A few folks have heard me talk about simplifying my home. Most kind of laughed and wondered what there was to simplify. We’ve never been big on clutter and my husband and I are probably more uptight about being clean and organized than we’d care to admit. There is also five of us living in 1500 sq. ft. so we have consistently pared down things over time.
I hope people didn’t see were the closets. The cabinets. The drawers. The attic. Did I mention the closets? We had gotten really good at stuffing storage away since WE didn’t even want to see it. Then, we kept putting off downsizing our things and decluttering thinking we would just wait until we moved. Until we got a bigger house. You know, for all of our stuff. Then the housing market just didn’t have much that we loved, or even liked. I also have to mention that our small home comes with a small mortgage. We love to travel & experience, so being house poor is just.not.an.option. We decided to do what we could to begin to breathe and enjoy our home again.
Last year we began with our attic which stored way too many childhood memories. Or at least what I thought were memories, but it was really just a lot of stuff. I did keep the things that really meant something to me like my Grandma’s quilts, my Poppy’s blanket, and lots and lots of photos. In hindsight we actually want to revisit the attic, more could be done there. We went through every room, every closet, every drawer and every cabinet. Every.single.inch. We had several loads of donations, and a few loads to the dump. I think I may have scared my husband at first with my enthusiasm to get rid of all.the.things!
What about the kids? The toys? Our kids were troopers. They actually got rid of way more than I could imagine. If I’m honest I cringed a little at a few things. I wanted to remind them they JUST got that for Christmas. Then I realized, they didn’t play with the item anyway. So I commended them for the large amount of toys that would make other children very happy. I also reminded them that in the future to think about that donation pile when they ask for something new. Of course I’m sure this will totally be the image they have right after they see the shiny new toy that will entertain them for five seconds. Or the image they all see when they all bring home trinkets from a birthday party treat bag. Riiiight. Let me dream. Simple parent tip: trade in your Chick-fil-A toy for ice cream and don’t bring home multiples of the exact.same.book. Or several plastic toys. You’re Welcome. We recently redid the kids rooms and simplified their items to keep it easy to maintain and easy to find what they love. I love how they turned out and the kids do too. They spend so much more time enjoying their spaces!
One thing I wasn’t expecting was the MENTAL space that would be cleared by getting rid of excess stuff in my home. I can sit and actually enjoy reading, or watching a show or…writing a blog post. I can sit and know that my home is free of clutter. Since it’s organized it’s easy to clean. Easy to give my kids my time. Easy to invite others. Maybe this is common for others but until recently, I didn’t think this was possible. I can’t begin to explain how much more peaceful everything feels. I may still often walk into rooms just to look at how beautiful and organized my closets and cabinets are. I may be letting my weird show here, but hey, if that scares you we’d never be friends anyway.
So, if you’re like I was, you might be overwhelmed with where to even begin. Trust me…just begin somewhere. Anywhere. Our home was the first step, and I’m so glad we took it.