My family has lived in our current house for just about a year and a half now. During that short time, I have been amazed at the amount of clutter that resurfaced. One thing I have learned in my minimalism journey is that purging the excess needs to be an ongoing process. The minute you stop thinking about exactly how you want your space to be is when all that extra clutter creeps right on in.
I decided that it would be a good idea to do a big end of year purge. Basically, I took down all the Christmas stuff and started right there. I threw out all the old and worn out decorations, all the broken items, and anything that just wasn’t working anymore. I took the tree down (it’s a fake one) and boxed it up. Then I vacuumed up all the leftover debris.
I needed to get that stuff put away. I love Christmas, but it gets overwhelming for me after a bit.
Sensory overload is a real thing.
Last year, our first Christmas here, we purchased a large tree to replace the smaller one we already had. What I learned this year is that I really preferred the small tree. As long as my husband agrees (and I think he will), I am going to give the large one away and go small again for next year and all the years thereafter.
After all the Christmas stuff was put away, I went through the house. I didn’t concern myself with the kids’ rooms. We’ve gone through them numerous times and I will share about my kids in a different post.
I also didn’t concern myself with items that specifically belong to my husband. I don’t want to force him into being minimal if he doesn’t want to be. He can take care of his own stuff when he is ready. Or, if he ever asks me to, I will help him.
What I focused on was what pertained to me.
I looked at my items and at items that only I tend to use. I let go of expired products, unused kitchen supplies, craft items from the crafting projects I once said I would do but never did because, well, crafting is not something I enjoy (see previous post). I let go of extra paperwork that was no longer needed, and I went through my homeschooling supplies and got rid of things that we no longer need or use for school.
I also went through my planner stuff. Planning became all the rage a few years ago and I got very swept up in it. The problem is that I bought all the planners (more than one – for every occasion under the sun), and all the accessories to go with them (stickers, washi tape, embellishments, etc…), but I wasn’t using them. Like most people, I only actually use one planner. I took a good look at all that stuff and I let go. Totally. I only kept that one planner that I actually use, and I feel so free! It is like a weight lifted off me. Why was I hanging on to that stuff? Other than using it to create pretty Instagram pictures, it didn’t serve any purpose in my life anymore. I think sometimes hobbies are only meant to last a season, know what I mean?
The entire decluttering/purge process took less than two hours. Because of becoming more minimal in life, even when I feel like clutter has crept in, it is never quite as bad as it seems.
After I purged, my next move was to better organize some areas.
I’m one of those people that believes that every item in the house needs a place to live. What I mean is, the kitchen counter isn’t a home for toys, papers, books, boxes, or anything else. Each thing in the house has a place and when not in use, I like for each thing to be where it belongs.
I went through the house and put items back in their homes. I didn’t create new places. I didn’t buy storage to solve any problems. I just simply put things away. And if I found an item that didn’t have a home and didn’t seem necessary to anyone, I purged it.
Getting Set for 2019
With the new year approaching, I’m really feeling good about where I’m at in my minimalism journey. I feel like I can successfully go through 2019 without bringing in too much extra junk. But just to make sure, I’m listing as one of my goals for the coming year to be more intentional in purchases. I want to start using a pause method where I stop for a few days and really think about things before I buy them.
I wan’t to ask myself questions like:
Do I really need it?
Does it actually serve a purpose?
Is it going to be useful for the long haul?
I also want to consider borrowing an item if I only need it for one thing. It sure beats spending money to buy something I will only end up decluttering later.
I know that I will need to complete more decluttering/purging sessions as time goes on. I can already think of areas where I’d like to get started, but I’ll have to approach them carefully. The house is lived in by more than just me, and I want to be sure that everyone is happy in the space. Even so, I will continue freeing up my areas and in turn, freeing up my mind.
2019 should be a good year for minimalism my way.