You may be wondering how something as simple as ridding of your stuff can drastically change your life. A thought that crossed my mind at one time as well.
When I was a teenager I always thought the meaning of life was to work harder and longer, make all the money, and then buy ALL the things. As It sits today I am 26 years old and all I wish is that I had known then, what I know now. I spent the early years of my twenties working a job that I hated simply because I thought it was what I was supposed to do. I earned a big paycheck and I bought all the things… things like jewelry, clothes, paintings, a tassimo, a juicer, craft supplies, not one but two cowhide rugs, books, cds, dvds, shoes ALL the shoes, candles, essential oils, even a brand spanking new $50, 000 car. You name it, I had it and I still wanted more. I bought all the things that I was supposed too and I still wasn’t happy.
How is it that you can have the dream husband, the ranch, the animals, the money, the vehicle, the inner gratification of adequately keeping up with the Joneses AND still not be happy.
I’ll tell you why.
Because as I was keeping up with the Joneses, I was filling every single inch of our 600 square foot home and my soul with dreams that belonged to the Joneses, not to me. I was compensating for my unhappiness with things instead of getting to the root of the problem. Little did I know that, these things were actually adding to the chaos and unhappiness in my life. I didn’t own my stuff, it owned me.
January 2016 rolls around and I lost my job.
February 2016 rolls around and I found out we were expecting our first baby.
BLEEP BLEEP BLEEEP BLLEEEEEEEPPPPP.
All I could think was… “Now i don’t have a job, which also equals no money.”
How in the heck am I going to BUY ALL THE THINGS FOR MY BABY.
I need a crib, a change table, a swing, a cradle, a breast pump, cloth diapers, clothes, toys, bedding, a play mat, receiving blankets, toiletries, wipes ALL the wipes, oh yeah and one of those things that you put on the bed for co-sleeping so you don’t roll on your baby AND I also need a new house.
My list seemed reasonable at the time. Not too much to ask, afterall I’m having a baby and a baby NEEDS a nursery & space to put all their things.
Months fast forward and my unrealistic motherhood dreams were not becoming my reality and I was singing the poor me’s. My poor baby wouldnt have ALL the things that the other 13 babies born in our circle of friends would have. Devastation set in.
And then I read an article, it was titled “How Getting Rid of My Stuff Saved my Motherhood.”
Um…What? No thanks, that makes absolutely no sense, but being who I am, I thought I would let the article humor me and gave it a read through.
MY MIND WAS BLOWN.
This woman spoke to me, directly to me.
She talked about feeling guilty because she wasnt enjoying her motherhood. She felt like she was constantly cleaning and tidying from sun up to sun down. How the vision of being a stay at home mom was nothing like her reality. She didn’t get to spend time with her kids because if she pressed pause on her duties to play, she would pay the price later with twice as much mess.
This was me. I didn’t simply want to get through each day.
I didn’t want to hide when a vehicle pulled into the yard, dread people coming over or do the 15 minute shove and stuff anymore.
I decided right there that I was going to fall back in love with 600 square feet.
I was STUFFO-CATED and I was going to become UN-STUFFO-CATED.
I started with clothes, then shoes, then the kitchen, house decor, baby stuff, etc.
One bag after another left my house.
One car load after another dropped off at the local thrift store.
I started feeling lighter and lighter & happier and happier.
Becoming a minimalist family takes time. It has taken me over a year to get to the point that I am at and I am still consistently changing, learning and growing. I still to this day make deliveries to the thrift stores and am slowly but surely falling back in love with 600 square feet. It was never a lack of storage space, time or two small of a home that was the problem… the problem was simply too much stuff. You may be wondering how I could possibly still have stuff to get rid of after a year of purging… and the answer is… just because something brings you joy in the past, does not mean you need to keep it forever.
Minimalism has given me life in ways I never thought imaginable. I simply thought that I would get through each season of my life and as I did, things would become easier and less stressful.
Some things that I have noticed change in my life because of minimalism are as follows:
- I intentionally think about each purchase I make. Is it purposeful, do I love it, do I already have something similar, do I need it.
- It has saved us money without frivolously shopping to keep up with the Joneses.
- It has helped me be less stressed out and has increased my relationship with my immediate family members for the better.
- It has made me absolutely despise clutter.
- It has helped me spend more time outside and less time cleaning.
- It has helped me have time for personal growth and education.
- It has helped me spend more quality time with my daughter.
- It has helped our family eat even healthier with more time to prepare meals.
- It has gifted me with less laundry and dishes.
- It has helped me find my purpose in life.
With baby number two due in early April, I am so excited to see how we can make our 600 square feet even more functional, more purposeful and more ours and I’m not freaking out one bit.
From my journey to yours, this is how minimalism is helping me become UN-STUFFO-CATED. There is more to life than getting THROUGH each season. Don’t let your stuff own you.