The older our kids get, the more complicated our life seems to be. They are just getting to the ages where they want to get involved in activities and community. They also are not content just playing in one spot, they want to try new things, explore, and create. And we want to let them. What I don’t want is to be so consumed with cleaning, organizing, or finding lost things.
Where We Were
Before we sold our house, we were overrun with stuff. It was a struggle every day to find simple things and probably a good 30% of our house was unusable because of stuff. As we started to pack we got rid of a ton. I seriously threw out 7 tables! And I still have 2 and 4 end tables. We had too much.
We kept a lot of stuff because it would be useful. I wanted to do something with it. That broken pot? I say an awesome fairy garden idea with it that I really want to do for our front door. That box of random bottles? I want to use them to create lotions and soaps. That cord? It’s for a dream catcher I want to make. Everything was a project that I wanted to do. But what I found was that I never did them. My house was so cluttered and full, that I spent so much time cleaning and organizing. I had so many half-started, ideas of projects, that I couldn’t do any of them. I kept them all just in case I had time.
The most dangerous words for me were “Just in case”. We had this stuff, not because we needed it, but just in case we did in the future. I understand now that holding onto stuff came from a place of fear and anxiety. Having a significantly low-income, I knew that if something were to break or stop working that replacing it would put a dent in our finances that wouldn’t easily be returned. So, I kept the stuff because if something broke, we wouldn’t have to spend the money.
What I didn’t realize was keeping stuff out of anxiety meant that the stuff became the anxiety. The amount of time I spent looking for things, or the extra cleaning, or just the sheer mental clutter that came from the physical clutter, was oppressing. And in what might be the worst turn of events, clutter is shown to decrease productivity, focus, and increases stress. The clutter that I was holding onto because I was worried about financial ruin, was actually keeping me from working more and making more money and doing any of the projects that I wanted to do.
So, we set out on a pursuit of a more minimalist lifestyle. It’s a goal I am still working towards, but one that we have made huge strides on. I realized we need very little to be happy. With less stuff, we have more time to be a family.
Setting up Home
With our new minimalistic mindset, we set out searching for a new house. While many families of 5 say we need a 5 bedroom home with lots of space, we didn’t want that. I didn’t want to have 12 rooms to clean, and more space to accumulate for stuff. I didn’t want to have my kids “somewhere in the house”. I want to know where they are and have them with me. We started looking into smaller homes. Ones with 3, 2 or even 1 bedroom!
We knew that more space didn’t equal more happiness.
What we found was a super cute amazing 1930’s catalog home.
Minimalism and Money
One of the best parts of the new home is the price. Priced at an amazing rate, we knew this is something we could pay off within 5 years at the most. Minimalism for me isn’t only about stuff. It’s about a mindset. Where you have and use what you need, not more or less. Minimalism is about a simpler life, more streamlined and carefree. And really that is what I want for my kids. I want us to have the freedom to explore, learn, and grow together.
Maximizing our Life
I don’t want to be stuck in a job or work 24/7. Yes, it means that we have to put in significant work to repair and clean. Yes, it took our entire savings to make this happen. But, we won’t be strapped down by overwhelming housing bills.
In the end, this means we can live the life we want. We can raise our kids, we can give back to our community, we can pursue adventures, much more than I ever thought was possible.
Did you know the average person only uses 20% of the items we keep (according to the National Association of Professional Organizers)? Did you know that on average Americans spend one year of their life looking for lost things? What would your life look like if it were simpler and clutter-free?
We still have a way to go!
One of the best things about minimalism is that we have more time to build and help community. So, we are reaching out to our community. Our remodel has just begun. We are removing a significant mold issue and we are in need of a new roof. If you would like to help with our journey, Check out all the ways you can help
Raise the Roof
Because we specialize in children’s toys, we are offering a “Raise the Roof” Sale on all of our products! Seriously, no exclusions! We are even offering a discount on our library, which is full of helpful parenting and kids resources, guides, and fun.
Here is a sampling of a few of our products