Guest post from Ashley of Lies About Parenting
Hi, I’m Mom. Otherwise known as the Finder Of Stuff.
We could never find anything, because clutter was a way of life. If there was an empty spot in my house, we found a way to fill it.
I had enough cleaning supplies to run the hospital’s sanitation program. Not-quite-right beauty products piled under every bathroom sink. Closets vomiting clothes, shoes, and bags. My garage was piled high with stuff, the kitchen full of outdated spices, and there was an endless cycle of always-dirty laundry.
My partner is a we-might-need-it-one-day kind of person, and I’m a this-is-old-and-special kind of girl. Our clutter just got worse with the birth of our daughter.
Sunday afternoons were often spent in the garage (or closet) sorting, stacking, and trying to create some order. Pinterest, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart never had a solution to my problem of having too much stuff.
I bought so many storage systems, that I’m still waiting for my thank-you note from The Container Store stockholders.
I found myself organizing my organizing. Like a teenager who can’t decide between two identical pairs of jeans, I was stuck, sorting through options that were not going to change.
Sick and tired of the last-minute hunts that made me feel resentful towards my family, disappointed in myself, and unhappy with my home, I read a book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo, that solved my clutter problem with one simple explanation.
Guilt is why I have clutter.
Why was I keeping things I didn’t love, use, or need? The answer was guilt, whether from the expense, a gift, or a poorly executed plan (Pilates reformer, anyone?).
Guilt was making me stockpile my possessions.
Clothes that never fit cost money, gifts from loved ones were supposed to be special, and family heirlooms were meant to be cherished.
I took a deep breath, and just let go.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. 90% of my closet is gone, and I’m left with what I love (and wore most of the time, anyway). A handful of favorite books remain, surplus furniture is out, and holiday decorations got to stay only if they made me smile.
Decluttering worked this time, and my partner is now working through the decluttering, and de-guilting, process.
A surprising benefit is we clean less, because there’s less to clean.
By focusing on decluttering my belongings, I now breath happy, dust-free air. Try it. Just let it go, and you won’t be disappointed.
Ashley loves honest talk about parenting and life choices. She blogs about the good, the bad, and the funny at Lies About Parenting. She is known for debunking popular parenting advice that just doesn’t work, and is a passionate believer that clean homes create clean minds. She’ll consider herself a parenting success if she can, somehow, manage to raise kind and compassionate kids.