Decluttering:The change I want to see, needs to begin with me

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There has been a lot of decluttering going on in this house.

I donated 3 more bags yesterday. The Goodwill Trailer attendant and I are on a first name basis.

In the beginning the simplifying was easy. I knew that in order to make a real change in our lives, to quote that song from the 80’s, the change I want to see, needs to begin with me.

At first, decluttering was really just  throwing away garbage and broken items; toys that were missing wheels, puzzles that were missing pieces, broken jewelry, mismatched shoes, unmatched socks, etc.

Sadly, these were just things found  under my bed.

Seriously.

No joke.

Then I moved on to the clothes. I knew that before I could even tackle the clothes in my closet, I was going to have to confront the massive pile of handme downs that had taken over our bedroom floor and my dresser.

This was a bit harder.

I had been hoarding hand me down clothing for the kids for years.

This was not going to be easy. I had tried it before and while I had tossed some pieces into a bag I had ended up keeping many other pieces. I always had an excuse, that it would fit someone else or I could take the scraps and make them  into a quilt.

The truth is, this was never going to happen. I had formed an attachment to these clothes and I wasn’t going to let them go. They would live in the same piles until the end of time, unless I took immediate action.

Sounds crazy right?

To be attached to clothing that my children could not wear or use?

The real deal was that I wasn’t attached to the  clothing, I was attached to the memories associated with them.  But really the memories weren’t attached to those clothes. They were just pieces of fabric.

I needed to let go.

Keeping these clothes weren’t going to make my kids younger.

I needed to let go.

It was hard .

The secret part of letting go was not just packing up the clothes but letting go of the guilt.

Yep, guilt.

The guilt from having transported these clothes through several moves and having wasted  tons  of energy packing, unpacking, and washing them for no reason.  It was hard to take.

But, instead of spending time wallowing, I quickly bagged up the clothes and put them into the van as quick as I could.

Then I  spent a minute sitting on the bed gazing at the space that the absence of hand me downs had left.

I could actually see the top of my dresser! The truth is, I am pretty sure it has been over a year since I had seen it.

I could also see the floor!

A few months ago we had replaced the carpeting in our house with laminate wood flooring and has immediately covered it with clothes.

Now I could see the floor.

So cool.

My guilt vanished as I realized how much larger the room looked and how more peaceful it would be to sleep in without the clutter. ( As peaceful as sleeping with 2 toddlers can be).

After dealing with the drama of the hand me downs, simplifying my closet was a breeze.

I am beginning to slowly declutter the toys and bring the kids on board with my plan.

Last night my daughter, Moo asked me if we were moving. I asked her why she thought that and she said because the house was so clean. Hiding my laughter,  I told her that we were just decluttering so that we could actually an enjoy the things we have and not spend so much time cleaning. She said cool and gave me a hug.

Hopefully the other circus members will share her enthusiasm.

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4 thoughts on “Decluttering:The change I want to see, needs to begin with me

  1. I think well-meaning people think we NEED stuff. I told my husband this past weekend that I’m going to start frisking my mom and his mom before they come in the house because they’re always picking stuff up on sale for the kids. Seriously…my daughters do not need four bathing suits EACH. The books, the toys, the clothes…the hardest thing for me to part with are books, but last week I donated two big grocery bags FULL of beautiful, new books about homesteading, parenting, etc. They were taking up space and I only referred to them once or twice a year. So now I can check them out AND know that others will enjoy them too.

    My other hoard-item is fabric/textiles/yarn. But I’m working on it. I’m beginning to see how big and open our attic actually is, and think perhaps we could turn it into our bedroom if I part with all those things I envision as quilts etc. (and we both know I won’t ever do it).

    It’s SUCH a great feeling…like decluttering your mind and soul!

    • We have shoe issues! Each of the children have 5 or 6 pairs but yet can never find them. It constantly drives me crazy. It is ok to hold on to things you love. I am trying my best not to bring new things into the house. it is hard but worth it.

  2. Pingback: Minimalism- I better start scrubbing. | Raising the Circus

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