Minimizing

When you first become a mother or father, everyone to the moon and back has advice to give. Mostly tips about clothing, sleep tips, scheduling me-time, and all sorts of awesome advice. What they do not tell you is how hard it will be to part with items and clothing that your babes have worn and used. My children are now 3 and 7, and quickly sprouting longer legs and arms and different interests thus outgrowing toys, books and clothing. You may ask, what is the problem here? Well, I have found out that it is really difficult for me to part with those toys, books, clothing and other knick-knacks.

Case in scenario, recently my husband and I became overwhelmed with the amount of stuff all over our home. I like stuff. Correction: I like to save stuff. Although many times I get very overwhelmed and feel like I am trapped and it will never get better.

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So I went into to town to drop my youngest off at daycare and afterwards, ran a few errands before heading home. When I got home I discovered he had gone through our daughter’s room and filled three trash bags full of things. I couldn’t help but look through the bags he tied very tightly. As I looked through the bags, I started to take a few things out and I got very emotional including a heated discussion with my husband. I know that he has the best intentions but at that moment, I was very emotional and I kind of took it out on him.

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Long story short and a few hours later, we had a calmer and meaningful discussion about the emotional attachment to our children’s stuff. I explained that it would be easier for me to let go of those precious things by taking pictures or holding on to a few things just a little longer before saying goodbye permanently. My husband is a fairly quiet, gentle man and when he says something, it is not to hear himself talk but to say meaningful and thoughtful things. He said to me, “Someone who needs it more will put those things to good use. Some kid or person is going to be happy when they find these things in the thrift store.” So we went through all of our things even more thoroughly and we made compromises on a few items. I also surprised myself, I cleaned out 50% of my side of our shared closet. 50%! (Disclaimer: I went back and saved 5 items that I put in the bags because I was angry.) You know what? It felt and still feels really good and I am proud of myself. I can actually find things more easily and it is not cluttered with unnecessary crap that I was saving for “later” when I lost a few inches or made time to alter to fit me. *Sigh. Those later days never came and would probably never come.

So this is one of my first steps to minimizing the clutter in my life. It is a tried and true statement many have uttered in their quest for simplicity and organization. Well take it from me…YOU CAN do it!

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