I have been plugging away and decluttering my house little by little. After Liam goes to bed I tackle a drawer here, a shelf there and graciously pat myself on the back every time I put something in the donation/yard sale box. With this new confidence in “letting go” I moved to the closet. I may have let my new confidence get ahead of me and I came in too hot. The other day I opened the door and started taking every article of clothing out to evaluate….every last one…. The bed, the floor, the dog….everything covered in clothes. I quickly became overwhelmed and frustrated and instantly exhausted. I found myself making excuses as to why I should put this off until another day. “It was late, I had work the next day, I should really wait for the weekend..” A common reaction to the daunting task of purging your home when you get the urge to do your spring cleaning.
I quickly gave up and shoved everything hastily back in the closet and went to bed. I lost that round. Bad.
The next day I reflected on the failed attempt to release and relive in my new minimalistic way and realized, I have no deadline, I have no calendar date that I need to achieve this by. This is a lifestyle change for me, and as with any lifestyle change it takes time to properly incorporate into your life. There is no quick fix or magic pill to make us the best sculpted, most healthy maintained individual, and the same goes for decluttering and distressing our way of living. I needed take a step back, take my time and really think about what I was doing.
The next night I had two giant hampers of clothes that needed to be washed so I looked at that as an opportunity to start slow. I was always baffled about how Chad and I could have so much laundry, and most of it wasn’t even our 1year son’s! When I thought about my weekly wardrobe I honestly felt like I wore the same shirts, pants, and cardigans week after week. I never felt like I had an abundance of options so how on earth did we continuously have enormous amounts of laundry??
I knew the answer but didn’t like to admit it. My husband and I are both guilty of picking clothes up off the floor or chair in our room and throwing them in the hamper just for the “out of sight, out of mind” effect. We were lazy. Some mornings as I am running around packing everyone’s food for the day, loading the car, and trying to get myself ready I end up trying on 5 different tops and feel like I can’t find anything I want to wear. I take the top off to exchange for another while the original is mindlessly thrown on the bed before grunting and saying “this one will have to do because now I am late,” and running out the door. Please tell me I am not the only one that does this!!
Thinking about it from a minimalistic point of view however, if I had less options of clothes that I wasn’t overly thrilled with and only a few options of clothes that I truly valued and loved then my mornings will be a lot less stressful and rushed, there would be less thrown in the hamper, and in the end, less laundry for me to do.
So with that in mind I started tackling this giant load of laundry that has be overflowing for days. When they were clean and needed to be folded I went through each piece of clothing and evaluated:
1. How much do I value/love this piece of clothing
2. How practical is it? How many different ways can I wear it?
3. Will I miss it if it is gone?
I was able to pick out a couple pieces from each load of laundry I did that I felt good about getting rid of. I found I was holding on to certain pairs of pants that I liked and felt complimented by body, however I could only wear them with one pair of shoes that seemed be the perfect height and shape for the bottoms of the pants. The question I began asking myself was, “why do I own a pair of pants that I can only wear with one pair of shoes?” Vice Versa, “why do I own a pair of shoes that I only wear with this one pair of pants?” Both of these items are not very practical and end up just taking up space for things that I could wear interchangeably as I pleased. Both…GONE.
I now continue with this process of slowly eliminating various pieces of clothing as with each load of laundry until I find that my wardrobe is filled with only things that I truly value and love. This battle is a slower one, but the lessons I am learning and the examples I hope I am setting for the rest of my family are far greater than the quick fix I may never reasonably obtain from a once a year spring clean purge.
To be continued…