STUFF. I have a love-hate relationship with it. Show me an Amazon flash deal or a cute Target display and I’m done for. Don’t even get me started on the kids. To see their faces light up at the sight of a new surprise? Priceless.
Here’s the problem: I feel like we’re buried in STUFF. New things can be fun for a while, but I prefer simplicity.
Decluttering my home is something I’m constantly working toward, but it seems to be going nowhere. New things keep coming in. This month I have really dedicated myself to paring back the amount of stuff we have.
A few months back, I spent some time decluttering my schedule. Now that my family’s schedule is much more manageable, I’m shifting my focus to our stuff. I like to keep a fairly tidy home. The messier and more chaotic my home is, the more my state of mind tends to follow.
I had heard a lot of buzz surrounding Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, so that’s where I started. I enjoyed her book, and I was able to pull out several points that really were life-changing for me. Overall, her method is a little extreme for me and my family, but I find inspiration in the overall message. Right now I am working my way through Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul by Ruth Soukup. I find her advice to be more realistic, and I’m really enjoying her book as well.
In Kondo’s book, she talks about only keeping the things in your home that bring you joy. I love this!
For example, we have seven throw pillows on our couches. They’re all hand-me-downs. None of them match, and they inevitably end up in piles on the living room floor every single day. Every day I meticulously rearrange these silly pillows. But why? I don’t even like them! They’re old and ratty and unattractive and end up making extra work for me. So now they’re in the pile of stuff I’m getting rid of. Our couches (and my sanity) won’t miss them a bit.
We have a “guest” room in our home. I put “guest” in quotations because no guest would want to stay in that room in its current state. I actually jokingly call it our “hoarder” room. My husband plays music, and I enjoy crafting, so it’s a combined hobby room. Aside from all of that stuff, which already takes up a significant amount of space, there is a full-size bed. Good luck finding it though as it is buried under piles of forgotten STUFF. We have been using this space as our catch-all for years. If we’re having friends over and the house needs a quick tidying, everything gets thrown in there and we just shut the door. It’s a mess! I clean it out every once in a while, only to have the mess pile up all over again.
I have had it with all this stuff! There are so many things that we have but don’t use and don’t need. The process of decluttering has been long and, at times, frustrating.
With two young kids, it feels almost impossible to find decent chunks of time where I can focus on this project. My end goal keeps me on task even if it is a painfully slow process. Once I get through the entire house with a fine-tooth comb, leaving behind only that which we love and use regularly, I know that our lives will be simpler. Less stuff ultimately means less tidying. I am so ready to have a more low-maintenance home so that I can focus more of my energy on my family.
Do you have excess clutter in your life? Tell me I’m not alone in my quest for simplicity, mamas!
Originally published June, 2017.