Life Tips,  Personal Stories

How we began our practice of de-cluttering.

A Bit Of Backstory on how we ended up de-cluttering.

De-cluttering definitely started with our kids, and de-cluttering their toys. First things first, toys are outrageously priced these days. I am not the only one that sees that, I can’t be. So, I mean, there’s that. 🤷🏻‍♀️ But, when we had our first daughter (10 YEARS AGO! 😱) we gave her all the things. All the crappy, cheapie toys, all the expensive, fancy toys. She asked for it, she got it. It was definitely not the best way to parent, but you live and you learn. It’s biting us in the ass now, haha! No, she’s a great chid.

After we had our second daughter, we started seeing how much stuff we had. How much stuff she had, actually. We were living in a two bedroom apartment and we had started working on her room so she could share with her little sister, that’s when we realized she had so much stuff. We de-cluttered a little bit, and our view on pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting had shifted a lot that year. One of the biggest things we were starting to work on was replacing all the stuff with memories, and things that mattered. Like, art supplies, puzzles, books, and outside time.

We had also decided that spending as much as we had been on toys and “junk” was just not okay. Not for our pocket book or for our children. Sean was raised the complete opposite of that, and I was raised exactly like that. I got everything I wanted when I wanted it, and I think that helped in making the choice to stop doing that. I don’t remember many memories of my parents, just the things. We didn’t want that for our kids.

Shocking Changes and New Knowledge Gained.

One thing I noticed the most as we started de-cluttering was how much more our oldest was talking, and making up her own stories, and using her imagination. Her behavior did a 180, she wasn’t so stressed out. I didn’t know this at the time, but after some research, I started learning that there is such a thing as too much stuff for kids. When kids have too much stuff in their rooms, it overwhelms them, it can cause behavior issues, and sleep issues. When they aren’t getting enough sleep that messes with their immune system. What a crazy cycle I was unaware of, and I assume there are many parents that just as unaware. It’s just not something people talk about, especially companies that market to children, they just want our money.

This kept on going, becoming more of a thing for us; de-cluttering our stuff. The husband and I started de-cluttering our stuff, and stuff we kept for no reason. I got rid of so much stuff, and so did my husband. It feels liberating, and freeing to release yourself from all the stuff. Note: I don’t agree with the Kon Mari method very much.)

I also started noticing that I was less overwhelmed, and less stressed, as was the husband. Things were easier to find, and the things we found in our process of de-cluttering were stuff we meant to use and never did because they got lost. Now, we had new things to do, new things to finish, which is always exciting. It was an all around amazing change for us.

Tips for de-cluttering.

There are many different books, shows, facebook posts, Instagram posts, and things on Pinterest telling you how to downsize. Intentional de-cluttering, donated de-cluttering, throwing things in the garbage de-cluttering, and the Kon Mari method are just some of the ways, but I know there are more. I didn’t follow any of them, I took tips from them, and I did what worked best for us. So, here’s how we did it, and still do. There is always more reasons to start de-cluttering.

  • Pick one area or room to start. Don’t overwhelm yourself by starting in multiple places at once.
  • Once you have a room picked, pick an area in that room.
  • Get a bag/box for donating, for garbage, for burning/shredding (important paperwork that you no longer need), and one for keep.
  • Turn on your favorite music, and start. But…don’t stop until you’re done with that area. Always finish an area before moving on.
  • When you’ve finished going through things and separating into their respective bags/boxes, organize everything you put back as you put it away. This is important. If you just toss everything back in, it will become a mess which will cause more overwhelm.
  • Should you have enough time, and the mental clarity at the time to start a second area, do it. If you do not, don’t stress, come back tomorrow.

I suppose I consider this a partly intentional way to declutter. But, at the same time, even if something brings you joy or did it at one time doesn’t mean you should keep it. This is how you end up with so much stuff because we get sentimental about things and don’t want to get rid of them. The biggest question I have to ask myself is this:

De-cluttering questions to ask:

Do I need or want this? What purpose does it serve? Will it better our lives at some point in the next 6 months?

If you answer no to those, toss it or donate it, it is not needed. I try to do this overhaul of all our things every 6-8 months. Especially after big holidays like birthdays and Christmas. We currently live in a travel trailer (you can read all about that here) so de-cluttering is easy right now, but you would still be so surprised at how much stuff we still accumulate if we don’t stay on top of this. De-cluttering is so important for our health, I really do thing that having too much stuff is unhealthy for our minds and our bodies. We don’t need all the things, we need all the time and connection with others, and memories from nature and friends. Things are just things, people are people, and we as humans are a people-connection kind of species.

Another great thing to add to your newly de-cluttered house is essential oils! While you’re cleaning I highly recommend diffusing my spring time blend (recipe below)! It will help you focus, and make you feel uplifted and happy while you’re de-cluttering and getting your place put together!

Do you de-clutter in your home on a regular basis? If not, why not? What is your opinion on de-cluttering? Let me know in the comments!

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