The heart behind purging excess fits well within my intent for this blog. Amassing and accumulating does not lead to happiness. It's investing time in people and relationships, while freeing up more space and money for generosity, that help make up the kind of life I want to be about.
However, being the sentimental gal I am, decluttering is not my forte. So I needed a little help. My goal with this post is to connect you with the resources I found incredibly useful.
Even with our best pick-up efforts, our boys were going to bed with trinkets littering random corners of their floor, and I was spending way too much time throughout the day trying to keep things in order around the house.
Not only that, but I had heard"There's nothing to do" moaned too many times. As I looked at our overflowing toy baskets I thought something wasn't adding up.
Every child is different, and your's may be perfectly content sitting in a room full of toys and happily playing for an hour. That is amazing and you should keep doing what you're doing. (I dream of that.)
That has never been the case in our house, though, and I think it's based largely on personality. Our sweet little guy who is extroverted and full of ideas wants to be near me all day, chatting. He resists play time alone. But there's increased resistance when the space is cluttered. I see a noticeable difference in the way he plays, and even his overall attitude, when a room is peaceful and orderly.
Honestly, I'm the same way when it comes to a cluttered space, so how can I blame him for his cranky attitude when I'm trying to force him to play in his messy room?
I wanted to make some changes but needed a little help getting started. I found some great inspiration to set me on the right course. Since then I've followed a pretty consistent process in attacking various areas of the house.
Gather Inspiration: Take the First Step
One of the first things I did was listen to the podcast episode, Freedom from Stuff, from Tsh of The Art of Simple. She interviews Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist. The interview, plus a few of the links mentioned in the show, offered the ideal motivation.
That very day I blazed through my house with new vision for our space. I combed through piles of papers, and packed "not quite ready to get rid of" items into a box for the attic, loaded up boxes for our refugee friends, and made a big pile for Goodwill. Within two hours the space felt refreshed and peaceful.
If you'd like to take on a few decluttering projects this summer, as I will, go listen to Tsh's podcast. Then take a small step, perhaps a junk drawer in the kitchen, or one shelf in a closet.
Our home is by no means a fully decluttered one, but it's undergoing a peaceful transformation as we move towards less. I'm not trying to rid it of it's unique personality or signs of life and family. My hope is to embrace increased simplicity by resisting consumerism, spending less on ourselves, and cherishing the beauty in fewer possessions.
After your first project, check out what we did next in our boys' room.
Paris photograph framed in first image by Eye Poetry Photography