5.21.2012

Simplicity on Mondays: Living Life with Less Stuff

If your home is like mine, then a lot of stuff comes through your door. And I’m not necessarily talking about the stuff my family buys. We’ve tried to limit that through the years, but we are probably still guilty of buying more stuff than we need.

My husband is a borderline minimalist, whereas I’m a borderline hoarder. Sometimes that is not a match made in heaven. It can cause arguments about, well, … stuff.

He likes to throw things away. Sometimes, too quickly. I, on the other hand, struggle to let things go until I’m sure that they will no longer be needed. We have toys that never get played with daily … that is unless you count my daughter dumping them on the floor.

Having clean, clutter-free spaces helps my husband relax. I understand that. It’s not uncommon for him to ask me about paperwork or magazines on our kitchen island right before we are about to go to bed. He likes to clear things before going to bed.

Can you say bad timing? Truthfully, I think anytime he brings that up is bad timing for someone like me, but right before we go to bed is the absolute worst time ever.
I get tense. Snappy. Mad.

Here’s why. That teacher’s newsletter has sight words listed on it that I may need, or that magazine may have something in it I want to read or reference later. Yes, it’s been sitting on the counter now for three days, but I haven’t had the time in three days to look at it. I’m not ready to throw it away.
I snap, “Don’t ask me that right now.” Then he gets tense, mad, and disgruntled.

Yes, I will admit that we need some type of organization system, and I probably need to set up one day a week to purge, throw away the clutter, and get rid of items we don’t need or use. It’s just not the kitchen counter clutter, but it’s other things, too.

This brings me to ask myself, “Do we have too much stuff in the house?”

This is what our family room looks like after our tornado named, Baby Diva, gets into the cabinet.

My husband would be the first to say that we have more stuff than we need. I think he’s right.
Let’s face it. If my children have yet to put stickers in the free book that they got at Chic-fil-A in a kid’s meal, then yes, that book needs to be discarded.

Why is it still sitting in the kitchen?

Because I’m the type that wants to save it for a rainy day. So, there it sits, creating clutter.

Recently,  I opened one of the magazines that was cluttering the kitchen island and stumbled upon a great article in Parent and Child magazine called “Enough Is Enough.” Author Robert Shapiro talks about how scaling down on stuff can improve your family’s quality of life. He writes, “by knowing how much is enough, we declutter our minds, allowing us to be more present for our children. We save money, and we get a head start on becoming more environmentally responsible citizens of the planet.” It’s not a concept of not buying things, but rather choosing quality over quantity. He refers to it as selective materialism.

I get it. It sounds “freeing.”

I think I’m going to try this new way of thinking. To be successful, I will need to take baby steps.
I did, however, throw away the Chic-fil-A books because I’m sure we’ll get another one at our next visit.

That’s progress, right?

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