Where did the journey begin?
Over the last year, I did a lot of soulsearching and research on how I could live a fuller, less stressful life. Most things lead me to the same result, I needed to be living a simpler life filled with less stuff! So, I began the journey of purging my life. I didn’t realize how hard this journey was going to be. I began crying over paper and clothing. I was so emotional about the thought of getting rid of any of my things. That’s when I finally knew that this needed to done!
It took me all of last year to get rid of all the things that didn’t really mean anything to me. Things like extra towels and blankets. The clothing that my children wore when they were little babies. Dishes and kitchen supplies that we just weren’t using. It was a hard task and I don’t really feel like it even made that much of a difference in the amount of stuff we have. What it did make a difference in was my mind. It was as if every time I would get rid of something a little space would free up in my mind. Who knew that physical things could have such a huge impact on how you are feeling!
How do I plan to continue this journey?
The plan that I have for this year is to get rid of the rest of my stuff! Obviously not everything, I still need underwear and a toothbrush, right? For the most part though I don’t want anything in our house that isn’t there for a purpose! Everything that we own needs to be used on a minimum of a weekly bases, otherwise, I don’t believe that we actually need it.
We have so many things in our house that we don’t use and they aren’t providing any kind of value in our lives, so why are we keeping them? I have found things from when I was a teenager, not memorable things, just things that I have never gotten rid of taking up space. We have things that we have been given over the years that we simply keep because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Then we have the things that we are only holding onto because we spent money on them so we think that we need to keep them to prove something.
I plan to get rid of all the little bits and pieces that are on our shelves that I am only keeping because I got them as gifts or I bought them once. Also, I want to purge all of my books and board games. As an avid reader and a homeschooling family these things add up pretty quickly but we don’t even use them all! Sometimes we keep board games that we hated playing just in case we might like it one day! Isn’t that insane?
The goal with clothing is to have a capsule wardrobe for everyone in our family so that all of our clothing could theoretically fit into our own carryon suitcases. Honestly, I think that this would be more than enough clothing. We as a society spend so much time and effort on our clothing each and every day, honestly, I am just sick of it! I don’t want to have to wash and fold it all, figure out what everyone is going to wear in the morning, or worry about whether or not I am in style! Not to mention that amount of money that is being spent on clothing, just imagine all of the savings!
Basically, I would like all of our possessions, besides the furniture, of course, to fit into a few of those plastic totes. This is for a couple of reasons, number one is because I have felt how good getting rid of things makes me feel and I want to have that simple environment for my children to grow up in. Secondly, my husband and I would like to start travelling the world so everything that we do is really mindset focused on that end goal. Lastly and probably most importantly, I want myself and my family to be able to focus on the really important things! Folding loads and loads of laundry so that you can have all the new and impressive clothes is not an important thing in life. Cuddling up with your children reading chapters of their favourite book in the evening, that’s an important thing! That is the type of thing that I want to be able to focus my life on!
Tips I Have Learned Along The Way
#1 – Never let things be the most important part of your life! If you are spending more time with things try to change how you are living your life. The people and things you can do with your life are so much more exciting than whenever your items might be providing you.
#2 – If you haven’t used it in six months you don’t need it! People used to tell me this all the time but I just thought they were being crazy! What about the turkey roaster? Honestly, if you get creative you can find a different way to cook the turkey with something that you already have!
#3 – Nobody is going to say anything about you wearing the same clothes all the time! If you’re really worried about it though you can do what I do, buy a couple of scarves and people will think that it’s a different outfit! Nobody is watching you that closely unless you’re a fashion blogger!
#4 – Once you have gotten rid of all the thing you want, DON’T BUY ANYMORE! I honestly cannot stress this tip enough! You just spent hours and hours going through your belongings and saying goodbye to all of the things that you don’t need anymore. You don’t want to throw away all that hard work by coming home with a bunch of new shoes!
#5 – If you can’t bring yourself to part with it, make it useful! Items that provide memories that you really don’t want to part with, try to put it into a shadow box so that you can hang it on the wall. ONLY do this if you don’t already have lots of things on your wall. Another option is to take pictures of the things, that way the memories aren’t lost but you also don’t have all of these items laying around that aren’t adding value to your life.
#6 – Fill your time with time with activities and other things that you love! I found that when I first started getting rid of things I felt like I wasn’t gaining anything. It wasn’t till I started filling my free time with awesome activities that I realized that less stuff really did add value to your life!
#7 – One thing in, one thing out! I am not trying to convince you to never buy anything ever again. Obviously, that isn’t realistic! What you can do though is get rid of one thing every time you bring something into your house. This way you don’t miss out on things like reading new books or having clothes you like. You just won’t get in the habit of having too many things again and you can continue to say goodbye to things that are no longer serving a purpose.