Monday, September 19, 2011

Minimalist Monday: An Organized Home + A Clear Mind = A New Life(style)

Let me paint a picture for you:  for awhile now, you have been throwing around the idea of making a fresh start for yourself.  You want to get rid of unwanted and unnecessary things in your house - be it clothes that don't fit you anymore or have been in your closet since you bought them a few years ago and are now no longer in fashion; decorations that never made it out of the bins or boxes in the attic or don't seem to match what the rest of your house has got going on right now; electronic devices or gadgets that are out of date or broken; shoes that are killing your feet and are no longer made for walking, running, dancing, working; toys the kids have outgrown or have received duplicates of; multiple kitchen appliances and cookbooks that are collecting dust and cobwebs; love/hate letters from junior high or high school that still make you wonder, "What the heck was I thinking?;" gardening tools that you're probably never going to use but thought that at the time of purchase was going to motivate you to be active in your yard; books and magazines that line the shelves but have not been cracked open in months or even years; pens that have run out of ink, food and medicine that have expired, jewelries and watches that are no longer your taste, a bike you don't ride anymore and barely did in the first place, and so on and so on.  The list is endless.  Then you tell yourself, "Who has time to do all of this decluttering when you are busy with work, school assignments, soccer games, scout meetings, dance recitals, weddings or baptisms or birthdays?"  Should I keep going?  So, in the midst of family stuff and the normal upkeep of your home, when do you have time to actually declutter it so that you can have a peace of mind?

As I was working on this post, my 5-year-old daughter is seated nearby coloring away, and I hear her talk about how she wants to be a princess when she grows up.  My 3-year-old son is in the living room playing with his train table making "choochoo" sounds.  And my husband is laying on the sofa with our 8-week-old son.  Not too long after, I hear his usual "Mommy, I'm hungry" noises.  Trying to console his little cries, my husband starts pacing around the room.  Unfortunately, my son's whimpering turns into wailing, so I figure anytime is good as any to take a break from blogging to put the food I had prepared earlier into the oven.  As I'm moving around to get myself situated to nurse my son, I tell my husband, "You know, I'm blogging about what people can get rid of in their homes to simplify their lives.  And here I am looking around our house, and we need to do the same thing.  But when can I possibly do that when half the time I'm running around after the kids like a chicken with my head cut off?  But see, if we didn't have all this extra stuff in the first place, I wouldn't be talking about it and telling other people to do the same thing." 

So now I am even more determined to declutter our home.  We have actually been trying to live a minimalist lifestyle since the beginning of the year, and to be honest, I think we have done pretty well.  But in the last few months, we have started to uncover things that are once again just taking up space in our home, namely toys and such that the kids have not played with in awhile due to the new ones they received for their birthdays, arts and crafts supplies that are begging to be opened and used, and clothes that our newborn has quickly outgrown.  With all these things just "hanging" out in our house, I am feeling anxious about getting rid of them or passing them down.  Unfortunately, like I mentioned in my post last week, I'm terrible with time management.  So needless to say, I can't seem to find the time to do all this stuff. 

Does that sound at all familiar to you?  Can you relate to any of this?  I know that if I can just take that first step to decluttering my home, it'll leave me with more time to just relax and enjoy my day with my family.  Taking 15 minutes here and there to get rid of extra "anything" in the living room or kitchen or the kids' rooms means that I won't have to do that ever again.  (Okay, at least not for awhile.)  I know being proactive and actually doing this will help put my mind at ease, which means in the long run makes for a better life to live.  And who wouldn't want that?  Who wouldn't want a daily life filled with nothing but carefree moments in a clutter-free home?  No clutter in our homes means no clutter in our minds.  No junk in our minds means no trash that we don't want in our lives.  And who knows what this new simple life could lead to?!  Perhaps in the long run, this could mean better relationships with our significant others and our children, better work days with colleagues and co-workers, better understanding with our family and friends.  I know I want that.  Perhaps you do, too.

So this week, think it over.  Look at your home and see what you can do to minimize your space.  Then look at your life and see if you could do anything to improve upon how you manage your time.  And when you're done doing that, ask yourself if doing any of this could possibly make an impact in any other areas of your life.  Chances are, doing one little something and finding out that it has made a difference is better than doing nothing at all and expecting your life to change all on its own.  It just takes one step towards the right direction.  Besides, what do you have lose...except maybe stuff you didn't need in the first place.  And who wouldn't want that?!


Small Footprints said...

Ooooh ... this is the perfect post for me. I have several boxes that need going through but I just can't seem to get to it. Part of it is that I hate clutter and once the boxes have been sorted out, I want everything put in it's place or hauled away (either through Freecycle or donated to a local charity). Unfortunately that just takes time so it usually means several days of living with stuff. But I have to do it because otherwise ... the stuff just sits there in boxes. Okay ... I'm going to do it ... you have inspired me! :-)

The Green House said...

Mahalo! Thank you! I think I have inspired myself. It is only right that I practice what I preach, right? Good luck to both of us! Would love to hear your progress in the next couple weeks or so.

Jen said...

Great post! I am doing the 2011 in 2011 (getting rid of 2011 things in the year) and it is so freeing getting rid of so many things.

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