I love to watch documentaries. Whenever I find the chance (nowadays it’s while I am nursing or during nap time) to fit these types of shows in, I do. I am so intrigued by the glimpse it gives me, from my living room couch, into someone else’s life. Many of the people in the documentaries are just like me in many cases but some are those that chose a totally different path than me, different ways of living and different convictions. It has become so interesting to learn about the “why’s” behind their decisions.
The most recent documentary I watched, Minimalism, takes a look into people whose lifestyle is solely based off of living each day with the things that bring joy to your life, and nothing more. They have a great way of figuring out what is really important in life and then waking up each day committed to that lifestyle. This documentary, along with books like, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, “The Joy of Less”, “Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life” and “Stuffocation”, really started to get me thinking about my own life, belongings, home, family and how we find joy. I decided that as the new year rolls in, there is no time like the present to start living with less stuff and more joy!
Ok. So to some, I may sound like a quack. And maybe I am. But even with the little I have done to start decluttering my life, I have found joy in it’s place. A weight has been lifted off of me and I feel like I have a clearer mind, as well as a clearer house, and I am just getting started! My goal is to minimize everything in our house until everything has been looked at or gone through and I can justify it’s space.
It started with the toys. Yes, there were WAY too many toys in our house and on Christmas Eve, my husband and I (yes, he is 100% all for the minimal life) went through all of them. Every. Single. One. We kept things our kids regularly played with (minus the annoying toys that need batteries) and got rid of the rest. It’s been a week and they still haven’t noticed.
Next, our clothes. I decided to start with my children’s clothes and then work my way through our own closet, linens, decorations, furniture and then finally kitchen gadgets, appliances and dishes. I have a 2 year old and a 3 year old boy with WAY too many clothes. I didn’t even buy most of them- but in my mind, it was excessive. Many of the clothes were given to us by generous friends, or were hand me downs from my oldest son. As much as I appreciated every article, I knew that the boys would never get around to wearing all of them as they find their favorites and stick with them. So, we cleaned house. I first started with making sure all their laundry was clean and accounted for, then we took it all and brought it down to our living room, every single piece. Nothing was left in their room.
We went through every piece and asked ourselves, “Does this bring us joy?”
Oh yes we did. With everything.
Some things we knew the boys loved to wear and then there were some things we knew we loved to see them in, i.e. Ohio State Buckeye attire. When all was said and done, the boys now had enough clothes to get them through one week (for cold and warm seasons). That’s all they need!! And guess what? Before even moving on to anyone else’s closets, I have noticed I am not so busy doing laundry anymore. It has made my life SO much easier. I even let them pick out their clothes because it’s pretty easy for them to pick from 7 t-shirts and 2 pairs of jeans.
I have continued to do this throughout my house one room at a time and hope to be decluttered by the time my husband has to go back to work in a few days. Already, we have taken eight garbage bags full to Goodwill. I hope to update you soon with how things are going and also the before and after pictures of what our house looks like. I don’t picture us getting terribly extreme and having bare walls and nothing extra, but we are committed to living with less and being intentional with all of our purchases and all of the things we let into our home. My hope in all of this is that living with less will ultimately give me more time with my family, more joy in my heart and more peace of mind. I encourage you to do your own version of minimalism.
It looks different for everyone, but I think if we are all responsible with what not only takes up our time and money, but what takes up our space, we will see that it brings us that much more joy in return.
Have you seen the documentary “Minimalism” on Netflix? We would love to know your thoughts on it and if you have taken steps to live with less. Tell us below!