Every year shortly after Christmas, the bug hits. You know what bug I’m talking about. The “where in the world am going to put these new presents!?” bug. Pretty much every year I have to go through and re-organize all our stuff to make room. This year, though, I took it a little farther.
I have been reading alot of things alot of different places about de-cluttering, living with less, and consumerism. Ideas for a major re-evaluation of all the stuff I’ve crammed into our 1000 sq.ft. apartment has been rolling around in my head for a while. Then I watched a couple episodes of the TV show Hoarders. When I started having dreams about my house looking like a hoarders house, I knew it was time to take action! This is the first pile of stuff we donated to the thrift store. It doesn’t look like a whole lot, but in this small apt. it made a BIG difference. We also made 5-6 more trips to the thrift store and endless trips to the dumpster. I gave myself a 50 $ budget for wall hooks and cute storage boxes. And now…. for the results!
It has been so liberating to get rid of so much stuff! I’ve heard that even though you think “out of sight, out of mind” that is not true about having alot of stuff. It is a big stessor, and I’ve felt the lift of some after cleaning out our stuff. It is so much easier to keep the house tidy! The kids love it, too. There is now free carpet space on all of our closets and they love to go in and play there. It’s also great for hide and seek :).
After this was all done, I began reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. The first thing he talks about is simplifying the environment. He says “This profusion of products and playthings is not just a symptom of excess, it can also be a cause of fragmentation and overload. They (parents) hadn’t considered how too much stuff leads to a sense of entitlement. Or how too much stuff relates to too many choices, which can relate to a childhood raced through at far “too fast” a pace.” This was really interesting for me to read. I had never really thought about having too many choices being a bad thing, but I can see how my kids will just look at the shelves full of toys and be too overwhelmed to choose any one thing. My next project is to cut our toys in half!
What are your experiences with de-cluttering?