As a young girl I thrived on order, organising and tidying things around the home. I would collect mementos of holidays & day trips and keep them in little storage boxes. I would keep everything and anything!
This carried on until I was older and owned my own home, but something was different…. I was struggling to keep on top of it and I didn’t understand. Normally I was on the ball.
Why couldn’t I cope? What had changed?
I started to question myself. My usual order and routines were no longer working. My confidence dropped. I suffered from stress, anxiety and constantly felt overwhelmed with everything life was throwing at me. I spent many years feeling lost, not knowing who I was and where I was going.
Then eventually, I started to understand. There were four specific moments in my life that made me realise what the real problem was:
I had TOO MUCH STUFF!
I am surprised it took me so long to realise it, but once I did it changed my life.
So here you have it, the four triggers that started my minimalism story. ENJOY!
1. Attempting to tame the dreaded toddler tornado
When you have a child, your possessions increase 10 fold. However, this was not the big issue for me. The issue was trying to stop my child going through all of my things!
Pulling down boxes, opening up cupboards and rifling through bookcases! Up until this point I hadn’t realised how much stuff I owned. (Probably because I had nice pretty storage boxes and things organised in their own little place).
She got into EVERYTHING! I got so sick of cleaning up and putting away the same things everyday.
2. Post Birthday toiletry mountain
I am sure this has happened to you…. you have just had a wonderful birthday celebration, stuffed with chocolate cake and a little tipsy on Prosecco. You then start to go through your gifts and putting them in their new homes, only to realise you have 5 new body lotions to add to your already existing 7!
I am not a huge cosmetics user so getting through these items can sometimes take a very long time. So instead of giving them to people that would actually use them, I would store them in multiple boxes in the hope someday I would get round to using them. I am sure I had lotions and potions that hadn’t seen the light of day in years!
3. Where is the Sellotape?!?!
I don’t know about you but I always used to find that when I needed to wrap up presents, the Sellotape would always go for a walk somewhere right?
I remember one specific time I was hunting in multiple rooms in the house and then ended up driving to the grocery store to pick up a new roll.
Of course, guess what? The day after I found the hiding spot! No wonder I couldn’t find it……
4. 2 months & 2 house moves!
Yes you heard me right…. I moved house twice in very quick succession, half way down the country AND with two kids.
Now there is nothing more truth telling than that! I was packing up ‘stuff’ that I hadn’t seen in years (some I had even forgot I owned) to then be stored in boxes in my new garage for months. This was crazy! What a waste of time and effort.
No wonder I felt overwhelmed. My cupboards were overflowing, my garage was unusable and I spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to find things or re-purchasing things!
Once in my new home, I decided enough was enough! I got a big black bag and started filling it with everything and anything I could see that I didn’t use or love.
It felt so freeing!
My first round of decluttering was removing anything that didn’t fit the above criteria, and paring down anything we had too much of. I felt like I got rid of so much, but in reality I had only just scratched the surface.
Minimalism: It’s a Journey, not a Destination
I’ve done several more rounds of decluttering and no doubt will continue to do so – the benefits it gives to our famiily is unquestionable. Our lives so much easier and I feel so much more relaxed and contented.
Who doesnt want that?
Are you working to declutter or minimise your life? I would love to hear what motivated you to begin decluttering. Leave a comment and let me know!
Simple Joy was founded by Hayley Forster, a Wellness & Lifestyle Coach. Hayley is an advocate of intentional living, with a passion in helping others simplify their lives in order to find their ideal lifestyle full of contentment, creativity and authenticity!