The Pursuit of Less
Over the past couple of years I have become increasingly more sensitive to the stuff filling up our lives. Commitments, cell phone apps, unread books stacked on every table, the unreasonable amount of clothing in our closets. Having a baby only heightened this awareness and has made me even more clutter-phobic. Even as minimalist parents, we still face more things in our home and on the calendar because our family has grown.
I struggle with this. I have been guilty of thinking we need a product or to sign up for the next toddler class when in all reality I hyped it up in my mind to be something more valuable than it is.
One theme on my Pinterest board for 2015, and a goal for this year is to incorporate more white space in my life. White space on my calendar, white space in my home, room in the closets, room in my head to process, etc.
This is especially true when it comes to the aesthetic of our home. Being a work at home mama, I'm here A LOT. I am a very organized person by nature so seeing all the clutter and unnecessary decorations has started to drive me insane after looking at it all day, every day for over a year. I've gone through many purges, and still my heart needs refreshing in this area of my life.
Just when I feel the room in my chest to breathe in a little, I start to feel cramped and cluttered again. It's a HARD process. But one where I think God has been opening my eyes to more and more that I just need to part with. This is a heart issue for me. Over the years I've gone through seasons where I'm asking more of this question: "Is this a need or a want?" I often have to define those terms very specifically or I can get caught in the cycle of holding onto things that add no real value towards what matters most in life.
It's crazy how much comfort and security possessions bring me. I war with myself over the most trivial items that I convince myself I need. I find myself living in fear that we will need something in a year or two and regret that we gave it away in a flurry of minimalism.
But here's the thing, I don't want to hold on to possessions because I'm fearful. I don't want to say "yes" to activities because culture tells me it's what I need to do. I don't want to hold onto things because everyone else in America has one. I want to live against the culture. I want to par down our life to the essentials so that I can get the right things done, making what matters most in our life happen.
Do you want that too? Here's how I'm starting:
- Get rid of old/unworn clothes and solidify a capsule wardrobe for myself, Jordan and Rae This is going to be a tough one. I already worked on creating a capsule wardrobe after Reaghan was born (see post about that here and here) but still feel overwhelmed by my closet and dresser. I recently read a Wildly Co. blog post about how the clothing we donate may not actually be going to great places....anyone have tips on how to give away old clothing in an ethical way?
- Get rid of useless furniture Again with the "we might need this one day" mentality, we have three chairs at our kitchen bar that get used as a holding bin for my art while I'm working on it. We've used them a handful of times for hosting showers, but they aren't comfortable, are too short for our bar, and rarely get used. Things like this need to go.
- Clear the decoration clutter
- Minimize and rotate toys
- Clean out garage
- Throw away old holiday cards/keep those we want
- Organize family memories and pictures in keepsake boxes
- Keep magnets and papers on refrigerator at a minimum This sounds so simple, but it is huge for me. When I see a cluttered door and side of my refrigerator, I don't look at anything on it at all. Same goes for random junk that gets thrown on top of the refrigerator.
- Clean out and organize closets
- Clear the bathroom and kitchen counter space
What about you? Are you thirsty for white space in your life? Whether it's clearing the mental clutter or the real life clutter, what can you par down to create room for what matters in your life? I'd love to hear!