Friday, February 5, 2021

Our First Declutter: Clothes!

You have to start somewhere!

Most of the 'minimalists' that I follow said that their initial declutter took six months to a year to complete, depending on how much time they had to dedicate to it. I can completely see how it could take a really, really long time to settle into your own grove and decide what it looks like for you personally.

   So during this week of declutter, I have decided that I want to be very intentional about talking about our journey as a family to find a more simple life.  All of the inspiration that I have found has been amazing (and deserves a post of its own- coming soon I promise!) the first thing I always look for is, where and why did they get started.  What was their motivation to start?  What did their life look like before it was minimal?  So I decided that on my journey, I wanted to chronicle my steps from the very beginning!

   Day One: Monday, February 1st, 2021
   How awesome was it that we actually got started at a convenient time for us to remember?  I wonder next year when I look back on Feb 1st if I'll realize where we started from?  I heard that in a Priscilla Shrier Bible study once when we were living at Fruitland.  She said to look in the mirror, and instead of comparing yourself to every oher woman in the world, compare yourself to the woman who stood there a year ago.  That has stuck with me.  
    Monday, my husband actually got the ball rolling.  He started first thing Monday morning decluttering his closet!  It didn't take me long to decide to join in with him.  So Monday, we worked on our own personal clothing items.  I didn't know it at the time (because I hadn't watched that youtube video yet haha!) that starting with your own personal things is the best way to start declutter.  It absolutely was!  If you can learn to get rid of your own things, it makes it easier to see them as things, which makes them easier to minimize.  Sure, they cost you something.  Sure, you feel posession over them, and they are yours.  Yet, we have to remember that they are still things.  They may have been things that hold memories, but they are not the memories themselves.  Things seem to have a higher place value in my life than I am comfortable with, which is another reason I believe this journey is really important to me.  It took lots of go-arounds for me to realize what I needed to part with, and what I needed to keep.  Basically, the decision finally came down to this.  Do I wear it at least on a weekly basis? If it is a 'church clothing' item, have I worn it in the past two months?  And, does it make me feel good or bad about myself.  I also got rid of most of the clothes I was putting away for my big 'weight loss'.  That felt good.  If I lose weight, I can buy two more pair of jeans that fit and fit well.  So I got rid of the entire bucket of clothing I've been holding onto for those occasions.  If I do lose weight, I still don't want that many clothes in my closet!  So it doesn't make sense to keep things packed away!  
   So, what did I keep?  I kept three pair of jeans.  I kept about five skirts.  Over Christmas I discovered the Everywear Tees at Old Navy and they have been perfect, both for wearing out and just wearing around the house!  So honestly I have about five of those, but they are certainly my everyday go too.  I have a few different tshirts. Ya'll, for years I didn't let myself even try leggings from LulaRoe, becasue of a rude comment I read on a review once!  I recently got a pair of TC Leggings and they are my favorite!!!  I would like one more of these, but my leggings were certainly on my keep list!  I did, however, donate some that I got from Walmart just last week.  They were only $3.00 on clearance, so I had to have them right?  Well, the orignally price had only been $4.44 and they fit like they cost $4.44, so they were just taking up space.  Why does that yellow tag make us think we just have to have something.  *sigh*  But I digress.....
   As you can tell by my list, and that's not the only things on my list by far- I don't exactly make the cut as a minimalist.  I couldn't work the 333 system just yet, I realize that its not about a magic number or even just how little you can make it on.  It's about filling your life with tangible items that you love, use and need.  Not just a ton of things that you have to cipher through to get to the things you actually do use.  So, although in the future I may try to downsizse futher, right now I have a manageable number of clothing.  Hubby and I I also have one tote pan for the both of us with summer clothes (and a handful of those I really think I would enjoy if I did lose weight- but a very small amount of those!) and a managable closet.  That is a blessing!!

