Follow by Email

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Comeback to Minimalism: Or Five Ways To Begin the Journey

If you recall, about a year ago...or two, I was ever so zealous of becoming a Minimalist.  I was on a de cluttering rampage, and was convinced I would be living the star Minimalist lifestyle I desired by my six month mark.  Well, that didn't happen. I mean I DID get rid of a lot of "stuff" I never used, and it felt good.  The house was better than it had been in a long time.  And I have maintained that.  Danny is not exactly on board, and I think I got a little distracted with life.

Then, guess what I decided to homeschool, and went to a homeschoolers convention this past May and bought a TON of fun books to read with the girls and classics and curriculum.  I was a bit over zealous.  I get that way.  I do not regret getting any (okay well maybe a few) of those books, but suddenly the house felt a bit more cramped.  And then birthdays come and go, and toys take center stage.  In June I became pregnant and was incapable of taking care of anything including myself.  Come mid September when the fog was lifting and I was throwing up less, I became more aware of my surroundings.  My house, had somehow become, a disaster.  Clothes, toys, games, crafts, trash, and "stuff" seemed to me; to be bursting from the seams. 

 I live in a cute cape cod, circa 1948, so closet space is minimal, square foot is just over 1,200, and anything extra just makes the place seem claustrophobic and dark and dingy.  It was time for an overhaul.  Being in full on nesting mode, probably helped my desire to get serious once more about chucking things I hadn't used in years, but was sure I'd need it someday!  Yeah, that day never comes, because by the time you actually need it, you have no idea where it is, and which pile of bins it might be in, so instead you give up before you really try and go out and buy another.  Being a pack rat obviously defeats its true purpose if you can't actually use the items your storing because you either forgot you had it or have no idea where you stored it. 

And so I have been busy reclaiming my space.  Trust me, I have such a long ways to go.  The basement is still an overwhelming nightmare, but I have been managing to find some simple and effective plans to whittle down the mess.  The key is to start small.

1)  Before even moving any big ticket items out, make a list of what you could do without and write the pros of having it out of your life and space. 

2)  What big bulk items or furniture have you been wanting to get rid of?  Set a task to ridding yourself of this distraction.  For example we still have an old broken washer in our basement that NEEDS to go.  Unfortunately I am unable to help Danny move his out at the moment (prego) , so I'm not sure how long I will have to wait this item out.  Dang blang it! 

3)  Take Out a Garbage bag every couple of days and see how much you can fill it.  Begin in one room, or do as I do, travel from room to room and pick up the items that are small, no one uses and should really be considered trash. 

4)  If organizing or being in a single cluttered room is too overwhelming set the timer for two or three minutes and commit to de-cluttering, trashing or giving away just two items in this particular space.  The key is not the amount you declutter in one day, but the consistency in which you do it.  And I completely get that feeling of ummm....where do I start?  I absolutely do this almost every day, and it is amazing the things you begin to notice and realize you can live without.

5)  Minimalism isn't just about stuff, but your time.  Make another list about useless activities or overscheduling that eats into your time, frazzles out your stress and just causes an overload of anxiety.  We tend to do too much in a day and fill our schedules with un necessary commitments.  Evaluate what is best for you and your family.  Keep the necessary and best and discard the rest.  I am taking full stock of this right now in my life and attempting to learn to politely say NO.  I will have to write more on this and how it is affecting my life.

This list has been helping me tenfold and I hope it can help you too!
 


No comments: