Raising Children,  Simple Living

That time I got serious about booting the clutter.

simple living, minimalism, decluttering, self-improvement, peaceful motherhood

You know that for many years I struggled with controlling the clutter in my house, and there came I time when I began asking myself some very important questions.  WHY did I need to declutter? 

Decluttering for reals is a serious business. When I was finally able to get real with myself, and know that I wanted a simpler life, I felt an amazing strength of resolve.

I was tired of the constant treadmill of dealing with clutter and I was ready to work to make a real change.

If you are considering a big declutter, I suggest you take a bit of time to think about why you want to do this in the first place. Having important reasons helped me though many moments of overwhelm and they have helped me to maintain my decluttered lifestyle, even with 5 little kids and lots and lots of projects!

I realized that my clutter (because of my shopping habit) was a thief. It was robbing me of the life I wanted for myself, robbing my children of the best mother I could be. It was robbing my husband of a comforting place to return to after a long day of working to support us. Why had I let this thief into my home?

My clutter was stealing all my time.

When my home was cluttered, I found that I was constantly shifting the stuff. And not a quick “whipping things into shape.” Just to have somewhere to eat dinner required moving piles of stuff around.  Things had to be moved out of chairs before I could sit, and I was always tripping over toys or laundry. 

Making a safe place for the curling iron to rest was a challenge, and how many times did I have to find a new place to put something because a drawer had become to full. 

My clutter was stealing my time, little by little.  But it added up to hours per week that I was just dealing with it all.

My clutter was stealing my mental energy

I don’t know about you, but I have found that being in a cluttered space greatly effects my ability to organize my thoughts.  It’s really hard for me to make a plan and feel like I can tackle it and succeed if my surroundings are full of stuff.

 I need mental space to think well, and I felt I just couldn’t get that in my own home. Other areas of my life suffered because I just couldn’t give them the mental attention they needed.

My clutter was stealing my emotional energy

Guilt.  Shame.  Overwhelm.  Hopelessness.  When I used to look around at my messy, clutter home I would feel all these things. 

Even after I had spent hours putting things away, I always knew that a fresh mess would be back to greet me soon.  Even if everything looked under control, I always knew that it was just a facade that could easily crumble.

  My clutter was causing a steady undercurrent of anxiety, and that certainly spilled over into other areas of my life.

My clutter was costing me money (like, a lot)

I’ve always thought of myself as thrifty and frugal, but somehow I managed to fill my home with things that I didn’t need or use, and almost all of them were purchased by me at some point.  That is money flowing out from already small budget.

I don’t know how much it would all add up to if I tallied everything I bought that I didn’t need or didn’t bring me lasting joy.  I’m sure it would be in the thousands, probably tens of thousands of dollars. That slow trickle ads up. Ouch!

Purchasing duplicates of things was common when we couldn’t find something. And I had to buy bins or storage baskets for all my things, too. More money gone, gone, gone.

My clutter was stifling my dreams

This is biggest reason for me.

For years I was filled with ideas about what I wanted to do and accomplish, and simple fact that I was weighed down (mentally, emotionally, physically and financially) by clutter. It kept me from doing all the things I dreamed of doing. 

Sometimes I would begin a project, then never finish it because I was just to tired.  Or sometimes I would have a wonderful idea and never even start. 

Or sometimes it was just to much to think about how I could make  a major change in my life because it all just felt to hard and heavy. 

Clutter kept me down for so long.  It kept me from spreading my wings and blossoming into the person and mother and wife that I wanted to be.

The freedom I feel without the clutter

It’s a wonderfully light feeling to know exactly why I won’t bring something into my home.  It’s so helpful to remember that my reasons for staying the course are really important ones.

If you too have moved towards a more simple life, what are the “whys” of your decluttering?  If you are still thinking about making a shift towards a more simple life, are you feeling some of these same things that I was? 

Dealing with clutter is so much more than following someone else’s checklist (though those can certainly be helpful!)

I know that reading how other women had made it though the process gave me encouragement when I felt like giving up. 

I’m all about the practical tips and tricks part of decluttering too, and I’m still working on finding the balance of what amount of material possessions is right for our family. But I know that for me, seeing clutter as a thief was the thing that made this notion really sink in and stick, forever.

Have you ever decluttered, or do you think you might some day?

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When I realized that all my clutter was robbing me of the life I wanted, robbing my children of the unstressed mother they needed, and chipping away at my sense of peace.

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