With our adoption pancake feed last month, we decided to throw a yard sale to increase profits. We encouraged anyone to throw in their unused stuff to help out if they wanted. We got a lot of positive support with this. So many people donated things they were no longer using anymore. Well, the day we had the fundraiser, there were a million other events around the city and the weather was gorgeous! Double whammy! We almost left the stuff left over from the yard sale in the church the next day, to see if we could get rid of even a fraction more. Well we had so much help the day of, we didn’t want to give that perk up.
Last Saturday, we held a yard sale at our home to generate more money for the adoption, PLUS, we got rid of stuff we no longer use anymore. I can’t believe how liberating this feels! It has me on this insane hunt around the home for more things we can either sell or donate to GET IT OUT of our house! I love the way I feel having more space. More space to live, more space to be comfortable in, more space to breathe, and think. Better yet, less stuff collecting in my house waiting for me to clean it!
Now, don’t get me wrong, de cluttering isn’t easy! I am very emotionally attached to most things in my house (my dad bought this for me on a trip…that I wasn’t on… or the movie tickets from a random movie I went to with a friend I don’t see much anymore.) or I find an excuse to not get rid of something because “you never know” when I may need it. Basically, I kept a LOT of stuff! No, I am not/wasn’t a hoarder. I really did/do throw out trash and I can walk around my home comfortably, minus the random toy my daughter decides it belongs on the floor of the kitchen, even though the countless times I’ve asked her to keep toys out of the kitchen. (She’ll get there!) Well, the excuses are no longer in use because they really don’t serve me or my family. Really, they never did.
I’ll show you below how much I’ve gotten rid of so far. Every room in the upstairs and main level have been picked through and put in boxes to sell at our sale. Every single penny will go toward our adoption fees and with every single thing I toss in the box to go, the better and happier and lighter I feel! (So far with the things we have sold, we’ve made around $450!) The clutter is starting to subside in our home, even with a little one!
Shortly after the pancake feed event, I came across some minimalist posts on pinterest and the sign I saw slapped me in the face! It said,
“You don’t buy your things with money, you pay with hours of your life.”
Whoa! So true!! Since that day, I have deleted all of my credit cards on Amazon and any other subscription site to make any inkling of the idea of purchasing anything on a whim almost impossible. Then, shortly after, I went through every room… (except the basement- our black hole of piles of paperwork and other useless things, basically our sad excuse for a junk drawer that turned into a large room…) And more recently, I’ve been tackling area too. (My version of decluttering is tackling one room at a time for 15-30 minutes, then moving to another area either the same day or I pick up the next day. I try to do this every day though so I am constantly getting rid of at least one item, however, like I said before, we have a blackhole room, so it will be a while before I am down to only one item per day.
I’m sure you’re aware that I’m about to pose a challenge to YOU, my lovely reader. This is the challenge… in the next 30 days. We are going to throw out the junk and save money on the thngs we don’t need! Things that have no purpose, no use, and are sucking energy from you! You can even do this for your kids. And I gotta say, I could tell my daughter has learned from this already. She used to freak out when we tossed something out or take library books back, but now she realized how we don’t need these things. At first, I kind of hid things that we were going to sell, but the last week, I just put it in a box and told her “We don’t need these things, they are going to go to someone who needs them and it will help us get your sibling here,” or something along those lines.
Helpful tips on letting go of the useless stuff in our lives…
- First, you gotta let go of any emotional attachment with things that are really not that important. I’m not saying, throw out your great grandmothers blanket she made for you or things like that. But if you are holding on to an item like a T-shirt that tells your audience you went to band camp the summer of 2001, get rid of it! You have beautiful memories of that trip, I’m sure photos too, and no one is going to take that away from you, why do you need the shirt to sit in your closet and collect dust and take up more space? (note: if you wear that shirt a lot then don’t toss it) I like to think of the rule, if you haven’t worn it in a year, then toss it. How do you do this? Turn around all of your hangers (hanging the opposite way) around in your closet, anything you haven’t worn in a year (or less would be better) toss it. Or throw it in a box, mark the date, and if after, you remember something in there that you want, go grab that BUT NOTHING ELSE, then toss the rest after a month or so.
- Stop making purchases on things you don’t really need. Remember the quote from before about how we pay for things with the hours of our lives? Think of this every time you go to purchase something and ask yourself, “Do I TRULY need this or is it something that will just sit and collect dust?” “Is the time that I spent working hard, worth it to buy this?” “Is this something that one of my family or friends would let me borrow when I felt like I may need it?”
- Set a specific time/day that you will declutter. I mean it, every single day, set a timer for 10-15 minutes and go! Throw things into 4 piles/boxes/bags, one for unsure (this is the box that I meantioned before- place things in it that you think you may use then mark the date on the box. After 1 month or so, if you haven’t gotten anything out of it, donate or sell) garbage, one for donation, and one for selling.
- Notice how awesome you feel afterward! Find encouragement and support through a friend/family/me! I’d love to hear what works and if you need any help!
Here are some other helpful sites that I’ve visited when coming across the minimalist movement I’ve began to embrace.
Oh, and don’t think that this isn’t possible if you have a family! I am starting to create a wardrobe for my daughter and gently encouraging my husband to clear out his unused goods as well. Right before the yard sale, I even got my daughter to pick out toys she didn’t want anymore! Mom for the win! Woo Hoo!!