I've been really good at blaming different life factors for the state my home:
- I have never had to do the almighty downsize for an overseas relocation
- when I got pneumonia at 27 weeks pregnant and had to stop working due to illness and a prem baby, I lost the planned 3-7 weeks of "nesting" when my maternity leave started
- both babies were sickly leaving me little down-time
- my two-storey house makes it impossible to keep an eye on the kids (and vice versa because without that, MUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!) so I can't declutter
- I could go on!
so in line with the thinking, reframing and action I've slowly embraced, I have found the following things to help with the decluttering/downsizing/simplfying process:
- being kind to myself!
- flylady.com was where I started, after seeing a "27 fling boogie" tip in a Listener magazine. while I don't feel like I fit in the target market for the site, it helped me find a few helpful daily routines to help me get on top of the chaos.
- Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project (and to date, I always keep one duchess drawer empty)
- my darling friend Nic loaned me a copy of Marie Kondo's book on the Japanese art of tidying up in january of this year, and it kicked me up a gear. touch every item. does it spark joy? no? it's gotta go.
- friends with smartphones and Viber who are on a similar journey. progress or before/after photos are exchanged, as are words of encouragement or decisiveness where needed.
- becomingminimalist.com and the Simplify and Clutterfree With Kids books
- 40 bags in 40 days challenges - not just limited to Lent.
- slowyourhome.com - which I found via podcast, then discovered the website.
- most importantly, variety. getting to know myself more means I find out what works for me. I get bored, so if I can change tactics or motivators then it's refreshing enough to get me going again.
my two children have been so very blessed with toys, craft supplies and more. it became too much. coincidentally when I discovered how much it was taking over, a friend happened to tell me about a book she then loaned me which covered the very same thing. simplicityparenting.com is the website, and the book of the same name has been incredible in putting things in perspective from an expert's point of view (as in, someone with appropriate qualifications and years of experience behind them, not just a parent; yes I'm picky about these things!), and guiding decisions on how to simplify life for them.
it's also led to our television going on 3-month holidays, and a huge reduction in screen time.
plus most of their toys have been donated or handed-down and all that remains are some craft and play-doh supplies, imaginative play cooking toys, some angry birds figurines for endless hours (or minutes!) of construction, knocking down and giggling... and Lego. so. much. lego.
the result? calmer kids. less outbursts. more imaginative play.
and calmer us.