Umm…I Thought You Were Purging Your House?

Umm...I Thought You Were Purging YourI initially wrote this big, long post on a six month update of how our living space looks since we started to ‘simplify’.

Then I put together some before and after pics from January, when we started, to now and showed them to Conor. It sucked. He just said ‘it’s not that good’. I needed to pour myself a drink for the sole purpose of crying into it. I mean, it looks almost the same around here as when we started! Even though we’ve gotten rid of truck loads of stuff! I’m sitting here muttering about disappointment, Conor has moved on to Brooklyn 99 and I just made a verbal pact to the couch that July is the month of getting done in the cupboards what is in my mind’s eye!

I don’t think I was naive and expecting a family of five would instantly have a spotless, minimalist home. Actually, yes, I absolutely did believe that. Just like I believed that my dad really took my favourite cat to a co-worker’s farm when I left for college. Gull to the ible!

When I write it out I FEEL like we’ve done lots. There was the basement, bathroom cupboards, kids toys, my closet, our bedroom, the outside toys and most of the kitchen went to fill my niece’s apartment.

IMG_3839So sure, we’ve done the initial ‘sweeps’. Really, we’ve probably let go of the easy things: the broken, never used, multiples. I felt lots of satisfaction in seeing these things removed from my living space. Now I’m left to start making the harder decisions about the things I couldn’t let go the first time around.

If you came to my home right now and you’d see a holding pen in the basement of things that need to be sent to different places; a counter full of dishes (my domestic foe); toys on the floors; half the dining table real estate being held hostage by things that really belong in a dedicated space; and kitchen cupboards that look full to the brim.

I said I’d give myself a year to do this and boy will I need it. Things still don’t have the resting place they need in the home. Life is still lived in this house, and now that it is filled with a greater ratio of used:useless items, there is always something ‘in use’, code, there is always a mess in some room. However, despite the appearance, the mess does now seem more manageable with ‘less stuff’.

Anyways, I’m not here to complain about my messy house that is still too full of stuff for my liking, that’s what Instagram is for. I’m here to share my ‘downs’ with you in the ‘ups and downs’ of this process. As much as I’d like to wow you with amazing before and after pics at this stage….give you some snazzy genius tips….maybe even some free printables to help your own purging = BOOM! #lifehacked!!  It’s just not happening here.

my life at home with three kids, simple on purpose

I can’t show you the results without honouring the heart changes I’ve made, the living that still goes on, the process that is teaching me so much.  Because sometimes, real life isn’t successful right off the bat. Sometimes it takes six months to cancel your IPSY subscription and let go of the ‘work clothes’ you never really liked anyways. 

So if you drop by and see me sitting on the floor in my basement, muttering to my old collection of cassette tapes….you will know, I’m at Phase Two of the journey to live with less.



10 thoughts on “Umm…I Thought You Were Purging Your House?”

  1. hahahahaha I LOVE your blog!!! You make me want to make time for blogging again just so that we can be blog sisters. Crying into your cassette collection aaaaahhhhhhahahah

  2. I get this. I’ve gone through the various stages. I started with “I’ve got the perfect amount of stuff” (despite massive evidence to the contrary) to “maybe I have too much and I’m going to try and get rid of some stuff”, to realizing that “I really don’t want to get rid of my stuff…it’s my security blanket”, to reading minimalism blogs for inspiration, but literally telling people that I could never be a minimalist because I like stuff too much, to starting to remove some items and liking it, to starting to remove more items and liking it more, to thinking that this might be possible. So right now I wonder what the future holds, but what I really don’t want is to wake up in a year and realize that everything has become status quo again. So I’m still mainly purging the easy things, but I’m trying to mix in some of the harder decisions too. The easy things make me feel like I’ve done something, but the harder decisions help me feel like I’ve made a substantial change. I remember there was a small paper flip books of inspirational quotes. I’d had this thing since I went off to university, and it has followed me on over a half dozen moves. I’ve had it for longer than I care to say. It didn’t take up much room on the shelf, and nothing else actually needed to be there…but it had been months (years?) since I had flipped through it, and longer than that since I had discovered anything new in it. And I threw it out (it was worn and ratty and only meant something to me…nothing that was reasonable to donate). And that one little act felt so huge. All of a sudden, the area seemed more open. It was weird. Over the next week or so, I worked my way through a bunch of stuff on that shelf, so the only things that remain are useful and used. But even though the other stuff was easier, it didn’t seem to get done until I made the hard decision. And once I had made that, that easy decisions were so much easier. So keep it up, keep moving forward, but make some space to make those hard decisions. Because until the hard decisions are made, things don’t substantially change. And try not to worry about the end product (I say, while worrying about my end product). There is no one size fits all solution. I’ve been learning that minimalism means very different things to different people at different stages and different lifestyles. It’s a journey not a destination. I think I’m going to find something to put in the donate pile before bed. Something I don’t use or rarely use, but still don’t really want to get rid of. And something personal that I keep because I think I should, but doesn’t add value to my life or my family. I already have a few ideas 🙂

    • I just love this all so so much! You nailed it. I can so relate to getting rid of those things we just ‘keep’ and maybe they’re small or out of the way. I went through my personal booknook in my bedroom and got rid of those books I bought but will seriously never read. It was only like ten books but I was all booyah!! Glad I’m not alone in this. Thanks so much for sharing this, I’m gonna add more stuff to the thrift pile tonight!

  3. So much goodness! I’m on this same mission this year and it’s amazing how much “stuff” you accumulate- even WHILE being intentional about not accumulating stuff…yikes. Adding kids into the mix only makes it harder. So glad there are people like you being real and open about their journey!


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