Love the Home You Have Challenge | Day 2: Declutter
Today's #lovethehomeyouhave challenge is all about decluttering. Ugh.
I don't know about you, but as I look around my house it is far from perfect. There are dirty dishes in my sink, laundry I need to fold, and boxes... tons of boxes everywhere! Our decluttering needs are extensive and as I write this post David is in our garage filtering through all of our junk.
Yikes! Decluttering the garage and sorting out the mysterious contents of boxes from our move is going to take way longer than one day. So for today's post I'm going to share with you something that is motivating me to tackle this challenge: a success story!
Katherine, author of the blog The Joy of Motherhood has graciously shared her family's decluttering journey and how it has changed their life for the better. After reading, be sure to check out her site for all things motherhood :)
Decluttering Our Way to Happiness
I try my best each day to find happiness in my family rather than in how much stuff I have. It is a mental struggle for many of us because naturally we always seem to want more things. However, I would much rather have my husband home with my daughter and I than have him work several days of overtime just so I can buy more bits and pieces. Our time with him is worth more to me than the extra money.
Ironically, some of the happiest people across the world are the ones that have the least amount of belongings. The upper class American is worth millions of dollars, yet some of them feel a wealthy lifestyle isn’t worth living. Middle class Americans take on too many notes and as a result are stressed financially from living paycheck to paycheck. While inversely, most people of the lower class, though in poverty, tend to be the happiest and most close-knit families who are grateful for every penny earned.
So why is it that so many Americans have defined their happiness with materialistic things? Do they really base their joy on the amount of possessions they have to their name?
If you’re anything like me, you started your married life in a very small apartment. Actually the term “apartment” is a slight stretch… It was more like an add-on at my parent’s house that consisted of a bedroom, bathroom, and a joint wash/kitchen area. Did I mention it was tiny?
It was great for us at the time because we were just starting out, didn’t have much money, and it allowed us to save up and purchase the home we live in now. I’m so grateful it was an option for us. Transitioning from a tiny apartment you would think we didn’t have a lot of stuff, but that’s where you’re wrong.
Before our wedding we had three… yes THREE wedding showers. You can imagine how many gifts we accumulated. Not to mention all of the furniture handed down to us. The amount of support and love thrown our way was amazing. However, almost every gift remained unopened and stacked in my parent’s house for almost 6 months until we made the move to our very own home.
This move required a HUGE moving truck and about 3-4 other vehicles packed full. We had so much stuff. The crazy part is, after settling in we began to accumulate even more stuff, especially since we found out we were having a baby.
In the past year we have gone from two average paying jobs to my husband landing a really good job and me staying at home with our little one. Needless to say, with the increased income we have continued to accumulate a lot more stuff.
Yes, the root of the problem is that my husband and I are both impulse buyers and we may or may not be addicted to shopping on Amazon, but something had to give.
As a new mom, my house is hardly ever spotless. Ok, I'll be honest... It is pretty close to spotless now, but ONLY because my amazing mom has been spending the past week helping me get a handle on it. Before that, the last time it was spotless was 4 months ago when my mom was helping me recoup from my c-section. Aren’t mom’s amazing like that?
Even though I stay at home all day, I found I was still constantly cleaning. You name it, it’s probably on the floor… baby toys, dog toys, laundry that missed the hamper, dog hair, shoes and so on. Actually I am a firm believer that staying home only makes the house dirtier. It can’t get dirty if you aren’t here… right?
I decided that I was sick and tired of it. Once I began looking around the house I was blown away with how much stuff I have that I don’t need or use. I have soooo much junk! 12 bottles of nail polish, 14 bottles of hairspray, 20 scarves, and countless random items that I don't even remember why I purchased them. Why do I have 4 shampoo bottles half empty? Why do I keep throwing clothes that don't fit into the hamper after trying them on? If my flip-flops still have the tags on after 4 months I think it's safe to say I won't be wearing them. Do I really need the 3 barstools that take up space when I don’t even have a “bar?”
On an impulse, I decided to start going through all of my family's belongings and purging everything we didn't use on a regular basis. Crazy I know. But once I got started I couldn't stop. Seriously you should try it. It's like an addiction.
I took one section at a time and began decluttering. For me this meant throwing anything that we had not used in 3 or more months in boxes, with the exception of seasonal clothes. Everyday clothes that hadn’t been worn in several months went in the box. Shoes that get worn once a year went in the box. The countless scarves that I had accumulated, but never wear went in the box.
Getting rid of things was a lot easier than I thought it would be. With the exception of a few sentimental items such as special letters, my high school cheer uniform, and prom dress, I couldn’t bear to get rid of them and instead packed them in a tote box that I will store in the back of my closet. Everything else is going in a gigantic garage sale next month.
Before I knew it my kitchen was full of random items in boxes ready to be sold or donated. Besides the wonderful feeling of getting it all out of the house, it also felt nice to make a little money on the side. I have already made $150 and only about 1/10 of it is sold!
It's amazing what a difference this purge has done for my house. I can actually sit on my couch and breathe without feeling like I need to hide from my house. I can spend time with my 5 month old instead of letting her toys entertain her while I spend my day picking up meaningless clutter.
After researching, I found that many people choose a minimalist lifestyle for varying reasons. Some people are like me, and are sick and tired of cleaning during the time they could be spending with their family. Similarly, other people believe that too many belongings can cause them to lose focus on what really matters in life.
Whatever your reason… TRY IT. Declutter. You definitely won’t regret it!
I have been sporting the title “Stay-At- Home-Mom” since August 2016 and I am so blessed that I am able to do so! A few of my favorite things, aside from snuggling my new baby girl, include crafting, shopping on Amazon, and binging on Netflix. I started my blog THE JOYS OF MOTHERHOOD to share how I've learned that life is full of joyful moments that we all wish to hold on to, and complications that we can’t wait to get past whether you're a parent yet or not. I am thrilled to also offer product reviews, giveaways and anything else young women may relate to.
If you’re following along with this challenge, I’d like for you to pick one spot in your house to declutter. Katherine tackled her kitchen and closets, but for you it might just be a single drawer of a desk. The magnitude of decluttering is not the main focus, rather it isabout having a little something that you can clean up and bring back order to, so that you may feel a small victory today.
Leave a comment here or join a community of others participating in this challenge to share your decluttering victory or journey and don't forget to subscribe to my email list to follow along each day.