  Day 2: Tuesday, February 2, 2021
   Still working on clothes!  Today we got all of our tote pans out of storage.  This worked out great because I still had some random Christmas things laying around the house that I needed to pack away.  For a moment I thought I should go through and declutter our three tote pans worth of Christmas items- but I decided a lot of that will fit into the 'sentimental' category, and perhaps I'll be in a better place with 'things' come next December.  So I packed them neatly and we put them back in the closet.  Next, we move to the six tote pans we have with clothes.  Most of them, blankets that we won't use, bedding, curtains and other household things that I have certainly decided don't want but for some reason have held onto for years *shrug shoulders here...* and lots, lots and lots of clothes.
   We are talking, clothes that I wore when I was a teenager.  Really?  I have kept these, shuffled them from house to house through the years as we have moved, and still I have them?  What in the world??  Even if I ever did get down to that size again (which would mean I would be three pregnancies smaller?  Not really fathomable...  I don't even think my hips are capable of getting back there again!) those things went out of style YEARS ago.  I did find a coat for my daughter to wear (if she likes it lol...) my Grandfather's coat that I gave to my husband (what good does it do anyone in storage?  He would have loved my husband...  what more fitting way than for him to get some use out of something Papaw loved?) and my husbands military uniforms.  He decided to lose the pants and his uniforms that he wore while he was in combat, and keep his jacket with his medals on it for his sons.  I think that was a good decision!
   Most of my girls clothing went into a bin of its own.  I'm hoping that they will take it on themselves to sort them out! It works out well that they will both be home this weekend! (My oldest is in college about an hour from home and this week my youngest has been visiting family in the mountains!  And YES she saw a LOT of snow!  I'm a little jealous!) 
    I also went through the things I have packed away that belonged to my older son that my younger son could grow into.  There isn't much difference between them anymore, as Hudson is in a 14 and Sawyer is in an 8, there's only the 10/12 group in the middle.  As I went through them, I thought of the things that I didn't like to 'care' for when my older son wore them, and got rid of them!  The number of items is significantly less, but I know my son will have plenty of clothes to wear, and we will enjoy what we do have!
   So out of the six storage boxes, we ended up with two!  One with mine and hubby's, and the other with the kids!  Not only does that significantly decrease the number of clothes we have to deal with, it also gave me four extra storage totes for toys!  
   YAY!  What Mom doesn't love some storage totes!

Day 3, Wednesday February 3, 2021
   I guess you all are wondering how on earth I've found time to do this.  Even though with my kids I have a large number of different grades, there are still a lot of things in school we do together.  Hudson' and Callie have their own science and history that is very light and they do that on their own each day.  But we also do a LOT of things together.  We do spelling lessons together each morning as a group.  We also do a science, history and geography study together.  We also do morning reading and we are studying the Chroicles of Narnia together.  So since my daughter is in the mountains this week, the boys are only doing the things that they do basically on their own.  Sawyer usually does language arts and math with me, but I've cut myself a break this week and allowed him to work independently through Fast Phonics (this is a part of Reading Eggs, which he completed last year!) and Mathseeds.  I don't normally allow so much computer time, but with Callie out of town this week it made sense to let them work a little more independently and take the opportunity to knock out a lot of the most dreaded tasks of decluttering!
   Wednesday we took our first load to the thrift store.  To be honest, I'm going to make this a sevearl trip kind of thing.  I don't want to overrun anyone, and I think that we can spread it out a little.  We took eight bags of donations, mostly clothing, to one thrift store.  We also have at least seven more, but I want to spread those out a little bit.  We also priced some shelving units at Lowes for our pantry project that I'm SO excited about!  
   Our declutter projects for Wednesday was just tying up loose ends.  I reorganized the toes and started on the boys closet.  It was a project that was fairly easy to tackle.  I do want to share photos of their closet because we have a neat organization system going on, but I did tell them I would first let them decoarte the bookshelf that they are using for their storage cubes since it previously belonged to their sister and has girlie contact paper on it lol.  Basically, they have two storage cubes each (just the basic walmart storage cubes) for their PJ's, shorts and casual pants.  They also have a Hanging shelf, did you know this was a thing??  I totally did not until we lived in Hendersonville, but now we have one for each closet and its amazing!!  Anyhow, the hanging shelf is home to two smaller cubes that hold their underwear and socks, and I declutered them down to two pair of jeans for Hudson and three for Sawyer.  I do want to get Hudson one additional pair from the Chidren's place, since they seem to be Sawyers favorite and are made from a more stretchy fabric, but three pair for the kids who hate jeans is certainly enough!  
   Now, my two daughters were not home for the big declutter week.  My youngest daughter will be home to declutter over the weekend.  My college-age daughter will be home too, but since she has her own closet and her own dorm, we are leaving it up to her whether or not she minimalises her wardrobe.  We shall see how they do this weekend!

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