Last year we spent several months KonMari-ing our home. Find out what we have done since then!
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In the year since I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and began ridding our home of excess “stuff,” I have had a lot going through my mind and much has happened in our lives! I wanted to share some thoughts about the entire process. What it meant then, what it means now, and how I have tried to keep up with it.
When you get rid of A LOT of your possessions within a short window of time, you feel FREE. There is no other way to describe it. When we thought we were done KonMari-ing our home last year, we felt a lot of freedom from letting go of things we didn’t need (and haven’t missed). But I also never really felt “done.” I didn’t come to a point where I felt we were finished. It was an ongoing thing.
As the months rolled by, I kept conscious eyes on all of our clothing, especially my kids, who got a bunch of hand me downs that we had to whittle down. As my drawers got stuffier and my closet expanded, I would go through with a purpose and think through what I really loved, and what I didn’t. We have still been donating random bags of clothing and toys around once a month. If I notice I haven’t worn something in a month or two, it doesn’t have a place in my closet.
After Christmas we sat our kids down and went through their toys and books again, and they got rid of more things as new Christmas presents entered their lives. Seeing them catch on to this whole idea of having less, has been inspiring. They all take it differently, but I have noticed a general change.
My oldest daughter is incredible at letting go of things she doesn’t use. She is great to have around when packing to move (which we just did last week). I walked in on a conversation she was having with her younger sister while packing that left my heart so happy:
“Now, do you really LOVE this? Do you play with it a lot, or does it just sit in here and you forget about it? Would you want someone else to play with it who maybe doesn’t have ANY toys?”
It was remarkable. She got her stubborn and emotionally-tied-to-objects sister to get rid of more than I had in a year!
When we moved this time, all of my four kids’ clothes fit into one tote. That felt SO good. Mine, on the other hand, had somehow accumulated?!?! I had to go through them once again and donate, donate, donate.
Even after feeling like I “KonMari-ed” our entire lives last year, there was still SO much work to do. Maybe I didn’t do it right, but I feel that for someone who grew up uber attached to “things,” I didn’t do too bad! My husband is my biggest cheerleader, he is all for simple living and making time and space for experiences and not things. He is always gently reminding me to keep going with it.
For birthdays we choose an experience, instead of a bunch of presents. For example, children’s museums, zoos, movies, dinner, etc. Those are things are a BIG deal to our children and I hope it stays that way for a while!
This move I took 6 bags plus boxes full of stuff to the Goodwill, and whittled my kids’ books down even more. They each picked their 15 favorite and that was it — I have two boxes of good books to give away! 15 each is still plenty, but we do love books and they all look at a huge stack before bed every night.
Toys we really have a handle on. I bought one of these from IKEA a few months ago:
Each child gets one bin for all of their toys. No ifs, ands, or buts. There are two smaller drawers, one with lego, and one with felt dolls that they all share. And one bigger bin with the play food. That is IT. It’s been incredible.
One big take away from this experience, besides seeing the change in my kids, is how aware I have become of how much we consume. How reliant we are on stuff and how easy it is today to fill every void in your life with things. The home we just moved into seems small to many, but is large to us! There is so much empty space, because we don’t have things to fill it, and don’t want to. It feels light and easy to live with less.
I also bought Marie Kondo’s newest book, Spark Joy. I don’t feel that it’s necessary unless you are really at a loss and need some more detailed instruction, but I did enjoy reading it and got some good ideas out of it.
We are slowly learning what we can do without, and what we really use and need. I thought I couldn’t get rid of anything else in my kitchen, but after a year of thinking about it and seeing what I truly don’t use, I was able to donate a lot more. As it turns out, one doesn’t really NEED three muffin tins . . . now I own one and it works just fine.
This is a big part of our lives now. We think about purchases more, are more conscious of our spending, are saving more, and finding items we LOVE before buying. Instead of “but it’s on sale,” we are thinking, “do I REALLY love it?” Just because it’s $15 dollars, doesn’t mean it deserves a (limited) place in my drawer!
We have stopped trying to use the phrase “what if” for items. What if I need it some time in the future for something?!?! NOPE. That day may never come, and we will be left with items just laying around taking up valuable space. If I really need another muffin tin in five years for something that I feel is necessary, I can buy one then and it won’t put me out much!
Do you have any questions??? I ramble on about the KonMari method and probably miss things along the way, so if you think of anything you are curious about, leave me a comment!