The Minimalist in Me

Some will read this and think I’m crazy, others will think, “good luck while having kids!” No matter the reaction, this term has been on my mind a lot the last year or so.

I’ve always been intrigued by the minimalist movement, and I was kind of thrown into it last year. We decided to move, which meant showing our house. I needed a way to make sure I would be ready for sudden appointments. So I packed up half the house.

I got rid of things, and I boxed things up and put them in closets. I reduced the dishes I had out to two of everything (because only Joey and I were using them at that point) and packed the rest. I put away all but a few toys so cleaning the toy mess was simple, and looked nice once cleaned up. I made simple meals so that the kitchen never got too messy. I of course cleaned as I cooked and prepped, but never letting it get too crazy in the first place allowed days of exhaustion, frustration, and baby meltdowns didn’t hinder having a quick clean up.

After doing this for a couple of months until our house sold, I realized how much I loved it! It was so nice having less to do around the house to keep it nice. Especially while having a kid, expecting another, and never knowing when being a mom would mean letting the house take a back seat to my kids!

Eventually I discovered Allie and the Facebook group she created for Purposeful MomLife. I never invested in her material, but I’ve read through a lot of her blog and the group itself. Her ideas instantly resonated with me. Clutter and STUFF was filling my life and time, when I really wanted to be filling my life and time with things I loved…like family, being outdoors, photography, travel, etc.

When we moved to our new house in January, I started pairing down. It wasn’t really new for me. I always purge after a move. Nothing makes me want to get rid of things quite like having to box it all up, move it, and unpack it all! I paired down our dishes and purged our kitchenware. I don’t need 10 of everything! Why were we holding on to things we hadn’t even used in years…even for large gatherings? It’s was just taking up space and stressing me out.

Why do my kids (only one at that point, but now two) need a million clothes?! Yes, they had a million. A MILLION! I paired down to 4 pairs of PJs and maybe 7-10 outfits that fit. I keep them in a laundry basket on a shelf in my closet. Easy access, limited space, no folding or hanging needed. Power to the awesome moms that fold, hang, sort, and/or iron their kids clothes. It looks awesome and I love it in photos, but this mama just doesn’t value it enough to take the time to do it. The way we wear and use clothes, it doesn’t matter if they are wrinkled…or even matching.

I cloth diaper…which does sometimes make me itch with how much “stuff” it accumulates, but I love it more than disposables, so it stays. I have my seasons where cloth diapering can wear thin…like when Little Man was peeing through EVERYTHING…and while Itty Bitty is pretty tiny. He’s just now starting to get to a good size where I find my cloth fitting him well. He’s been in mostly cloth for about a month.

I paired down our towels to 2 per person and 4 guest towels. We have 2 hand towels for each bathroom. I weeded through the toys and paired down greatly and removed about half to rotate out later. Little Man hardly plays with toys at home, and his favorite “game” is dumping the toys and then ignoring them. I’m constantly going back through them and evaluating their value and whether they are even being used. Sometimes I will just put some away to see if I change my mind or toss them in the long car trip toy bag for distraction, and sometimes I send them off to Goodwill immediately.

I’ve also simplified our meals. I’ve meal planned for years, but now we have three of the same meals each week and I just rotate other meals in between them. It gives us some variety, but also some simple meals each week. I’m getting ready to overhaul our meal planning even more to be even more simple. I will write about that after I figure it out the details and see how it goes!

I don’t want to spend my days drowning in laundry, dishes, and cooking. I want my kiddos to have healthy, delicious food, and clothes on their back…most of the time, but I also want to focus on spending time with my kids playing, laughing, exploring, and reading, and I want my down time spent doing things that fulfill me instead of drain me.

All this does is allow for a more peaceful, simple home life full of quality time. This is my hope and dream for my life and our family. Hopefully it continues on for years to come!