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We need to minimize our possessions

Let’s get real and minimize our possessions. At our house the closets are overflowing, every toy bin is full and our book shelves are crowded. Every thing is a mess all the time. There is never enough storage space and it feels like all we do is clean up! Do you feel this way? 

Over the last few months Brian and I have been working really hard to clear up some of this. We have been selling, donating, trashing and purging like crazy. It has been interesting, one of us is a bit of a pack rat. The other has a deep love for clothes in all sizes (just in case) and can’t say no to free things, no matter if they are needed or not. But, we are coming together on this and minimizing our possessions. It is even becoming easier to let go.

Overall we have been just trying to cut down on the amount of stuff we don’t really need or use. How many crockpots do I really need? Right now I have three plus the three in one – small dip size crockpot. Really? Do I need all that? I have not been able to part with those just yet, but I think about it all the time. 

Clothes and toys – minimize our possessions

So many times, we have reached out to people to see if things they need anything. We still have so far to go but already feel a simpler vibe in our home. The clutter is disappearing as we minimize our possessions. We are even losing the constant feeling of needing to clean.

With three kids and a decent age gap between the second and third, we have a lot of kid things around the house. Our boys have a lot different wants and needs than our little girl. We can’t get rid of everything, of course, but we can minimize our possessions that are just laying around and not being used. 

Something I have noticed in my 12 years of being a mom, is that my kids respond to my emotions, they are aware of their surroundings and their behavior changes based on those two factors. What are the adults feeling and what is the space I am in like. When I think about it, I am much the same. I do not thrive in chaos. Everyone suffers when there is stress and anxiety. I am at my calmest when things are put together. My kids are the same. Clutter seriously increases our stress levels.

Learn to be grateful of our possessions

As a family, we talk a lot about being grateful for what we have, appreciating our possessions and understanding how fortunate we are to have what we do. We often talk about different cultures around the world and what differences there are between our lives and so many others. We talk about the rich, the poor and those that live somewhere in between.

Together, we are attempting to find a simpler, more calming environment in our humble abode. We all seem to be enjoying the change and have been thinking of what else we can purge. We have decided not to make quite a few purchases over the last few months simply because we have set an intention of reducing our consumerism.

Society tends to buy more than they need

Advertising companies have people pretty well figured out and it is amazing what they can get us to buy. Hopefully, in this process we will teach our children to be more aware consumers. My thought is they will learn to be more selective in their purchases and that they will think more about how to spend their money.  

It seems like a bit of a disservice to our kids though, the over buying. What are they actually learning from having so much? It seems there are things they learn and things they don’t learn. Do they need to learn to share if they have so much to choose from? Should they learn to appreciate? Do they learn to never be satisfied? Do they learn to use their imagination? Creativity peaks when you don’t have exactly what you need, right?

Minimize your possessions and cleaning is easy

When there are a few less things around, it is much easier for our little ones to help clean up. It is not overwhelming and there is a sense of accomplishment when they are able to do some of the work. Never underestimate how overwhelming it can be for your kids to clean up in an over consuming home. Think about how overwhelming it is for you!

I really don’t think we will ever become hard core minimalists. But, we are certainly changing our habits and reducing our need to over indulge. I hope we are teaching our children to make sound decisions before making purchases and that they learn the difference between needs and wants.

So far, the act of minimizing our possessions has been an interesting, productive and satisfying change in our lifestyle. I look forward to seeing where it takes us as a family!

What about you, do you ever feel the need to stop being a heavy consumer? Do the commercials get you to buy things you don’t need? Have you started to minimize your possessions or do you think you might in the future?

You can learn more about how we teach our children to be grateful by reading our post Raising Grateful Children.

Becoming minimalist has some great ideas on how to declutter your home. Check out their post 10 creative ways to declutter your home.