Minimalist What? Part One. Defining Moment
There has been a new word trending in my life circles lately and that is minimalism. Or minimalist. What the does that even mean?! If you are anything like me, the first time someone told me that they wanted to live more “minimally”, whatever the heck that even means, I kind of laughed at them and rolled my eyes. Oh, okay. Yeah you go get rid of all of your belongings and see where that gets you. You sure are one of the cool kids now that you are a minimalist. Who comes up with this stuff? Me and all of my things are going to sit here feeling all superior because I am holding onto everything while you are sitting there with nothing. Good luck with that whole minimal thing.
Inline image 2Fast forward a few years, a marriage, and three kids later and I now think that those minimalists might be on to something. There is not a whole lot that I can’t stand more than clutter other than maybe spiders and cold french fries at restaurants. I can’t stand clutter in my house, in my purse, in my car, in my finances, or in my relationships. I just can’t handle it and yet I deal with it every single day. I feel so much better when things are organized, or at least appear organized, and I have a clear picture and sense of what is going on. I have a confession to make. I am the kind of person that will throw away entire bags full of clothes that I meant to take to Goodwill because they have been sitting in the corner of my room for weeks. And lets be honest, if I haven’t taken them to Goodwill by now, I probably never will. Instead those clothes will somehow keep making their way back into my dirty laundry pile, into the washer and dryer, and end up back in my room again. Quite honestly I just want them out of my house and out of my sight. I have also been known to secretly and very discretely throw away toys because I am tired of seeing them all over the house and picking them up a million times. Don’t tell my kids. You know, like Pokemon cards and Hot Wheels cars. Things they won’t miss but I can’t stand looking at anymore. I have learned my lesson though and instead of asking them if they want to keep something, I just wait for the most opportune moment and sneak those things in the garbage. Done and done. They have no idea and I feel slightly better that the counter is clear of clutter. Mom of the year over here.
So how do we get so much clutter in our lives? Easy. We buy things that we think we need. We keep things around the house because we think that we are going to need it again in about eight years. Or you know, we keep all of those clothes in our closets because we think that we will fit into those size 5 jeans from high school again – someday. We just keep buying and buying and holding on without ever taking the time to get rid of the things that have accumulated. Or get rid of the things that we just simply don’t need anymore, like my Cheerleading shorts and jeans from high school. Hello, I am a 30 year old mom. Why on earth would I ever want to wear those again even if I could? Time to get rid of them. Nobody cares about my 15 year old Silver jeans.
I once heard that the average household contains over 300,000 items. That blows my mind! As I have been hearing more about the whole concept of minimalism I can’t help but to think about ways that I could be a little more minimalistic in my own life (and in an honest moment, how my friends that jumped on board this bandwagon a few years ago were really the smart ones). I had my “minimalist defining moment” the other day as I was trying to make my morning coffee. I was getting into my coffee cupboard (what, you don’t have an entire cupboard for all things coffee?) and I couldn’t even get to my bag of coffee without at least four items falling out of the cupboard. The cupboard was literally stuffed full of all kinds of coffee, tea, too many mugs to count, travel mugs, and the list could go on. All I wanted that morning was to make coffee but I had to dig through so much stuff and waste so much time picking up everything that fell out. That is when I decided to go through the cupboard and get rid of everything that was no longer needed or that was just wasting space. I had boxes of tea that had expired (I didn’t even know it could expire!), travel mugs that were missing lids, and a few dozen coffee mugs that I have had since college and have not used once since we moved almost three years ago. I tossed out so much stuff that day and now there is actually room in my coffee cupboard! It felt amazing. Now when I go to make my morning coffee I don’t get stressed out while looking in my cupboard. That is when I realized that I have so many areas in my house that are just like this silly cupboard. Random stuff just sitting there and wasting space and in turn stressing me out. Here are some areas in my house that I want to tackle in the coming weeks…
The kitchen. More specifically, the baking cabinet. Need I say more? I don’t think I could fit another spice in there if I tried. Also the Tupperware drawer, also known as my worst enemy.
All of the closets in my house. We have way too many clothes and I, I mean my husband, spends so much time doing laundry.
Towels. We just got new, nice towels so why on earth am I holding onto the random towels that my husband and I have had since before we were together?
Books. I have so many textbooks from college and just random books that I have accumulated over the years that I have zero desire to read. They are just sitting downstairs in a pile collecting dust.
My kids toys.
DVDs. With Netflix we don’t need to be holding onto so many actual movies. Keep a few of our favorites and get rid of the ones we don’t watch.
The front entry closet. I don’t even want to know what is in there.
Bathroom drawers. I know for a fact I have old make up, broken jewelry, and perfumes that I don’t ever use.
Medicine cabinet. Do I really need to hold onto 8 syringes and 5 medicine cups? Nope.
In what areas of your house could you live a little more minimally in? Think of all of the stuff that you have just laying around for no good reason. It makes me want to throw away all of the junk and put the rest on Craigslist. Think about what you could do with all of your spare time when you aren’t picking up 509 children books off the floor or washing 102 towels every week! While I’m not going to go sell my car, my house, and all of my earthly possessions, I could definitely benefit from living a little more minimally. What about you? Let’s see what all of the hype is about together and declutter our lives a little.