Getting A Piece Of My Sanity Back: Part II

I mentioned yesterday having trouble organizing but it is something I am getting better with. I have the over-thinking the issues. And the “I don’t know where to even begin” thoughts; but I know I am not alone.

Damn Joanna Gaines can whip a house together in weeks and all my binge watching Fixer Upper just makes me feel worse about my inability to even organize my pantry!

But I have to realize Joanna Gaines has a whole team of help, and I just have me.

As I suffer from anxiety, I feel more in control of my surroundings when I declutter.

We all deserve a serene, comfortable environment where we can unwind and not feel overwhelmed.

It gets easier to organize with more space and less stuff.

Minimal-Mom-Kitchen-1

Organizing is not simplifying.

We simply can’t purchase enough coordinating storage bins, boxes and shelves to calm our environment. Putting things in bins just means that our stuff is now semi-controlled. It doesn’t address the core issues you have with collecting or being unable to part with the items, which means you will just continue in with more of the same. To make a difference in your home, you must purge the clutter- and not just a small amount. You must declutter enough so that it is easy to assign places to every single one of your possessions.

Life at Home in The Twenty-First Century is great at documenting the clutter problem, and although fascinating, doesn’t offer any solutions in the book. Don’t worry though there is hope!

Rachel Jones, The Clutter-Depression -Anxiety Cycle: How to Stop Ithen I found out about minimalism I was ecstatic. Although there many types

When I found out about minimalism I was ecstatic. Although there are many types of minimalist definitions, there is not a wrong way to do it.

When you google minimalism, you may be scared off by the stark, white museum type homes. So I’ve gathered some of my favorite visuals from The Minimal Mom.

And some of my favorite tips on how I implemented this concept!

Let’s get at it!Our family now does TWO garage sales a year and I can say we are getting to the point of having less and less stuff to sell.

Pros: I can tackle cleaning the house in a short amount of time because 90% of items have a spot they belong! The kid’s rooms have far less toys and books than before.

kidscloset

Getting rid of things is emotional work.

Even when the family is ready to declutter and be rid of items, they tend to get paralyzed by emotions- either with sentimental attachments, guilt about the value of the items and believing they should sell it, and having such a cramped schedule, they don’t have time to declutter.

The schedule is so cramped, in fact, that people have very little leisure time- the actual “leisure” time these days, ends up with people being plugged in, which doesn’t give our brains adequate time to unwind and relax.

Rachel Jones, The Clutter-Depression -Anxiety Cycle: How to Stop It

How do I decide what to pitch, er, sell?!

Very simple. Take notes if you haven’t!

The things lying around that mean nothing or we have NEVER used, just taking up space and bringing no joy to me…buh-bye!

When you look at all the clothes, kitchen gadgets, kids toys that collect dust, 100 cups in the cabinets, junk drawers (the worst!) etc. and realize all this stuff is part of your scenery in your home… how do you feel?

If it doesn’t bother you- then you can stop reading now. But if you feel like I did and you need help to make an environment you don’t cringe at… I say give it a shot.

Another huge bonus? The financial savings!

We try to keep the junk out, so therefore we buy much less.

Eleven years as a mom and I know the “new toy” routine. We love it for a week and then we throw it aside. My 3 year old has his favorite toys (there are like four) and the rest is stuff around the house he wants to play with, AKA not toys.

Is he missing out?

Absolutely not. It’s called imagination!

We also visit the library like a ton. And playdates, pools, you get the idea.

With our 3.1% of the world’s children, U.S. consumers purchase more than 40% of the toys consumed globally.

In the United States, they found we have “child-centered homes”, with the children’s belongings spilling out into living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and even parents’ bedrooms. Parents purchase more for their children because they work more to maintain their quality of life and therefore feel guilty about not spending time with their children. Feelings of guilt (and also knowing deep down that material goods are a poor substitute for time together) add to depression and anxiety.

Rachel Jones, The Clutter-Depression -Anxiety Cycle: How to Stop It

And when all else fails to convince myself to get rid of stuff… I remember this.

“One day Amanda, you will be gone. And all of the junk you keep and move from home to home will one day end up in the care of your kids or at an auction and eventually a landfill.”

Seriously. It’s not the most pleasant thought, but that is the realistic side. I will hold on to items that have meaning, trinkets of love and memories always. But I will not put the burden of all the extra unnecessary items onto someone else for them to worry about.

We simply have too much surrounding us.

An average room has over 2,000 visible objects, particularly the office, or computer area that we tend to spend the most time in: emailing, browsing online, children doing homework, etc. It’s no wonder we’re over-stimulated and anxious! Which is one of the reasons my yearly decluttering challenge is not too hard to complete! Generally, we don’t realize just how quickly things add up and just how much of an abundance we have.

Rachel Jones, The Clutter-Depression -Anxiety Cycle: How to Stop It

Minimalism is a journey. So far, it is working for me and I have noticed a huge sense of accomplishment when I downsize. My thought process when I come home is calmer, the messes are there because well kids, but when the rest of the space has order, it doesn’t seem so bad. I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have embraced the minimalist lifestyle too!

officeminimalist

Start small, commit to developing a morning and evening routine of washing the dishes and tossing trash.

I know it seems too small a thing to matter, but when the dishes are done, life doesn’t seem quite as overwhelming. Seeing the evidence that you accomplished something gives a great boost to your self-confidence.

Rachel Jones, The Clutter-Depression -Anxiety Cycle: How to Stop It

These are some wonderful resources if you would like to learn more:

Minimalism for Families by Zoe Kim

Minimalism for Living, Family Budgeting by K. L. Hammond

The Joy of Less, a Minimalist Living Guide- Francine Jay

On Netflix Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things

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