This is a partial vent and a partial advice seeking post. :)
Like most of us, I go through periods of decluttering, etc. But it never sticks. We just moved into our "dream" home.....and old fixer upper with 6000 sq feet. It is just huge, and so cool. We also just had surprise baby #4. And my 2 middle kids (age 2 and 4) have a health condition that is a time, money and bandwidth eater upper. ANd the new baby is looking like he has the same condition.
I have had to quit work to care for the kids, but DH makes a very good income. That said, we are hemmoraging money on the new house and kids and such. We can pay for it, but if things keep spinning out of control like this, we eventually won't.
We re-buy things we own because we do not know where things are. Because we have always had enough money, many things feel "disposable" that should not. I had an AHA moment when my 4 yr old was playing ninja with a broom and I said...we need to do that outside, as it could hit and break the tv in here (we invested in a flat screen in one of the living areas) and she says...it's ok, we will just buy a new one.
Then half my clothes that I never wear fell from my clothes. I rebought a hot glue gun because I had lost my other 6. :)
And my kids' health is not going well, so we are home a lot. We are planning a new big garden in out house, and through that process I kind of shifted my mentality. THe reality it that over the next few years, we will have much more home time vs out time, until we get a grip on the kids' well being. Having things like nurturing a garden, cooking together, simple things in a home we feel good in....this will be more of our days vs library, play groups, etc.
Suddenly I feel like, for no real explainable reason, that the way to get a clear head, new routine, tighter budget, is just to get rid of half of our stuff. But I have no idea why I feel that way.
If the kids are not more stable in a couple years, we may be homeschooling. I need simplicity is what I need. How do I start totally reworking life, my kids' views of things, our routine, our "stuff", in order to make Life match the force that is brewing in my head?
If you have stuck with this so far, thanks. :)
We have even done it with my 3yo DS's toys. We got rid of half of them. Then we got rid of another half of what was left. We realized he doesn't actually play with what's left, so now we've moved virtually all of his toys to the basement while we decide whether to get rid of them or save them for a rainy day. All he has left is a fire truck, some animals, a car, a rocking horse, and his music basket with instruments. He is playing way better with less stuff and is really inventive with his play.
I got rid of a lot from our kitchen. We had many tools and gadgets that we just didn't need, or duplicated functions, etc. There were so many pots and pans and we only really used 3 of them consistently. Now we have a few empty drawers and the rest of the cabinets are far from crowded. It's nice to be able to find what we need quickly & easily. Dishes don't pile up as much because we don't have, say, 4 vegetable peelers, so we have to wash the one we have after each use.
Got rid of all the bath & body products... all the haircare products... all the clothes I thought I'd maybe someday get around to hemming or mending (but probably not before they went out of style.) We no longer have duplicate tools. All the craft items are in one closet so I can find what I need. Most of our closets & drawers throughout the house are half-empty. Some are even totally empty. Each room of the house has been pared down a lot... my FIL thought we were robbed lol (and he hasn't seen the place in a year, we've cut down much further since then!) And the more I get rid of, the more I enjoy the space we live in. It's so much more relaxing to sit down without looking at random clutter or worrying about STUFF. I want to get rid of even more, in fact. We have a long way to go before we are as organized and simplified as I'd like to be. But I love living with less. I'm feeling a real call to minimalism. I'm amazed at how well we get by with so little. We aren't doing well financially (due to DH & I both losing our jobs) so we have to get really creative with how to get by without buying seeming "necessities." When we do have to buy something, we try to get items that will perform multiple duties & functions.
I say do it. If you are worried you will miss all the stuff, I have found the basement to be a great transition place. I put the stuff we don't use down there, in one designated area, and after a couple of months I'm more than happy to get rid of it. Not seeing it or touching it for a while lessens any attachment to it. Once in a while, as I'm moving stuff in the car to donate, I will find an item that we do want to keep after all, but almost everything goes, and quite painlessly.
It's like a burden being lifted off your shoulders. My DH often complains and tells me that I am a compulsive declutterer. I get rid of things without any thought to it. So go ahead....get rid of half your stuff. You will find that it feels freeing!
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" --Leonardo Da Vinci
dooooo it. I've probably gotten rid of 2000 items in the past year and have missed/regretted maybe 2 of them. And now I can't even remember what those 2 were, so clearly the psychic scars aren't too severe.
Oh mama, my heart goes out to you. Your life sounds very, very full. I am with you -- when certain aspects of my life are full and busy, I crave a simple, streamlined household. It is something I have worked towards for the past 10 years.
Most of the time this works great, but it does mean that sometimes I don't have everything I want. I don't have a lot of clothes, I don't have a lot of kitchen gear, I don't have a hot glue gun. I could borrow one if I really need one or I can simply figure out how to live without it.
There was a day some years ago that I just decided that my emotional health was important to me. Ever since, I have been working towards having an easy living kind of house. I started by doing no-spend challenges on the finances and frugality board -- easy on my wallet and less stuff was brought into my house. I got in the habit of using what I have on hand. I live by the "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" motto.
I am not the best at organizing things, but it might be helpful for you while you transition. Maybe a couple of big bins -- one for art supplies, another for toys. Establish a place for the things that you use regularly.
Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves
I say go for it. I started the 2012 declutter challenge above not really sure if I even had that much stuff to get rid of. Well I finished it the other night and still have more to go. It is so freeing knowing that I wear all the clothes in my wardrobe and that the whole thing fits in one drawer and a small section of our closet. We have more space and more time because we have less stuff and less to clean.
I took a lot of inspiration from this blog.
Everytime I felt down, I read a few of her posts and it charged my battery.
Good luck to you!
Mom to DS 13mo.
We don't have a big house but we're still simplifying and decluttering - because little houses get cluttered really fast! I recently read Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and found it a great guide to "how do I do this? Where do I start?" He talks about simplifying routines/rhythms and life in general as well as just stuff.
This is so me!! It drives DH crazy because he is more of a collector. I have my Flylady decluttering bins. http://shop.flylady.net/pages/FlyShop_declutter.asp
This helps me to limit my decluttering "projects" to manageable sizes. Otherwise, I end up with piles of stuff everywhere. It's very mentally cleansing for me, though.
I say do it, I'm decluttering (very slowly) and I'm loving it. I'm sort of using woman's day 12 week decluttering plan. Although I need to clean the house because I thought it would all go quicker ad was putting off cleaning the house while I did this and now it's just a disaster and the kids are stepping over things and I don't want to lay my newly mobile baby on the floor. So my advice, start slow, do one spot at a time. I'm so looking forward to a more simple home.
Courtney and Cree, baby made 3, added one more then there were 4, sakes alive, then we had 5, another in the mix now we have 6!
A Momma in love with her Little Women-Jewel Face, Jo Jo Bean, June Bug, and Sweet Coraline.
reading your post, i not only empathize because i've had many of the same thoughts, it also just struck me how this book could be helpful. i found it at a thrift store at the beginning of the year, and have been keeping up with it (i have never in my life kept up all year long with a daily reader type book). the author touches on so many of the things you are thinking about and really helps center me in the whirlwind of life. she has entire months of daily readings for things like organizing, or finding your style (versus fashion), gardening, all centered around the idea that you can live an abudant life, while living simply. i can't speak highly enough about it.
Katie, mommy to Oliver (2007) and brand new Ava Estelle (2014)!
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Decluttering Challenge: 303/2014 items are gone!
$728 made from selling my "stuff"
(I've gotten rid of 3711 items over the last four years on this forum! Last years selling total: $456)
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