Sanctuary

Calm Home, De-Clutter, De-Cluttering, Frugal Decor, Frugal Ideas, Home, Simple Home, Simplicity

A cluttered house shows a cluttered mind.

Or, something like that. And the #struggleisreal. I bounce back and forth from not giving a damn about the mess to a full-on nervous breakdown at the drop of a hat because of the clutter.

I’m a full-time working mom, etsy-preneur on the side, a wife, mother, and step-mom rolled into one. Most days I feel like I need a magical cape to do it all. Thank God I’m learning to let a lot of stuff go and accept the fact that I am an awesome mom, wife, employee, and creative just as I am and I don’t have to strive to be the best and do it all every, single day #reality.

However, when I’m talking about my living space it’s a struggle. I’m not striving for Pinterest Perfection, I just want to be able to walk around without stepping on toys or getting tangled up in a human-sized telescope that never gets used – or the dishes at least half clean; enough to keep the fruit flies away. All the while allowing the kids and adults alike to have fun and enjoy our home. If you have lived with more people than just yourself for any amount of time – like one minute +, you know that the two ideals collide something fierce.

So, I’ve come to realize that when I just can’t take it anymore, it is seriously time to declutter and clean up.

That’s about it.

Another thing I love to do to get my dopamine and seratonin pumpin’ is to rearrange a little bit while I clean up. It doesn’t take much and it also costs zero dollars to move a few pieces around or get rid of unused furniture.

Since I’m obsessed with looking at other people’s decluttering and home adventures, I wanted to share mine from this weekend.

BEFORE:

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A hot mess, but it’s OK because we have been busy with Halloween/Fall/Dance festivities. I can’t come up with an excuse about the telescope…it just needs to go. As does the highchair. You know, things that make someone like myself go insane.

AFTER:

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After only about an hour, my home was back in order and I felt like a bazillion bucks. Brought the coffee table back in (it was away for a year because of my baby learning to walk and I was always freaking out about her getting hurt, of course), I moved around a few furniture pieces and changed out a throw pillow and blankets, also cut some greenery off a tree because I need some nature inside after all this rain, and naturally, vacuumed the crumbs and wiped smudges down.

It just feels so much better to come home to a little sanctuary. I didn’t have to declutter as much this go around, but you best bet that those little McDonald happy meal toys, unused toys, and anything broken got put in the trash. It helped knock it back some!

How about you, is your decluttering efforts paying off? What little things to do you do around your house to create more of a haven space?

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Thoughts after Major Clutter Purging

De-Clutter, De-Cluttering, Minimalism, Simple Life, Simplicity

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My couch. Oh, how I love thee.

I’m coming off of my major de-cluttering high, and finally able to sit back and enjoy the hard work and results.

Over the last few months I’ve:

  • Got rid of carloads of wall art
  • Gave away baskets – this was a toughie because I’m a recovering basket hoarder
  • Donated an embarrassing amount of unused/ill fitting clothing

Giving away unused stuff has been exhilarating. I still am getting rid of stuff – it’s just not as intense as the beginning purges, mainly because I got rid of so much.

Going through this process has really put a lot of things and behaviors in perspective. Here are some thoughts that have come about:

  • No amount of stuff will make me happy
  • Chasing things put me in debt
  • My time is more important than my stuff
  • I hate cleaning up useless clutter, like, loathe
  • I’m tired of organizing: I just want it gone if it has no purpose
  • My home is a creative place and I want all our spaces used for things we love doing and making memories
  • Clutter causes me way too much anxiety and I’m tired of being stressed
  • I can change, if I want to

Those are just a few things that I’ve been focusing on.

Now, I have some extra space to enjoy the progress. I don’t have to be SO aggressive, only mindful with the remaining stuff.

My priorities are shifting and that drives me and makes me thrive. Although, I am sad that I’ve waited so long to change: it’s still never too late to start.

I’m going into this long weekend so, so thankful. It’s mine to enjoy – and I intend to!

Manipulating Circumstances

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Minimalism, Minimalist

Gaining clarity during simplifying is one of the biggest benefits to a minimalistic lifestyle. There comes a time in the process of de-cluttering and re-arranging priorities that a lightbulb goes off.

It’s that little voice that tells you:

Stop manipulating your circumstances.

Little did I know, I was a manipulator and a controller. I felt like my life was under my control every step of the way. I thought that I could go with the flow, but in reality, it was just a cover-up. One slip up or one little blip could derail me at any moment and I knew it.

That thought alone scared me half to death, not to mention gave me daily anxiety trying to keep it all together.

