Living with Even Less

I’ve always loved the idea of living with less. Before we had kids I thought I might like to clean houses after hours for extra money. I had my first client interview and realized it was the wrong job for me…

The first thing you saw when you walked in was 50 pair of shoes in every size. In the kitchen papers were stacked on every counter 6in-a foot or two high. The living room had so many toys on the floor that you couldn’t even see the carpet.

What this client was hiring for was someone to do a deep clean every other week. She didn’t want to have to throw anything away. She just wanted it all to be stacked back…

(Which is why I love the term gentle minimalism …)

Here was the Problem

The problem with that model is that it’s the equivalent of running on a treadmill. If we shoved all 50 pair of shoes into a basket with out throwing out or putting in storage the ones that didn’t fit, they would end up back on the floor the next time the 6 year old was looking for a pair.

Less will let you off Cleaning Treadmill

Sorting through a pile of clutter and moving it to another space may make it feel like you’ve done something, but it’s a stack of card that will collapse if you breath wrong or neglect it for a second. As moms we don’t have time to do work that won’t have lasting results.

What I have found helps create lasting clean in our house is to move through spaces and eliminate everything that isn’t useful or beautiful to that space. I don’t have a current need for the thing donating it to someone who can use it, or moving it into deep storage is a much better use of my time.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can be tidy!!

Where do I start to move to less?

Start with your bedroom. Often times we neglect the spaces that are our own to work on the common living areas, but start in the place that you spend your most time. When you open your eyes let it be to a fresh space, and when you lay down lay in a place that brings you peace.

Lay a sheet onto your bed, and lay out everything from every surface of your room on to the bed. Throw away all the trash that has accumulated. Starting with easy things like tissue bits and any stray papers that have found there way into your room. Keep count as you go! You’ll be amazed at the count as it tallies. (please tag and share your number and before and afters. I would love to celebrate with you)

(DO NOT START ON THE CLOSET YET) Hang up the clothes that have been left out. Throw away any of them with holes or that are the wrong size. But the goal here is a quick win to give you momentum to move on to other parts of the house.

Take any dirty cups back to the kitchen.

Make your bed!

Remove ALL children’s toys from your room.

Promise of Reward

It is possible to have a clean home and not spend hours per week or hundreds of dollars. It’s possible to have a home that you can have picked up and tidy in just a few minutes. It takes a little work ahead of time, but every minute you spend in this process will save hours for future you as you prevent yourself from the never ending task of pile moving.

(check out this gift list for minimalists! Or, this Mother’s Day gift guide!)

Let me know if this will help you live with less. I will write another article, if even just one person needs it!!!

If you found this helpful, check out my Spring Cleaning Guide in the shop!

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