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There's been quite the buzz lately about minimalism. What is it? Why would I want to do that? How can you really live with so little stuff? These are questions I see a ton about minimalism. But if you're like me, the chaos and clutter in the home is a nightmare. One that I don't want to live with everyday. So, we started to purge. And purge a ton.
You might be asking, "What on earth is minimalism?"
Merriam Webster defines minimalism as:
a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity
In essence, it is a style of life in simplicity. We have become so addicted to stuff and consumerism that we have forgotten how to live without all that stuff.
Do we need our closet racks full of clothes we don't wear in the event we *may* wear them one day or have bins and bins of clothes in storage (aside from those kid's clothes being handed down to the next sibling) because we have too much to fit in our closets? Nope and nope.
In our house, does every corner and space on the wall need something to put there for decorative sake? Nope, nope, nope.
You may feel differently, and that's perfectly ok. But in our house, we were starting to feel stifled by all the stuff. How much of this clutter were we actually using? Honestly, when I started going through it, at least 50% of it was obsolete or nearly obsolete.
I've always had a hard time throwing some things away or giving them away. What if I need that one day and I don't have it? If I haven't touched it in the year we've lived in our new house, I'm probably not going to touch it in the near future.
We wanted to have less to live more
The house we bought last year is 3 bedrooms and is around 1825 sqft. Add a preschooler and a toddler in to the mix, and that's a lot to keep clean. Or at least presentable. I love the space we have to entertain in our house (which we do a lot of), but the biggest selling point for us was the almost half acre out of the city limits it sits on.
Over the last year we've lived here, I feel like we've accumulated a lot. Boxes got unpacked and put away. While the house has ample size, there is not a ton of storage space outside of the kitchen. Each bedroom has a small walk in closet and there is a kind of half sized linen closet in the hallway.
But this last month, the accumulated stuff has been driving me nuts. The kids have waaayyyy too many toys, most of which don't get played with. What always ended up happening was a handful of toys actually got played with while the rest got pulled out, thrown on the floor and not really even played with. Then, it would take an hour to put everything away where it went or just throw in a corner to get it out of the way.
So we started the purge
Now, I don't think minimalism happens overnight by any means. It's definitely a work in progress, at least in our house. But really stepping back and looking at what we have vs. what we really need has been very eye opening.
I think the biggest area we have cut back on is the toys. We were using this toy organizer, a nice sized wooden toy box, a kid's pop up tent, and an old tv console to store toys. They just accumulate and accumulate until we had so much that we were using 4 different things to store them in.
Last Saturday, mommy had had enough and I was ready to take on the house. So after breakfast, I started with the boy's room and just moved room to room through the day. I probably threw away at least 2-3 trash bags of stuff and when daddy did the toy room the next day, we filled up 2 large boxes with toys. We had so many toys that we had 2, 3, 4 or more of the same thing. It was unreal!
It's so much more manageable
We moved all the kids toys into the wooden toy box (that is about half full) into their bedroom. Our den now is just dedicated to books, puzzles and homeschool stuff. There is SOOO much more room it's not even funny. We do a quick pick up of everything at the end of the day for about 10 minutes instead of either multiple 15-20 time periods through the day or an hour or more in the evenings. It makes such a difference!
Aside from my husband's side of the bed and his desk in our bedroom (of which I told him he was responsible for cleaning/organizing lol), everything in our house has been cleaned up and streamlined aside from our pantry space in the kitchen. From there, I'll have to figure out what appliances and gadgets we use consistently and what gathers dust instead of being used.
Cleaning up also takes up so much less time in general in the house. I really thought the kids would be wanting much more of their toys out, but I don't think they've even asked for them but once or twice in the week since we did this. And those couple times of asking were probably in the first couple of days!
Our minimalism journey continues
As our minimalism journey continues on, I'm taking notes of how we've gone about purging and streamlining. Not only do I not want to ever have to do a big clean out like this ever again, I'd like to put this together to help you guys out as well.
I'm excited to see where the journey takes us. As a SAHM, it's really been amazing this week to see how much extra time I have to do more important things than constantly feeling like the house is a mess and I need to do X, Y, and Z all day long. I've been able to play with the kids more, work on the blog more, and was even to sit down a read a couple of chapters from The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (oh my goodness... So good so far!!).