Every day can feel like a constant battle between mess, household chores, duties and work and those amazing precious moments that you get when you are caring for a little person/people who can find joy in the simplest of activities; watching leaves flutter on the breeze, the sound of a new toy being banged against another, a wag of a dogs tail, or even the concentration involved in feeling the pile of a carpet.
Our house, especially with two (continuously?!) moulting dogs, requires much cleaning. Slack off for one day and everything goes a bit wild! There is also a monotonous shifting of objects from place to place< room to room, like pebbles being moved along a beach by the never-ending tide.
For many years I have accumulated endless objects. All have/had had a purpose and use within my life, even if some were for more sentimental reasons (music, to bring a memory of a moment flooding back, photographs, to bring to the fore that second full of emotions and so on). I have always had a wide and varied interest range, each with its own paraphernalia…..anyone who loves arts and crafts or fitness will know just how many ‘essentials’ go along with each hobby!
Whilst pregnant, the weight of all this ‘stuff’ started to get to me (along with the weight of myself increasing and the draining nature of just possessing it all), and I started to shed items. I re-read my wonderful book “Clear You Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston (highly recommended!) and for the first time since I had owned the book (and it had been read on many occasions!) everything started making sense. I no longer looked at this collective of items as essential in my life, they did not make ‘me’ who I am in this moment. Many of them did not represent truly who I am today. They are all fragments of the ‘me’ that has been growing and changing over the years. They are certainly not the ‘me’ that is now a mum.
So I started getting rid of things. I gave things to friends/family for them to do what they wanted with. I did a car boot sale, I gave endless boxes to charity shops.
Since having my baby the de-cluttering has continued. There is just so much ‘stuff’ involved with a baby, even though we have by no means been extravagant in what we have for ours, that there is a) not enough time in each day to use all the former life belongings, and b) far less incentive to do a lot of the hobbies when there is someone far more captivating to spend my time on.
I am thoroughly enjoying stripping back my belongings bit by bit (it is still a work in progress). I love the feeling of passing on things that are no longer useful to me, knowing that for someone else they will be a treasure to be found in a charity shop! I love reading articles about other people who have done the same (there are some very extreme minimalists out there-not sure I will ever attain their standards) and the changes it has made to their lives.
My aim is to get to a point in the near future where all items that I come into contact with on a daily basis are ‘useful’, ‘loved’ and/or ‘kept in an orderly fashion’ (what all de-clutterers tell you to think about when deciding on the fate of an object). If the answer is no, then something still needs to be done.
On this note, do not be afraid of getting rid of objects…even if you are unsure. In my experience so far over the years I have never hankered after an item that I have released! A handy tip I read was to take a photograph of sentimental items.
So, multiplying by having a baby has brought immense joy to my life, and has prompted a simplification process that has had far reaching changes that are still coming to the fore. These changes are shaping what is yet to come in my life, and I hope that by the time I finish de-cluttering, it will allow me even more time and space to enjoy the best things in life….experiences, friends and family….which are priceless, and beat cleaning any day!