Thankfully, I have learned from my experiences. A job layoff got this ball rolling, it was as simple as that.

One day, my finances worked. I had a job. I could plan on things. I knew what income I had and I based my life on that. Everything that I controlled fit in this little bubble of mine.

That is, until it didn’t.

I learned so much more from losing my job besides ‘oh, shit’ I don’t have any way to pay bills or continue my lifestyle this way.

I adapted and realized that I have so much without that type of stability. My priorities and security was in my job, itself. There is more to me than that.

Letting go and simplifying creates a unique perspective. You soon realize that the clothes, makeup, fancy cars, expensive food, and junk cluttering up your house is just a cover-up. Those things are not who you are. Not even close.

When the dust fades and income is removed, or when you donate excess clutter from your life, it shows just how meaningless some of the things you put as a priority truly are.

The most empowering thing of all is figuring out what to do with less. It’s exhilarating to let go and realize that you can, in fact, survive without it.

Things to Remember as You Change (for the better!)

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism

We all have a tendency to build emotional walls, develop coping mechanisms, and hone in on our fight or flight survival skills. I’ve learned that with time, all of these things defenses build up emotional plaque.

I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, and neither are you. Our experiences have changed us – either for the better or worse. Perhaps we have baggage and negative energy we have bottled up inside. It never gets dealt with because we don’t make or have the time for it.

As we shift and change through time, this bottling up can become a very stressful situation.

If we let it go long enough without dealing with it and changing our behaviors, issues will eventually surface. The daily grind can become overwhelming simply because our inner primal instincts tell us to run from the lion, even if there is no lion.

This is the effect of busyness, stress, frustration, clutter, and simply not taking care of ourselves.

Because my health is now suffering, it is time to do the work and deal with it.

I have attempted to de-clutter my possessions and simply for many, many years but I always end up stuck and giving in. I will donate, then binge trying to fill the void.

Life is full of lessons and I have learned a few things so I can adapt and change:

1. Take it slow. Although I am doing a panicked de-cluttering of my possessions, I am really feeling and experiencing the weight this has on me this time. Instead of just taking my unused possessions out of my living space and downstairs for later or labeling it ‘may use in the future’ it goes straight to the donation center.

2. Be patient with yourself. When we face reality, it can be tough. Especially if you are like me and have just pushed issues inside without the time to deal with it. All of it will eventually surface. It’s worth noting, looking into, and letting go.

3. Celebrate. Yes, de-cluttering and simplifying can be daunting. You will come to realize a lot more about yourself than you may even be ready for. But, this is time to celebrate! You are facing your demons and changing for the better. It’s a celebration!

4. Grace. You and I have made a lot of mistakes. We are human after all. But, everyone has and everyone has to own up to it. By hiding behind the curtain of denial, nothing is accomplished. We can not change unless we bring it all to the table. I’m learning with time, that I forgive myself. Not everything is my fault; whether it was someone else’s doings or my own: what happened has happened. There, I said it. Now, let’s do something else.

5. Live for now. What happened yesterday doesn’t matter anymore. You learn from it. You have permission to let go and be your best today. Tomorrow hasn’t happened; and quite frankly, may not ever happen, so let’s not worry. Let us live our lives for today in this moment. We better make dang sure we live the life we want because we only have 1 shot at this.

You will know when it’s time to make a drastic change. You may be lurking here for some inspiration or someone to relate to. That’s what I do. Know that you can’t change until you are ready to do the work. Start now. Be the person you want to be. Don’t focus on the end result, focus on what you do right now and what your next decision will be. All the littles make the bigs in the end. It takes daily tries and choices – not just one big bang! Get that momentum and do it.

That’s where I’m headed; imperfectly perfect.

5 Questions I Ask When De-Cluttering

De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Letting Go

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I dropped off another 2 car loads of clutter yesterday. It feels so amazing having all of this stuff gone and out of my life.

My de-cluttering process is simple:

1. If it hasn’t been used in 1 year, it’s gone.

2. If it doesn’t spark any joy, it’s gone.

3. If it is a duplicate, it’s gone.

4. If it brings me negative energy, it’s gone.

5. If I was to pack up and move and wouldn’t take the item with me, it’s gone.

Using this 5 step process has been a major success. I am coming to find out that the vast majority of my stuff is useless. The more I donate and get rid of, the happier I feel. My home is opening up and getting clean. It’s a new slate for my home to be a place of peace and calm.

My home is going to be a place that fits our needs for today. Not a place to store items of the past or items ‘we hope to get around to using.’ It will only house things that are useful or beautiful or both. It’s a lot of work, but it is well worth it!

