Spring Cleaning: Reloaded
Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer – and the piles are getting bigger. Piles of laundry, piles of toys, and did I always have this much furniture? I was starting to feel as if the mounds of junk were going to come crashing down on me.
Let’s rewind to a simpler time when I was just a single female, living in my one-bedroom condo, no kids, no boyfriend, not even a pet. Usually once every three months I would take a hard look at my wardrobe, cosmetics, home décor, and various papers and decide if I should part ways with it either by recycling, donating or storing in the miniature outdoor patio storage closet. I would meticulously put everything back in its new home with labels. Just thinking about it brings me a great sense of relief – like I said, simpler times people!
Life Events Create Clutter
First Comes Love
Fast forward: girl meets boy, girl dates boy, boy asks girl to move in with him and now girl is moving in with said boyfriend (now husband, but more on this later). I can’t say I was really prepared for this life event mostly because I had no idea it was really a huge life event. Combining two households of stuff was just too much. Fitting our clothes into one closet was nearly hopeless. I mean, how many black shirts does a guy really need and do they have to all be on hangers? But I digress. It was obvious to me that he did not practice the same quarterly clean up that I did. His first experience of my clean up was scarring for us both. It turns out he had a huge problem letting go of stuff. And so, here we were co-habitating in a two-bedroom apartment that was starting to feel like was not going to be nearly enough space for the both of us.
Then Comes Marriage
Fast forward again because here comes the good part – marriage! Wedding meant more stuff. We liked the stuff. I would know because I picked it, dragging my fiancé through Bed, Bath and Beyond scanning silverware and plates, cups, mugs, glasses, bedding, towels. Alright, literally everything in the store. Every time that little scanner beeped my fiancé grumbled. “We already have that” he would say. And I’d scan anyway because I was dead set on upgrading (read: replacing) everything. And so, you guessed it, we had more stuff. And on a side note, my husband was not into replacing but rather having backups. As if anyone needs a backup knife block, but whatever.
Then Comes Baby Carriage
The natural progression of life events unfolding, we were then expecting a baby. Baby registries are next level, folks. How much does one tiny human need? They get their own furniture, a whole new wardrobe, toys, and feeding supplies. I was constantly shifting and reorganizing to fit everything in our apartment when both my husband and I realized we needed to move. And so we moved. All. The. Stuff.
It seemed that with every life event we were accumulating more things. Some things we didn’t need. Some things we didn’t want. Some things we just couldn’t let go of. It was overwhelming. I started purging my own items to free up space. Not just to free up space in our home but also to free up space in my mind. The clutter gave me intense anxiety, which I later learned was very common. I encouraged my husband to let go of a few things as well and he did, but it was with great difficulty. Too many things held sentimental value.
As the next life event was approaching, the birth of a second child, it became clear that we needed to do more to hold space for our new family member. All of the baby toys reappeared, along with the pack ‘n’ play, bouncer, infant car seat, and clothes. You get the picture. I use the term reappeared but really the word I am looking for is “exploded”. Yes, the baby stuff exploded back into our lives. Naturally, we had a girl and a boy, so many things were duplicates just different colors. Being that I was feeling super pregnant, and it was so close to Christmas, I had no quarterly clean up impulse in me. The nesting that I experienced during my first pregnancy was totally MIA my second pregnancy.
And that, friends, brings us to this moment today. It’s one of those days that I am cooped up in the house, with my husband and two kiddos, feeling that same crushing anxiety that there is just too much around me. I have stepped on my last Leggo! I’m told this is motherhood, but I just can’t accept it. This Spring I have committed to finding peace in my home through decluttering my life.
Believe it or not, it started with a conversation with my husband when I asked the question:
“Are we done having kids?”
His response was more of a deflection. “Are you?”
So now, as I’m sitting amongst the piles of laundry, about four totes deep in old baby clothes I am not so sure. The one thing I am sure of is that I’m holding this tiny little onesie – pink with white daisies. It was the onesie my daughter was wearing the first time she flashed a smile at me, and I just can’t let it go. The thing is, I’m not going to use it either. Not right now at least. Sure, it’s just one little onesie. But the infant seat my son has already outgrown? I might need that. I look around at all the baby toys and blankets that both my kids have now outgrown but wonder, do I still need them?
I’ve concluded that maybe my home doesn’t need them but my heart, or the twinkle in my eye, does. All of life’s events bring so many things, and so many memories, and while some items can be passed on to others for good use there are just some that we want out of the way so we can make space for the next life event, that will surely bring more stuff. My mind has already flashed to my daughters next birthday. If I could only remember where I stored the party decorations.
Since Spring is sprung, and it’s officially time for the quarterly clean up, I will rise to the challenge and hopefully you feel inspired too! Stay tuned on this journey of how to spring into action (see what I did there?) and make space for life!
Until next time,
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