Stress and anxiety have been a real problem for me for as long as I can remember. I have a Type A personality where I want everything done a specific way. Ideally, everything is in its place and clean and organized with no clutter. But let’s be honest, I have 2 kids and 2 dogs (it was 4 at one point) and a husband who couldn’t care less about clutter or things being out of place. I am also the bread winner in our family and work outside the home 40+ hours a week. I get mommy guilt A LOT so when I am at home, cleaning is not what I want to be doing. And I choose not to. I don’t tell my kids “No, I can’t play with you because I have to clean” because I know that having a spotless house isn’t REALLY important and spending time with my kids is. They aren’t going to remember how (not) clean our house is….(maybe?) but they are definitely going to remember if we had fun playing together. With that being said, that does not make the stress and anxiety go away. I actually got to the point where I was just ignoring housework altogether because even doing the simplest tasks, like dishes, made me stress about all the other things that I didn’t have time for.
They aren’t going to remember how clean our house is, but they will remember if we had fun playing together.
Through pinterest, I ended up stumbling upon minimalism. (And now I’m way obsessed). When I found minimalism, I started thinking about when in my life I felt the least stressed. I was travel nursing with my husband and 1 year old at the time (so about 3 years ago…that’s a long time). There were two places that I actually felt relaxed overall. We lived in a small two bedroom apartment and because we were traveling we literally only had what we needed. There were a few things that came with us that we didn’t need but wanted and that was ok. The point is, there wasn’t a lot of clutter and I actually felt like I had time to relax. Ahhh, relax! I usually don’t know the meaning of that word. I think I may have lost the meaning somewhere again. Even when I am sitting on the couch or taking a hot bath (yea right!) I am still thinking about all the things on my never ending to-do list. Why is adulting so hard? I keep saying, “One day it will get easier. And one day I won’t have to do this or that.” But why not now?!
So I found this 30 day minimalism game, and I like challenges so I thought, why not? I just finished my second round of this challenge (I didn’t finish it the first time), and I feel a lot better. Now, I want you to think about what you think a minimalist house looks like. You got that thought? Then I want you to get rid of it because that is not what my house looks like. Not even close. It is a work in progress. I have decluttered 1 and a half truck loads of “stuff” that we didn’t need, want, or use and donated it to the Salvation Army. That stuff was just taking up space, collecting dust, and stressing me out. And I plan to keep going. With this challenge, you declutter one thing on the first day, two things on the second day, three things on the third day, and so on and so forth. Sound easy? Sure maybe the first week but once you have to continuously find 15 or 20+ things to declutter, it will get a little harder.
Where I started:
- I already had some things set aside to sell but just hadn’t gotten around to it. It was one more thing on my to-do list and having it all piled up just sitting there stressed me out. So I loaded all that up in the truck for donation.
- I then went through my closet and drawers and used the Kon Mari method for deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.
- After this, I was on a role and did the kid’s closets and drawers as well. I kept our favorites and got rid of the clothes that were too small and those they didn’t wear. Before we decluttered we could barely close their drawers but after it was way more organized. I do keep the clothes my oldest has grown out of for my youngest (both girls so why not). They are separated by size in my youngest’s closet.
- I then went through my books. I immediately got rid of books that I was never going to read and books that I didn’t absolutely LOVE.
- And last, was the toys. We still have a ways to go with the toys. I had my oldest help me decide which toys to “keep.” Of course, she is four so we can only do that in short spurts before she gets distracted. I was able to put all my 18 month old’s toys in one bin when we were finished so that is progress!
We got rid of broken toys, toys without pertinent pieces, and cheap toys (like from kids meals or the $3 bin at target). When we came across a toy she hadn’t played with in a while, I would say, “I don’t think you have played with this toy in a while. What do you think? Should we keep it or give it to a kid who doesn’t have many toys?” Every time she said to give it away.
So that is where I started and how far I have gotten with one full round. What do you think? Are you going to give it a try?