Nothing will enamor you with the idea of minimalism like having to do laundry for four people. I’ve always hated clutter but in the past few years, as my housework has doubled I’ve engaged in an uphill battle to absolutely eliminate it. Like keeping a healthy diet, decluttering is a way of life. We do somehow have a knack for piling things up and the hoarders in my life have blessed me with a hatred for that. I’m far from getting to the picture perfect home I’d like andI always hope to maintain some level of coziness with the minimalism but I strive to make steps every day. Here are a few of the war tactics I’ve employed..
- Books- I had a lot of books. They were very hard to get rid off because the idea of a beautiful library is so romantic. But I also hate cleaning and nothing ever stays organized in a house with kids. So instead of becoming a grouch and barking constantly about my books being moved, I opted to get rid of almost all the ones that aren’t autographed or that I don’t re-read constantly. I made a wishlist on Amazon for all of the books I got rid of for when I have the money to download all of them to my kindle. Some are actually free now, since they are classic literature books. I also had a lot of notes and highlights on some of the books that I felt bad parting with but since none of them have made a difference in my life so far I let go.
- Movies- I did the same as with the books and made a wishlist.
- My Wardrobe- In the past few years my tastes and body changed and I realized I was done with throwaway fashion. As tempting as low clothing prices are, they don’t always fit me perfectly and I eventually get tired of them. Until I figure out what I want out of a wardrobe, I’ve been using two services. The first one is lending any designer pieces I have on Stylelend. It just makes sense to only keep clothes that make me back the money I spent on the pieces or even more than I did. I try to get my designer pieces at sample sales, Gilt or Ruelala so that I get them at a discount. I don’t shop a lot. I buy a new item maybe once every four months and then I usually buy my shoes on black Friday. What I do buy is rentable though, which makes it’s a more sustainable choice for me. Who knows? Maybe one day one piece will be vintage and my daughter will own a priceless wardrobe item. Either way, I’ve made my money back.
I do end up wanting to try new styles sometimes that I won’t keep so the other site I use is Le Tote, where I have a subscription box for rental wardrobe. I can also do this with Style Lend but their clothes are a little more upscale than I need for everyday life. Le Tote’s lowest option is $44.00 a month and you definitely don’t need to go that route if you don’t want to spend the monthly fee. You can always swap with a friend or relative the same size.
- The kids wardrobe- Most of their clothes are gifted and gently used from friends and family. Since they grow quickly, the turnover rate is high. Seventy five percent of their clothes get given away to other kids we know or donated. The other twenty five percent I do try to sell. I don’t have the patience to do Ebay so I just use Swap.com. They just make it so easy, since they send you a box, you pack the clothes and they take all the pictures and post them for you. They do take a while in posting them but it’s easier for me then having to take pictures and send out shipments. You can link your Paypal to the site and after fees are taken out, it is instantly deposited to your account. Swap is also a great place to shop.
- Toys- I think all parents secretly loathe toys. They start so simple and then before you know it they start taking over your house. There is one life size action figure that seems to show up in every room of my house at all hours, scaring the crap out of me. The best method I’ve come up with for eliminating the clutter here is first making my son donate some. He is very cheap however so I later put more neglected ones into a box in the closet. If their absence goes unnoticed for an entire month then I safely donate them.
- Paper- The shredder is your best friend. I bought one and started shredding everything that wasn’t necessary. I really do want to go paperless and get a neat desk but I also don’t have it in my budget yet. Until then, I toss the unnecessary stuff. I used this chart from Storables I found on Pinterest to determine what is useful.
I know that chaos is part of the magic of a household and my house will never be perfect but my mind focuses better when there is less stuff around me. A Mary Kay sales woman actually made a good analogy to me that the reason lion tamers used chairs on lions was the four legs confused the lion since he didn’t know which of the four points to focus on. I’m definitely a cat person, so much like a lion I can’t focus on cleaning or even getting cleaning help with so much stuff strewn around my household. My goal for my wardrobe at least is something sparse, pretty and easy to keep track of. I’m nowhere near this but I have a large closet that has been a work in progress so before I end up moving, I’d love to manage to make a before, progress, and after post of the damn thing.
(Not my wardrobe. This is my goal)