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Taking Charge of Our Stuff

Hello from the depths of motherhood! My daughter Elliot is now 4 months old; every day is crazed and wonderful and stressful and awesome. Since the birth of Elliot, and even through my pregnancy, I let blogging fall off my radar. It became one of those things that nagged at me and then the procrastination became overwhelming and there was so much to catch up on that became a daunting project. So, a couple months after Elliot was born, I made the decision to temporarily stop blogging. I was having a hard enough time just keeping up with caring for this new baby and myself, not to mention working and spending time with family and friends.

But I'm back to the blog! And I'm back with a mission. Besides blogging about my baby, life, crafts and my business, I want to use this platform to make myself accountable for something I want to tackle: living minimally (my version of minimalism)

I started off this post touching about the burden I felt/feel every day to just keep up with things: work, design, spending hours with my baby, connecting with my husband, staying in touch with friends and family, taking care of my pets, and CLEANING THE HOUSE.  We are always, always cleaning the house and doing laundry.  It drives me nuts! Why can't the house stay clean?

A few weeks ago I started reading blogs about families who live as minimalists. I forget how I stumbled into that world, but once there I found it facinating. One family of four has a total of 33 articles of clothing! What?? I am not interested in living that extreme of a minimalist lifestyle, but wow, it did sound peaceful to have less crap in your life.

These are the three problems in my family's life that I need to solve:

1. My husband can never find anything. He has a bad habit hiding things from himself and his hiding spots are terrible (just this morning he accused me of throwing away his phon screen protectors.  You know where they were? In the mailbox.)

2. My husband and I can never find anything - there is just stuff on every single surface of the house. Mail, keys, vitamins, candles, remote controls, wires and cords (so many USB cables!), and baby bottles.

3. We are forever needing to clean or cleaning or just cleaned.  The last thing I want to do when I come home at 7:30pm from work is clean the house, but I'm always tidying for an hour or more. My husband will do some big cleaning during the day (bathrooms, kitchen, laundry), but there is always hours of tidying to be done (folding laundry, picking up baby items strewn over the house, several days worth of shoes by the front door, piles of mail to file and bills to pay).

And I realized that all those problems could be helped, if not solved, by us just having less stuff. Ok, maybe less stuff won't make Abe stop hiding things, but at least we would have less places for him to use at secret spots. And money isn't a huge problem for us, but we live on a fairly tight budget - buying less stuff will definitely be an added bonus to our bank account.

(Wow, I don't think I've ever written this long of a post. I hope you're still with me because I'm about to get to the fun stuff: making it happen!)

All the blogs I've read have said to start small. Last week I took the liberty of throwing out Abe's gross old white undershirts and ripped boxers. And late last night I completed a satisfying purge of scarves, hats, belts, shoes and pants. Then I tackled the bathroom and threw out hotel shampoos and old makeup.  Nothing sentimental, but we're taking baby steps in this process.

My goal for 2013 is to create more open space in our home, buy less of everything, and just live more practically. I don't want to become a minimalist - I make things for a living, I love having things and decorating, and I just have too much attachment to inanimate objects - but I think we can make some drastic cuts and simplfy our life.

bag o' things to be donated

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