Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Minimalist Lifestyle: Baby Steps - Step 1

For anyone who loves to clean and stay organized, bringing a child into your home tends to have a few negative effects. No longer is it easy to keep things in their place. No longer is it easy to find things. Each day, there are toys that seem to appear in the oddest places and shoes and socks that magically disappear.

After bringing Declan home, our house exploded with all sorts of new things that were needed for baby. Clothes and toys and everything that started with a B (bottles, boppies, bumbos and bouncers oh my!!!) When Declan became mobile, these items seemed to increase in number as did the messes.

As an organizer, my first thought was to conquer the items that we needed and get them organized. I tried this to the best of my ability, but time was not my friend and I really just wanted to spend time with this bundle of joy that we were finally blessed with. So, the disorganized home was created.

My second thought after taking a minute (one of those free minutes I was blessed with during a long nap day), was that I was wasting my time. A lightbulb seemed to go off in my head and I began to rethink this whole being organized thing. Why in the world was I spending my time and money on trying to organize what we had?

The reason we are all so concerned with being organized and obsessed with all of the organizing tools from Pinterest these days is that we HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF!! We keep creating other means of storing items which actually just creates more clutter and creates the need for more attic space, closet space, under the bed space, pantry space for all of the new baskets and bins and totes--- you get the drift.

So, when I found myself getting super JEALOUS of friends of mine who were moving to new houses, I knew there was an issue. I wasn't jealous because they were moving and getting a new house though. That whole keeping up with the Joneses was/is not my problem. I was jealous of them because they were able to go room by room, closet by closet and pack things away. In the process, I could imagine myself getting rid of anything and everything we didn't really need until I had a very limited number of boxes to move into a new home. Where I would then organize into the space that was there and have a whole new, clean start. Who does that? Get jealous of people because they get to clean and organize more than me. Ha!

The reality is that with a toddler, our families' one income and the recent purchase of a "new" van since my husband's car died (RIP you old Pontiac, you treated us very well for 10 years), a move at this time is not feasible.

So, instead of imagining my dream of packing floating in a bubble above my head being hit by a sledgehammer, I decided to do some research on how I could do this while still living in our current home. My research led me to a style of living called minimalism. This isn't a new concept at all. Plenty of people in other countries and larger cities follow this way of living. I decided to try it out and this is where my journey has begun. A plus to this type of living is also that your budget ends up with more money to spare and save.

More links on this type of lifestyle:

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

http://www.missminimalist.com/ (Disclaimer: this blog speaks of searching for Truth, my extra time would be spent focusing on Bible reading and spending time with family)

http://www.theminimalistmom.com/ (Living minimally with kids)

Stay tuned for post referencing minimalism and our process of getting there (even with two dogs and a toddler).
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