Tidying and Minimalism

Organizing and minimizing are really big all over the internet world right now.  I think many are feeling overwhelmed, so many are searching for a way to simplify.  We are busy with kid’s activities, cleaning, social media, politics and just the every day stuff that has to be done.

For us, we had been contemplating moving to a larger house for years.  We have a smallish house at least by today’s standards with a minimal amount of storage, but it is just the two of us right now.  But I am determined to make it work, for now.  Even though we moved with a fairly minimal amount of stuff, that stuff grew and grew and grew.  You always accumulate some stuff when buying a home to take care of that home.  I have a very generous family that started giving us tons of stuff to help fill our home.  My parents also kept over 20 boxes and bags of stuff from my childhood! Much kept in an attic that hits well over 100º for over 35+ years.  And then there are hobbies, oh the hobbies! And when our girls moved and took everything with them, we had two empty rooms to fill!  After 12 years of living here, the stuff became over whelming, and eventually I was wondering where all this stuff came from!

For years, I have been watching a lot of cleaning and organizing videos on YouTube, and every year I get the tidy bug and do a general clean out, but then one of my favorite YouTuber’s, Jen from Pretty Neat Living did a video about the book  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo about 2 years ago.  I bought it, read it, loved it and started the process soon after.  The simple technique of using the question, “does it spark joy?”, made a huge difference in helping me to let go.

Marie Kondo’s book is about being tidy more than being minimalist, but it can help lead to it. While watching Youtube videos on tidying, I naturally came across minimalism.  It’s kinda hard to miss, and it struck the same general chord with me.  I’m tired of taking care of all the stuff.  It’s makes it hard to clean and stay tidy.

Am I a minimalist?  I like to say minimalism is a very personal thing.  What is minimalist for one, is not necessarily minimalist for another. I don’t like all the hate that goes around in the community.  Personally, I know I would never been happy living out of a backpack, but there are plenty of people who  love it!  Would I like to be at more at some point?  Yes.  I would love to live in a tiny home eventually.

Letting go of the guilt of holding onto things because someone gave them to you or passed them down has been a huge help, because that is where a lot of my “stuff” came from.  Unwanted gifts can be hard, but if they bring me no joy then I do not need it.  Like I said previously, my parents saved over 20 boxes of stuff from my child hood.  I took pictures of things that I wanted to keep memories and then discarded.  Most of the clothes, blankets, and other organic type items fell apart due to age and heat.

Kon Marie has you start with clothing, but clothing is hard for me because I’m super picky.  But I am down to my side of our shared closet and a dresser, but I still have some work to do there. My biggest problem was keeping clothes for work, and I still have some just in case I go back to a formal job.  Just in case, is still a problem for me.  I don’t follow trends, so I’m not concerned that clothes go out of style.  Many minimalists wear the same color/shades.  I have worn mostly only black for 30+ years, so at least I have that going for me.  LOL.

I donated 450 items last year, and I have cut way back on my spending which has stopped the influx of stuff!  I am also much more intentional about the purchases I do make.  Instead of opting for something on sale or cheaper than the item I would really like or would last longer, I wait until I have the money to purchase the better item.  I also find that when I wait that I may really no longer need or want the item.  Amazon Prime is my Target for some, but I put things on lists and wait to see if I really want/need before purchasing.

Have you caught the minimalism or KonMari bug? ❤

Liz

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