19 February, 2013

Downsizing & Simplifying: Our Step Towards A More Minimal Life

A few weeks ago, just before Porter's birthday, Dan and I were discussing just how cluttered our living space felt and how much it impacted our moods. Cluttered space = cluttered mind, which was leading to frustration and not being able to relax with one another.

Toys were constantly strewn everywhere, toys that weren't being played with but were being tossed aside to find the very select few toys that Mara and Porter actually enjoy.  When it was coming time to put the laundry away, it was overwhelming, there was just so much clothes, missing socks, a day after putting the laundry away, something was missing. We had an entire desk topped with stuff, when we sat down to go thru it and throw away just the junk, uhm, there was nothing left! So we decided it was time to purge!

We sorted through all the toys, all of the clothes, we got rid of almost entirely all of Mara and Porter's plastic toys and kept the few toys that they absolutely love, that contribute to learning and new skills, and the rest we set aside. Moved onto the clothes and left each of them with roughly seven shirts, four bottoms, Mara eight pairs of underwear, and bagged up the rest after washing it. I have to tackle Mara's shoes next, and we picked up new sets of socks for Mara and Porter. Seven pairs with the days of the week on them, for $5 each, and purged the rest of the socks. Now it's easier to match and keep up with little socks!

The stuff we decided not to keep we took to our local secondhand children's store where they go thru what you don't want anymore, buy what they want, and give you back the rest. We made around $20-$30, I can't remember the exact amount, and donated the rest to our favorite thrift store in town, the Morning Star Mission.

It felt really good to not have so much stuff, to give to someone, even in an indirect way like donating to a thrift store. Eventually someones going to go shopping and pick up something we donated and it will be in wonderful condition, at the price they can afford. The secondhand store that bought stuff from us really didn't take all that much, and the mission ended up getting basically brand new toys and hardly worn clothes.

The desk we had cleared off, we were able to put in the back store room because we had nothing to put on it anymore, and it freed up a lot of space. Then, we were able to take all the books that had been sitting on a gigantic extra wide book shelf, and put the children's books in a recycled wooden crate, and store Dan and I's books under his nightstand on the little shelf area. The wooden crate of books now sits atop Mara and Porters dresser, which helps IMMENSLEY with floor clutter, because now Porter cannot pull all of the books off the book shelf, and I can just give him a few at a time. Now, the big, wide book shelf is also moved into the back storage room, and will be donated when Dan has time to haul it over to the mission.

It was a much needed purge, and we were able to free up so much space, and have a much more comfortable living space. The following weekend, we went against our spending fast, and used the money from the secondhand store buying some stuff, to go to Home Depot and pick up a house plant, stuff to create a chalkboard for Mara, and plan out the Garden. We freed up so much space that there was room for a beautiful, Nephytis to sit by the window, and to create a tall, narrow chalkboard for Mara to draw on when she felt like spicing things up from the normal coloring book and markers and crayons. I love our new space.

Have you been thinking about getting rid of some of your stuff? Do you feel overwhelmed by clutter? It may seem overwhelming sorting things, but it is so freeing with the end result.

1 comment:

  1. I hear you! We've been on a program of decluttering all this year it feels like, I've been getting rid of heaps of old paperwork I'd been hanging on to (my desk feels so light and free now) and a massive house and clothing clean out. I think clutter in our houses is a reflection of our state of mind too, I guess that's why the clean out feels so good :).
    Jacqui @ dustycountryroad.com