Monday, April 24, 2017

Decluttering and Minimalism

I hate clutter! It is overwhelming to me and causes anxiety. I can't focus and enjoy the moment when there is clutter around me! Some of my family members can't understand this. I used to move furniture around about once every couple of months. I said it was  because I like change, but I think it was mostly because it forced me to declutter!  I have battled with clutter all of my adult life-until two years ago. My three older kids had moved out on their own, then some life changing things happened for me.  As a result, Christian, Sophie and I moved into a small townhouse.  I sold and gave away most of our bulky furniture,  I went through everything we had, and after years and years of dealing with stuff, I was able to finally pare down and get rid of a ton of stuff that we didn't need. The kid's still had a lot of personal items, but it was  mostly contained in their own rooms.

Our new home had simple furnishings, and it was easy to keep clean. There were large closets with nice shelving in them, and they were mostly bare. It felt wonderful! I could finally breath! But as the months went by, friends would give me bags of used clothes to go through. If it was for Sophie, she would go through it, grab a few items, then the bag would end up in my closet. If the bag was for me, I would look through it because I thought I "should", even though I really don't like wearing used clothing, then it would also sit in my closet. I have one wonderful friend who I love dearly, who would often get free things in the "still good shed" at the dump and drop them off for my kids. One time she helped someone move and she brought a carload of games, clothes, books, magazines, pens and more to us!  I felt bad saying no- so more and more things went into the closets-until they were stuffed full!

I have been desiring to live more simply again. I've heard about minimalism on some blogs, and last week I decided to watch the documentary called "Minimalism: a documentary on the important things".  Ten minutes in, I paused it and decluttered two drawers in my kitchen. First I tackled my junk drawer. It now holds some tools, batteries, a small bag of nails, a few flashlights, two sharpie markers. and one pair of scissors.  Next I went through a drawer full of measuring cups and spoons. I had collected so many over the last 26 years! I kept 2 sets of measuring cups, and two sets of measuring spoons. Plus an extra Tablespoon and one 3/4 cup. Then I watched the rest of  the documentary.

 Over the next four days I went through every drawer, every closet, and every nook and cranny of my home (except Christian's room which he keeps pretty neat), and only kept what we needed or wanted to use now-not someday! There are only a few things I am keeping  that I don't use: a delicate crocheted tablecloth from my grandmother, and the dress I wore to my son's wedding, and the kid's portfolios from each school year. My goal was to know what and where every item in our home is, and to group like items. One plus is that I found $94 I didn't know I had!  Four days, and one sore back later, I think I have accomplished it! Sophie even joined it! She spent one evening until midnight cleaning her room and closet. It is done!

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