I have been thinking about just exactly what to call this blog post for a long time now.
I thought about calling it Journey Towards Minimalism , but this one, well, it’s more like instantaneous travel.
A few weeks ago we did something. We got rid of all our clutter.
Let me tell you, it feels amazing.
Here is what we did.
We set aside a week with very few commitments, we hired a skip, we set up a large tent in the garden and then we decluttered.
I prepared the front garden as my declutter area, I set up boxes for things to be thrown away, I set up boxes for things to be donated, boxes of things for friends, and four boxes of things to keep.
Then we put all our clutter into the front garden and I started to sort through it.
We put everything that was in a condition to be donated into the tent,
everything else went into the skip.
We went through boxes and boxes of things. It was hard, making a decision about absolutely everything we ever bought, everything we owned.
Almost everything had a memory attached to it, dreams, choices, things like that, and who really likes being confronted with all the bad purchases they have made in the past? (And why did we own at least ten brand new pairs of shoes for newborns? I don’t think any of mine wore shoes when they were that size!)
It was not easy. It took us all of four hours to fill an 8 yard skip right to the top.
There were a lot of things that were really easy to let go, old magazines, toys the little ones had outgrown, plates and glasses we never used, things like that.
The hardest, for me, were the baby clothes.
Having already gone through boxes and boxes of old toys I was feeling pretty emotional.
Then I came across a box of beautiful newborn clothes.
As I picked up tiny dresses, the most adorable little socks and shoes, and moved them into the donate boxes, it sort if became very real to me that we were done with having babies, and that my babies were, despite me asking them not to, growing up. At this point I was openly crying in the front garden, right in front of the neighbours and the postman, who sort of awkwardly avoided eye contact and mumbled “Cheers” as he handed me the post.
This decluttering is serious stuff!
By the end of the day our tent was full to the top with clutter, clothes and about a million toys.
A few things were set aside for friends who asked us to keep an eye our for certain stuff, but the majority was gone, waiting to be collected, sent and given away.
Our home was beautifully clutter free.
We took the opportunity to paint,
and also get some new furniture.
One of my favourite things about our new bed? There is nothing underneath it!
Our home is now a beautiful, clutter free space we all love.
I have shared our declutter story with a few people before sharing it here, and as the same questions seem to be coming up again and again, here is a list of…
Frequently Asked Questions:
How has it changed your day to day life?
This huge clear-out has affected our life in so many ways I never even thought possible.
I clean our whole house every Friday, this used to take me all day, morning until dinner time.
Now it takes me maybe two hours, and that includes cleaning the inside of our kitchen cupboards and everything else.
We sleep better, and not just the grown-ups, but the little ones, too.
Clean-up before bed now takes five minutes to get our home back to tidy.
I now know absolutely everything we own, and I know exactly where it is kept.
There is no storage, there is no “I wonder whether we have …” , and there is no misplacing things.
Spare bedding? Second shelf in the linen closet. Do you have a lighter? No, we do not, but the matches are in the kitchen cupboard next to the knives.
We also now have room for emergency food storage, something that has been on my to-do list for a very long time.
Are there specific things you did not declutter?
Of course when you have children, and especially when you homeschool, there are certain things you will always need. We kept the children’s books, favourite cuddly toys and also toys they really like. There is no point having a minimalist home and miserable children, and they very much live here,too.
We also kept our holiday decorations and craft supplies.
I also could absolutely not part with most of the handknits, even though we passed over 50 pairs of handknit socks on to friends.
Don’t you feel bad because someone else will make money from your stuff? Why didn’t you sell it?
We very, very briefly considered selling these things ourselves, because, who doesn’t like money!? The truth is, I don’t think I could have done it, seeing people walk away with the shirt George wore when he took his first steps, seeing another child hug the bear I had so hoped would become Miss Emily’s favourite, it just would not have been possible.
We were assured that all profits made from the clutter will go towards a good cause, and that is good enough for us. We are happy to be rid of the things, and it needed to be a bold decision, a quick one, and we needed to be done with these things.
How are the children?
For the most part they were not involved in this big declutter, we have previously decluttered the children’s room and so this time anything that went were things which they had not played with in years, toys they liked when they were much, much younger, or things they simply never liked.
This time, we made decisions, and the few things that we were unsure about went into a separate space for a little while. When no one missed them they, too, were decluttered.
Honestly, so far no one has missed a thing, and the fact that their bedroom is just that, a room for their beds, is allowing them to sleep really, really well. We always knew this, so their toys are kept in the family room.
I don’t know what the connection between visual clutter and sleep quality is, but there definitely is something.
They have toys with which they play every day, and those toys stayed, and so did a few other fun things we thought they might like.
If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to ask, you can always send me a message.
Have a beautiful day!