Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Closet Culling and Less-Is-More Principle

I wrote this post back in early April. Enjoy.

Ok. I've got a lot of traditional scrapbooking stuff littered throughout my "scrap-room". I put that in inverted commas because my husband seems to think it's the "junk-room" or "dump-anything-in-here that-doesn't-belong-on-the-kitchen-bench room". And my kiddies use it as the "I-want-to-create-with-Mum" room, full of lovely, space-consuming art paper "inventions" that they show me and want me to record somewhere (even if just inside my brain).

So it's junky. And I hate that.

But it IS the right colour. Thanks to my recent home-decor painting spurt. And it IS starting to resemble the space that I want it to be. Small parts are coming together. The rest is just ... well, a change of habit. Mess that needs to be catalogued, fixed, finished or thrown away. (That's awfully hard to do when you're a hoarder). It takes about 30 days to change a habit. Or in my case, 30 years.

I always thought I was tidy. I mean, I can remember at uni having my top desk drawer utterly organised and everything had a place. I knew when someone had taken off with my sticky tape, because it had left a gaping hole in my draw. I knew where to find a working pen. I knew I had staples still in my stapler.

With a family of five, however, it's become somewhat difficult to keep everything in it's place - and especially hard if there's no "place" to put it in anymore because there is TOO MUCH MESS!

It's so easy to pack away at pre-school, because everything has a box to put it in. And bad, bad stuff, like permanent pens, are not within kiddy reach. They are never, I repeat never, left on the dashboard of your new car.

It's easy to clean up after a holiday in a cabin at the beach, because the three outfits you chose for everybody to wear throughout the week have already been washed and hung and folded ready for next use. No overflowing washing baskets to  "catch up" with. And toys! Well, they all fit into a single backpack. It's no headache at all packing up while on holidays. Because you've only got a car load and not a lifetime load.

But come home, and well, there's just way too much stuff to handle. Toys overflow from one room to another. Clothes hang out of washing baskets like I haven't laundered in 5 years. Can you guess what I've been doing today?

Yep. I've culled.

Which, for a hoarder like me, is hard. But it gets remarkably easier each time I do it. And I've truly got to wait until I have stuff spilling out of my ears like today, to get into the right frame of mind to do it successfully.

I've cleaned out my kid's closests. They were overflowing. I figure if they have less clothes to change into every five seconds, then I'll have less washing / ironing / grief thereafter. So each boy now has no more than seven shorts / t-shirts/ tops / trousers. Well, actually, my eldest son has only really got one of everything because he doesn't get any hand-me-downs from cousins.

My second son had way too many clothes that are now waiting to be stored long-term until our next boy comes along (JOY JOY JOY if that happened!) or to be given away to my siblings for use with my future nephews. Whichever comes first. Spread the joy, I say. He was inheriting hand-me-downs from three cousins and well, it all got a bit much really. I loved most of the items, but I really don't think he'll ever wear 28 t-shirts. Not before he grows out of them in 6 months.

So now they have nice, sparse shelves. And it even allows for untidy re-folder's like Riley, who can't seem to get the whole "put it back as you found it" scenario. And they can see the "piles" each item belongs to. I've even made up some shelf labels for those of us who are still reading-impaired.

So my moral today is really LESS IS MORE.

Less stuff = More room for sanity inside your head.
Less mess = More time to enjoy life.
Less stress = More liklihood you'll enjoy time with your offspring.
Less clutter = More independent children. And husbands. (They don't need to ask you where everything is ...)

So what are you doing today? Tell me your tips for a more organised life and share your sucesses / failures with the rest of us struggling mums!


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