Minimalism + De-cluttering- What I’ve Learned
As the girly-girl, makeup obsessed, fashion lover, today’s post might be a little different from what you expect on my blog, but it’s something I’ve really wanted to share for a while now in the hopes that it might be able to help someone else out there who is struggling. Today I want to talk all about de-cluttering and how focusing on a more minimalist lifestyle has actually helped me become a happier person over the last 4 months.
First, let me give you a little back story on myself. I’ve always been a very organized person, and not necessarily one of those who feels the need to hold onto everything. But when we first moved into our new home 3 years ago, I couldn’t believe how much “stuff” we had accumulated through all of our moves and travels. In addition, there was also many new purchases that had to be made to fill and finish our new home, which yet again added to the endless amount of “stuff”.
While I’m extremely thankful for all of the things that we have, about 6 months ago I began getting super frustrated when I found myself spending the majority of my evenings and weekends cleaning up clutter. Even worse, after spending hours cleaning up areas in the home, I disappointingly figured out all I was really doing was moving clutter from one area to another, which wasn’t really progress in my book.
Minimalism & De-Cluttering
That’s when I started doing a lot of research on the whole minimalism trend and even looked into Marie Kondo’s “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” In case you haven’t heard of the book, the principles are to basically go through all of your items, and if it doesn’t bring you joy, then you are encouraged to toss it. What I learned in doing a lot of research is that there are a lot of different levels of minimalism out there, but ultimately you have to do what works for you.
In the end I made a vow to myself that above all I would focus on simplifying my home to eliminate unnecessary stress. I didn’t really want to live in a house with nothing in it, but at the same time I didn’t want to be left feeling overwhelmed from the amount of clutter in my home. So I figured out a happy medium for myself and our family and made a plan of action.
Following my good friend Erin’s tips (she has an awesome de-cluttering challenge over here), I started tackling one area of the home at a time and tried to stay proactive in removing items that were no longer needed or used. On top of that, I ended up donating duplicate items and items that I had held onto from years ago that I knew would probably never see the light of day.
Long story short, I ended up getting rid of A LOT of stuff! Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of this process because it was so spread out, but if I had to guess, I probably got rid of 10 trash bags or more and several boxes full of stuff. With the exception of a tool area in my garage, I have officially tackled every room and area of the home, and it’s an amazing feeling of accomplishment. My home stays a lot cleaner now, it’s easier to stay on top of tasks, and I don’t get that overwhelmed feeling every time I walk through the door after work.
What I Learned
So what did I learn from all of this? To be honest, I previously always thought the Marie Kondo book was a little far-fetched and unattainable, but in the end it really helped guide me through the process and helped me understand the value in only having things in the home that make you happy. When you shift your mindset to these principles, it truly makes you become more mindful about not buying things out of impulse or want, and really asking yourself whether or not you need it, and whether or not it will bring you joy. While I do love shopping for clothes and makeup, I have truly become more mindful about not purchasing items that I don’t really need.
I also learned that just because you love something doesn’t mean you need to have 5 of them. I’ve always been really bad about buying multiple items, and it just isn’t necessary. I mean, do you really need 8 spatulas? (The answer is no, by the way lol) The same rule applied for my children’s items as well. Their play room literally was bursting at the seams full of toys and they had so much stuff they rarely even played with anything because it was too overwhelming even for them. Again, just because they love toy cars doesn’t mean they need 300 of them. (And trust me when I say that’s not an exaggeration).
Lastly and most importantly, I learned what an amazing feeling it was to break free from the weight of clutter. A lot of times we think that stress only comes from people, relationships, work, and finances, but in reality a huge part of stress in our lives can come from the environment we’re living in. Too much stuff can literally weigh you down and leave you feeling overwhelmed, and it just isn’t good for any of us. Throughout the process when I started coming home to a cleaner, more simplified home, I immediately noticed a shift in my entire attitude. Less clutter equaled less stress, which meant more time and energy to do the things I love, allowing me to better focus on spending quality time with my family.
At the end of the day would I consider myself a hardcore minimalist? No, not at all- but that’s okay. For me and my current lifestyle, I’m just focused on simplifying and not filling my life with unnecessary baggage and clutter (in all realms). Taking the time to really stop and evaluate my life and surroundings and simplifying is the best decision I could ever make, and it’s truly changing my entire mindset towards life and living in general.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post and if you’re currently dealing with similar struggles in your own home, I hope you find this encouraging to stop and evaluate ways to simplify. At the end of the day, you don’t have to live in clutter and there’s no reason to stress over or keep “things” in your life that don’t bring you joy.
What do you think about the minimalist lifestyle? Have you read the Marie Kondo book? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by!-Cara