Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Journey Into Minimalism--Part One

I have recently returned from a week long church trip that involved my family spending the week in a cabin. This is as close to nature and camping as I like to get, with a full bathroom, kitchen and air conditioning. I dislike bugs very much, I learned.

I also learned I dislike the CLUTTER in my home. The minimalism of the cabin and the lack of television left me to reflect on what things I could change in my own home. We're a small family, hubs, myself, and two boys, yet SOMEHOW we've created this house full of CRAP. Much of it was given to us by my mother in law who buys the boys presents a lot. She's not spendy, she can bleed a dollar from a dime, so she gets great deals, but STILL! There are only so many toys a child can play with.

I admit I'm a former shop-a-holic. Growing up poor, once I graduated college and had a real income, I had to teach myself I didn't really need everything I wanted! My husband is a penny pincher like his mom so he balances me out and has taught me a lot.

Generally as a family we don't purchase much of anything new. Clothes shopping is maybe only twice a year. Furniture is only when it's so worn out you might injure yourself on it. Both our televisions were given to us, and we're not the huge plasma screen kind of people anyways. 

My one indulgence is my fabric and supplies. But even those I buy on sale. Of course I buy TOO MANY but still.

So here we have, a husband who never buys anything, a wife who buys too many supplies and then has too much inventory for her shops and has to STORE it somewhere, and two kids who get WAY too many gifts. Shove us all into a 3 bedroom house that should be plenty big.

Alas, it is not.

So, after a week of seeing how possible is it was to live with less stuff, I come home with a mission. As I unpacked from the trip I would also PURGE. And I mean REALLY purge. Not that half assed purge I do when I destash my fabric. (Alarmingly, the fabric you see in my Destash Shop is merely the tip of the iceberg.)

I started in the kitchen and worked my way around the house. Virtually everything is done except the sewing/work corner of the kitchen and the garage. Those two parts may require massive amounts of vodka to complete. Much got thrown away, and even MORE is in a pile to giveaway or sell.

I managed to fit all my inventory and supplies IN closets instead of in boxes behind my sofa. Now in its place is an enormous pile of toys/baby items to take to our local Once Upon a Child. Whatever doesn't sell, will get gifted to freecycle, freeuse and craigslist.

Seriously...it's bad.

Everything in that pic is going except the brown toybox way yonder by the window.

Then there are the clothes.

That is one tote, one laundry basket and three bags of clothing just in boys size 3 mos-18 mos!

I didn't even take a pic of all the stuff by the front door that is hopefully soon going to be on freeuse.org!

Once the purging is complete I will take pics of my nice, clean pretty house.

This could take awhile.............



TiLT said...

my house could use a good purge too. mine sounds a lot like yours...except I start the shop-a-holic thing earlier :)
We just went through the youngest's toys & the piles seem to be about the same size :) yet my place is still too cluttered. oh well...I'll use yours as inspiration to keep trying

Birdwell said...

I feel your pain AND your mission. My house is horribly clutter. Both Jamey and I tend to be pack rats.Jamey's curse is paper and collectables. Mine was knicknacks...I have thrown most of mine away. Mainly because by J. being cluttered it's making me less so. Some think my books are clutter (I have bookshelves full), but I will fight them. :D SO my mission conquer the PAPER!!!!

storybeader said...

I bet you weren't expecting such an epiphany from a vacation! But just look at all the "stuff" you can give to Goodwill!

My DH is a consumer, more than me. Or maybe it's that his stuff is more visible - I like small things (beads, books) and hubby like furniture and electronic equipment!

Heather said...

Looks great, Mama! There's something about purging that's good for the soul... except when it comes to sewing, fabric, & supplies of course! ;)


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