Before we sold and donated all of our possessions to travel the world, I was overwhelmed by the amount of sh*t I had. It was crazy. I bought countless books on decluttering, minimalism, and organizing to try and find a solution to my “problem”. Out of all the books I read, only one hooked me in and started to actually make a difference in my life. I owe complete credit for my minimalism transformation to Marie Kondo’s book- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
I remember seeing this book all over social media and reading all the reviews. People swore by it. One night I’d had enough with all the stuff in my life so what did I do? I went out and bought more “stuff” in the form of this book but that’s beside the point.
I locked myself in my bedroom and dove in. In one night, I finished the book and immediately started the KonMari Method. Yes, she named these steps after herself! I almost quit in the middle of reading multiple times because I was so excited to start getting rid of stuff. I don’t know what witchcraft this Marie Kondo woman put in this book but the sh*t works. Seriously. Actually, I’m just now coming back to this post after stopping to read the book again. lol.
We love our current Airbnb. The awesome host gave us a bunch of decorations so we could decorate the place for Christmas. The kids got carried away and literally put out every decoration including 7 freaking teddy bears. This place is TINY! Since we do not have a permanent home and don’t usually get to do things like this (decorate and sh*t), I let them go with it. But now I am feeling super overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in the house. This is the same exact feeling I felt when we had our big fancy house with all of our stuff. I absolutely hate this feeling. Stuff is taking over my life again. I can’t keep the house clean because there is literally sh*t everywhere!
When we first arrived almost two months ago, I took the kids to the local thrift store and let them get toys. It only cost a few dollars so I figured it would be a nice change since we normally do not buy any toys. I figured we could donate everything back once we leave here. In the meantime, however, I am losing my freaking mind.
I grew up with a hoarder. It was tough. I remember trying desperately to organize my kitchen table so we could actually eat at it but it always filled right back up with papers and various other crap. I think growing up with a hoarder made me also carry some of those traits into adulthood and it made me fearful of stuff at the same time. I had a love-hate relationship with my stuff.
My years in the military really showed me just how much stuff I had. Each move, the movers took hours upon hours wrapping and packing all of my things. I felt terrible about it every-single-time. I was happy that I didn’t have to pack up everything myself but each time I was so embarrassed by how much stuff I had.
One of my first attempts to declutter happened when we moved to Austin, TX. I remember wanting something different with my life after the military. I had researched eco-friendly simple living cities and sure enough Austin, TX came up. Even though I practically grew up in San Antonio which is only an hour and a half away from Austin, I ‘d never visited Austin before. Whattttt??? I went one weekend, fell in love with the city, and moved there the following weekend. Just like that.
Our first home looked like a little cottage in the city with an urban farm in the front yard and chickens in our backyard. I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved this little house. About a week after moving in, the moving truck arrived with all of our belongings. Hours later our tiny home was full of boxes.
Immediately, I was overwhelmed. Does anyone else ever forget all the sh*t they have? Opening each box over the next few weeks, made it such a surprise.
Oh… I forgot I had that.
Oh… I remember when I bought that.
The girls’ room was now full of all of their toys again. You would think that this would keep them distracted and busy. NOPE!
The oldest, who was five at the time, came to me crying. She was beyond upset because she didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know what toy to play with. This hit me hard. I was in disbelief that with all the toys she had, she still couldn’t figure out what to play with. I didn’t need any book at that moment to tell me it was time to get rid of stuff. I put things on the curve that day for donation and kept doing that off and on for years, yet, I still wasn’t able to shake the feeling of being overwhelmed by my stuff.
The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up changed my life and it couldn’t have come at a better time. After reading it, I started following the steps immediately. My house looked like a war zone for weeks but when I was done, I felt a sense of peace in the air. I encourage you to add this book to your must reads.
Are you struggling with having too much stuff? Are you feeling overwhelmed or weighed down by your stuff? Please leave me a comment with your story. If you would like the Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, you can buy it here.
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