I didn’t think I would be writing the 2nd part in ‘Minimizing – My attempt to clean up the shit’ so soon, but as it turns out, I felt so good after cleaning out the boys’ room yesterday that today, I tackled my daughter’s room.
I went in with 3 large garbage bags ready to donate and purge. I started with the closet and the section where you can hang clothes. I filled up one garbage bag for the PTA in about 5 minutes. I began to organize by sections. First being the school uniform section because this is the area that causes us all the most stress. Every morning we hear ‘mom I don’t have any uniform clothes, so I need to wear regular clothes!’ This is followed by us screaming back ‘Go look! I just did the laundry’ or ‘too bad, you’ll need to figure it out’ or something as useless as that.
I kid you not, I found at least 5 perfectly clean uniforms shoved and wadded into the back of the closet, which I can assume to be placed there on purpose! I did not get upset, I hung each uniform in the closet with care. I am so excited to show my daughter how organized her room is now and point out all the uniforms, ha ha ha (insert bad mom witch laugh here).
It took me about one and half hours to go through it all, re-organize and haul the 4 large garbage bags out of the house. One bag was truly garbage, broken toys, paper scraps, plastic toy pieces etc.
After I was done I began thinking, how did it get this bad? I used to pride myself on being minimal. We lived in tiny apartments in San Francisco with kids, we didn’t have the luxury of ‘storage.’ When we moved to North Carolina, again we had a tiny house, 1,000 square feet. All the kids shared a room and they had ONE closet and ONE dresser.
Then it came to me, we let life happen to us. We were both so busy with our careers, hustling every day to get kids up, fed and out the door that we didn’t stop and think. We brought crap in the house and nothing left. It serves a purpose of providing a little amount of pleasure but then it gets thrown in the back of one of our many closets and forgotten about. The only way we still know it exists is because it causes us stress as the shit just keeps piling up and up. We allowed our kids to do the same thing. I’m sure all busy families can relate to this. We never stopped to evaluate if the shit coming in would actually bring us happiness in the long run. I can tell you from experience that most shit you buy won’t bring you long-term happiness. Now, I will say there are a few exceptions. My Vitamix mixer for one brings me happiness every day when I whip up my smoothies and it has lasted a long time. Anyway, most things we buy and consume will not bring us happiness in the long term.
I allowed my job to control my everyday life. I made my job the number one priority. It came before my kids, my marriage, my home. Finally, the benefits of that job did not outweigh the benefits of being with my kids more, taking care of my home, and my marriage. That is when I decided to take back MY life and get things under control again or maybe for the first time, who knows. It’s a great feeling not to be controlled by things or money. I am not scared that we might need to eat rice and beans, or pass on buying that cute pair of shoes, or buying a plane ticket to some destination. This is a choice that I made to simplify my life. I am already enjoying my choice and I am only on day three!
Enjoy the before and after pics of the room.
More to come…