Sunday, May 17

BLESS THIS UNMESS // Project Downsize (Round 2)

A few years back I did a whole post about what I was calling "Project Downsize". It was legit, I made graphics and everything. I rallied people who might want to do it alongside me. We were all excited. And while my intentions were definitely pure my will was not as strong as I needed it to be. Ha!

I got through a few closets and cabinets. We definitely put a dent in the situation but we did not fully downsize. Now here I am staying at a brand new Beach house. It's white and clean with cabinets not overflowing and perfectly organized laundry shelves. (Because no one really lives here, I know that but still...) And I'm so inspired to go back to our completely overflowing home and clear shit out!

look at this beautiful, clutter-free space I'm in right now! I want this in my own home!

Our house is to the point where we feel slightly claustrophobic at all times. Do you know the feeling? And as we were thinking about it and talking about it we realized that so much of our clutter is rooted in fear. Stay with me here...

> Fear that we might not have enough money to buy new pillows later so just keep those old ones in the closet somewhere just in case... 
> Fear that we won't be able to buy new candleholders next time we host a dinner party so just keep those old, waxy ones in the cabinet just in case... 
> Fear that we might one day have another child and not be able to afford baby things again so KEEP ALL THE BABY THINGS just in case... 

Do you see what I'm saying? This fear that we have to hold on to all these THINGS to protect our future selves who might not be able to take care of themselves. Maybe that thought pattern has some merit (Surely we've all heard a grandma somewhere quote the old adage... "Waste not, want not") but that mentality is not okay to me. Those pillows have chocolate milk stains from our toddler. Those candlesticks are covered in wax and aren't even pretty. Those toys are missing pieces.

I've never been a super materialistic person. Mostly just because I've never been able to afford to. But I have spent many trips to Target and Ikea dropping hundreds of dollars on things I don't need because they are cute. And having cute things in your house is fun. And decorating is fun. And shopping for no good reason is fun. But then that new stuff becomes old stuff and it gets dusty and your toddler breaks it or stains it and you shove it in a closet somewhere or it sits out on a table or shelf just cluttering things up for no reason other than you spent money on it and you feel compelled to keep it. I recently learned the average American has 300,000 things! What? We have 3 people living in our house! That's the potential for 900,000 things. Nearly a million things? I can tell you we probably aren't using more than a few hundred at any given time in our lives.

I just spent 2 hours folding laundry that doesn't even fit any of us anymore! Why do I still have it? Why am I even washing it? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Why was I spending my days in fear of losing stuff or not being able to buy stuff or working overtime just to maintain all this STUFF? Gah...

So over the next few months we're going to be going on a PURGE. I have no idea if we'll try to sell stuff, or just donate it. (Probably a little of both until we run out of steam and just start giving everything left away!) At this point I just want it gone and out. I want to feel like I can breathe again. Why hold onto all this stuff in piles and boxes that we never even look at or use? Will it be an undertaking? Yes probably. Will it be a little painful? Possibly but that's okay. Will it force us to really think about NEED and what it is that we need in our lives? Most definitely!

I am so blessed by my career as a coach and the financial stability it has brought into our lives. It's time to send off this poverty mentality with a kiss and a wave and tell it it's never welcome back here again. We have learned healthier financial habits while we'e also learned healthy living habits. And after all, this is my year of POSSIBILITY so I need to create some space for whatever might be coming our way, figuratively and actually.
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