A De-Cluttering Past

De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism

I stumbled across the idea of minimalism when I found the website zenhabits.net in 2007. That’s a long time ago. It was prior to Pinterest and prior to the big ‘buzz’ of the unconventional lifestyle mainstream. I remember being intrigued by the notion of how small habit changes daily, can change your life! From there, I attempted to make changes. I was young, fresh out of college, unmarried, and pretty dang hopeful.

From there, I spent years on and off of the simple life. I would declutter and be excited, then feel lost and go on a shopping binge. Just like any other addiction, really.

Then there was marriage and combining stuff and moving a few times and major life shifts.

You know, the usual.

This binging and purging of stuff and debt over the years has left me mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.

Partly because in my heart I am a simple girl. I want the simple life. I don’t want the excess and mess – but somehow society creeps in and tells me that I just have to have it to be successful.

So, I try that and in the end feel worse than I did before.

I’ve done massive, MASSIVE decluttering stunts in the past. And, I always feel better afterward. But then, I want to do DIY Pinterest crafts…so I go to the thrift store, load up, repaint and refurb, and then store the junk. Then I feel guilty.

Endless!

My last major declutter was last year after I was laid off from work. I was able to stay home for a while and thought it was a good time to get rid of some stuff.

Well…I did.

But, then I just kept it ALL down in the garage in case I needed it.

Somewhere, between then and now ALL of that junk made it’s way back upstairs and in my living space.

Now, I am decluttering the same stuff and then some again!

I don’t know about you, but it sounds pretty insane to me.

This time, I have a serious, serious rule.

What I donate and do not need gets loaded into my car and taken to the donation center right then.

It’s been working like a charm.

I’m different this time. I am focused this time. My life is slowly changing for the better.

This is where I want to be.

Consent: Making my Personal Life Personal Again

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism

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Social Media has really taken over, hasn’t it? I remember when Facebook was just for college students, it was a whole lot more private, and didn’t take up so much emotional, mental and social energy. Well, I opened my account in 2004 when I was in college. I’ve been through all the waves and curve balls and here recently, I have just had enough.

I have had enough ‘social posting responsibility’ and people micro managing what I post, who and what I respond to, and the like. Not only that, I notice that the more time I was spending on Facebook the worse I felt. It’s like I was watching a train wreck, but couldn’t quit looking.

I’m not against people who want to use Facebook by any means. But, by hearing my close family and friends chatter about it – it seems they are getting a good fill of it too. Jealousy, frustration, feeling less-than, and constantly comparing their lives with someone else. I mean, we all know deep down that people only post their highlights mostly, but it still can be a real drainer of energy if we don’t control it.

I took it upon myself to go on a Facebook hiatus the last few months and it has been lovely. Yes, I have missed out on a few social updates; like someone had a baby or got married. That’s awesome and all, but I don’t need to continually ‘stalk’ other’s daily lives anymore. I have a lot on my plate and I am changing and rearranging my life – and really don’t have time for that.

So, I deactivated my account today. Although I wasn’t logging on, I feel better knowing that I am unsearchable. I know people are going to notice, and when they do, I will just inform them to text or call me if they need something, no biggie.

I remember the days before social media. It seems like I knew a lot about what was going on around town anyway without logging on to read other people’s business. And also, obsessing over posting MY OWN business. Do I really want everyone to know what I’m doing? No, I don’t.

My personal life is now that. Personal. And I’m already liking it better that way.

Let Go of Who You are Not

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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Sometimes when we dig through our stuff, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional – we find out a lot about our true selves.

I came to a major revelation when doing another de-cluttering haul this weekend:

I have a LOT of stuff that I’ve bought in hopes to be a person I’d like to be; not the person I actually am.

For instance: the necklaces pictured above. I think they are adorbs on some people. I thought that I would love them on me too. A great way to accessorize and mix up an outfit. The truth is though, I hate necklaces and I always have. They make me hot and sticky and they just bug during the day. But, I bought them anyways knowing that I hate necklaces.

So, they have been hanging on display in my bedroom never worn. Not even once because I lothe them but secretly hope that one day I will love them.

Well…nope. I don’t. I’m not going to wear them because I just don’t want to.

Now they have been donated and I don’t have to look at them every day wondering when I will actually wear them and dress like someone I am not.

There are a lot of things I have purchased and held on to for that reason. Also, there are a lot of crafty things I have in ‘hopes’ that I will be a Pinterest Queen. But, I’ve tried that and it didn’t work out, so…

Another carload went to the donation center this weekend. My home is finally…FINALLY becoming a little more manageable. There may just be light at the end of the tunnel afterall.

