on me when I purchased this today, it's so freaking awesome!
I plan to take it one room at a time and purge my surplus. We did the boys' room before Christmas, be thankful I didn't have my digital camera then. But be assured, my kids don't have toys they don't play with. Or clothes they don't wear.
You wanna see something really crazy though. This is what I have to declutter tomorrow: