It’s funny to think about how we evolve as we get older. It’s even funnier to think about how I used to be 5 years ago…2 years ago…1 year ago. My decorating style was what I thought grown-up people should have in their homes: lots of “bon bons.” No, not the candy. “Bon bons” (bu-‘bawns) are little tchotchkes you acquire and display, in Cajun of course.
Well, I had been doing a good bit of blog reading on purging and simplifying your home all around March or April. And I had also been watching several rereuns of Hoarders. If that doesn’t light a fire underneath your booty, nothing will. By the time summer came along, I was well into The Great Purge of 2010. Unfortunately this article didn’t come out until AFTER I was pretty much done with the Purge, but if you’re needing a little motivation, this is a great how-to. I got rid of so. much. stuff. The ladies at Goodwill knew my name by the middle of summer. (Don’t worry, Mom, I didn’t throw away EVERYTHING.) The Great Purge was a calculated purge. I purged kids’ toys. I purged decorations and bon bons. I purged craft supplies. I purged my closet. And then I purged it again. And then I did one more purge just for funsies. Will bought us this sweet scanner and we purged paper. I started scanning in thousands of photos from years gone by. I’m telling you, WE PURGED.
The freedom our family has felt from lack of stuff has been truly astonishing. I’m not CONSTANTLY decluttering and shifting piles and piles of crap. I’m not buying tons and tons of clothes ahead of time like I used to do (now that the kids grow more slowly also helps). I don’t go overboard when stocking up on sales of food or household items for the next 6 years. I avoid the Target dollar aisle at all costs. I love waking up to a simple, clean room every morning.
I could go on and on about how wonderful purging is. But in case you need a couple more reasons, click here and here. Becoming Minimalist is one of my very favorite blogs to read because it’s almost exactly in line with our family philosophy. You NEED to add it to your Google Reader now.
The other way we’ve simplified our lives is by reducing the number of activities we are each involved in. I can’t say that we were truly over-involved before, but we were definitely on the fence. As we were planning the fall calendar, we let the kids each pick one activity they were going to do. The boys both chose karate (a first for us!). But when basketball registration time rolled around, we allowed them to reevaluate their choices; William chose basketball, and Zachary stayed with karate. I love not being in the car every single afternoon carting kids to and fro. I love hanging out watching them play in the yard, riding their bikes and throwing the football around with neighborhood kids.
It’s definitely not mainstream thinking. There are lots of things they’re not doing. But chances are none of our kids will be a professional athlete or instrumentalist. Exposing them to these things is great, but not at the cost of peace in our family.
Maybe that’s it–simplifying has given our family more peace. Our home is far from quiet, but at least you won’t see a whole lot of clutter!!