Next thing to leave my house…

My sewing machine.

Because I hate sewing.

I want to live to my true self. I want to have the things around me that I actually like to do. And if I try something and don’t like it – I will let it go too.

Currently, I need space, cleanliness, an uncluttered view in my home. And a huge space smack dab in the center of my living room to do my yoga and roll around with my daughter.

THAT IS WHO I AM. THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO DO.

Marital Convo

De-Cluttering, Minimalism, Simplicity

Husband- The house looks naked now.

Me- Thank GOD!

As you can see, I am no marital expert on how to ‘do’ minimalism when one person is uber-focused on simplifying and the other could care less.

This happens a lot with couples and I’m not mad about it at all. The fact is, I HAVE to get rid of the clutter right now. I am smothering in my on home and I have so much going on that I can’t keep it up. It has to be my haven and it’s been far from it. It’s been a burden. A place that drains my energy before I even walk inside. That’s not a home. That’s a problem.

My husband and I didn’t marry and then purchase our things together. We both had our own lives before. This meant that we combined his life pre-me and my life pre-him.

That’s a lot of junk y’all.

Then, we had housewarming parties and moved a couple of times. He likes to hang on to stuff and I like to get rid of it.

And that’s totally fine.

I am only decluttering my stuff. Which, by the way, is like 90% of everything. His man cave is the garage where he has free reign. But the functional decor and most of the day-to-day is mine, things that I bought either before marriage or during. So, I am tired of it. I want it gone. A lot of it comes from a negative energy source and it is just entirely TOO MUCH.

My twenties were spent trying to find myself, create my home, then create a marital home with a baby. That’s a lot to figure out.

Now that I am in my 30’s, I am in a different place. I want family time. I want to simplify so we can spend time together, go on ventures, and be calm. I want the children to grow in a place where there is space to be creative.

I wish I knew the best way to collectively be on the same page with a husband or wife when one is trying to simplify. I don’t. However, I am thankful he is supportive (although unsure of my ability to just toss and go). It’s a martial learning curve for sure.

Marriage is a compromise. The main thing is supporting each other, trying to understand, and come to a middle ground where everyone is comfy and happy.

Create Space for New Possibilities

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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This bookshelf has been bothering me for years now. I purchased it when I moved to an apartment with my bestie. It housed books and knicknacks. Then, I moved in with my fiance. The bookshelf and all the stuff from the shelves moved with me. We marry, I get pregnant and then we move again into the home where we currently reside. The shelf and everything it displayed came with us.

As of yesterday, the shelf housed baskets full of random stuff and craft supplies. It also housed my daughters books. In my past, I had an obsession with collecting cute baskets to store my stuff. Well, I recently realized that the only purpose this shelf serves is to display stuff I really don’t even need or use. Also, it’s terrible quality and rickety due to the amount of moves it’s been through. My daughter likes to dig into stuff on the shelf and I am always on edge it will tip over. Not to mention that little hallway is tiny in real life and it’s hard to shoulder-through to the bathroom. I have spent numerous brain cells trying to come up with the best look of shelving design, plus I have moved it from room to room to find the best place for it for years.

The simple fact: Nothing that has ever been on this shelf mattered.

DVDs: My family does not watch DVDs because we have Dish on Demand and Netflix.

Craft Supplies: I am no longer into Pinteresty crafty ventures. It does not bring me joy, only frustration these days. I am working on other ventures now so it’s time to let go. I am keeping a needle and thread, hot glue gun, scissors, and some jute string; I’m just not going to display it on a shelf. It is neatly stored in a closet now should I need it.

Books: I have an e-reader for most of the books I read and the books that I buy physically are given away because I never read a book twice. My daughters books are now downsized and in her bedroom.

Odds and Ends: Schoolwork, misc. pictures, paper, etc. do not need to be housed on a bookshelf. I am going to come up with a better way to keep the necessities – just not on display.

That’s pretty much what was being displayed in my cramped hallway. The baskets that were on the shelves took up so much room themselves. They are gone now. I don’t need baskets to store the unnecessary because that’s silly.

I will be glad when this dangerous bookshelf is gone and I no longer have to worry that it will collapse on top of my daughter and also give us a little more room as we pass by in the hallway.

Also, should we ever move again (hopefully!) I don’t have the concern or worry on what I will put on the shelf and where this bookshelf will go at a new location. Just thinking about loading it up, unloading it, and placing all the unnecessary stuff back on it exhausts me.