Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Minimizing and Mother's Day

I'm here.

The thing about blogging is that when you get out of the routine of it, it's hard (at least for me) to get back in the groove.

This last month has been a big one for us because we've had to make a few big decisions for our family. One was deciding where Colin will go to school come fall (kindergarten!!!). Wherever he goes, we hope the rest of the boys will also go. Michigan has "school of choice" and there are a lot of great choices in our area. This is a blessing..... but also makes for a very difficult decision! (I know I know, this is such a first world problem to have to wonder "which great school should we send our kids to?").

Still, this decision has felt especially overwhelming because we've strongly considered looking for a larger house and where we choose to live has an impact on what school is the best fit. The desire for more space reached a fever pitch when we were basically snowed in this winter with five little boys all climbing the walls!

But you know what? We love this little house. We love our neighborhood and our yard lined with pine trees. More is not always better. This house may not be spacious but it feels like home in a way no other house has. The thought occurred to us that maybe if we significantly paired down our "stuff", this house wouldn't feel as cramped. Don't get me wrong, we're not hoarders or anything, but we've accumulated a lot stuff both from the boys and boxes that we simply haven't gone through in years. Some of the "stuff" are things we've been saving for our dream house (when we'd have more space), not realizing until now that this might just be our dream house. We're here. Let's make the most of it.

So the past few weeks we have been working hard every night after the boys go to bed, going through our belongings piece by piece, determining what we really need, and shedding the rest. It is HARD and EMOTIONAL work to go through the belongings of your past. Most items have memories attached to them that make me second guess letting the item go. I often find myself thinking, "Well, maybe I'll use that again......" (even if I haven't used said item in years and didn't even realize I had it until going through said box)

What has helped us part with stuff, is keeping the end goal always in our minds. The end goal is to have a house that feels more spacious, less cluttered, and one we can comfortably live in, even with five sons.

Overall, it feels good. We feel lighter. This process of significantly reducing our belongings, deciding to stay in our current home for the foreseeable future and choosing a school for our boys, has helped us to really clarify what's most important to us as a family. One of the highest priorities is simply getting time together. As much time as we can. In the end, that desire for quality time together helped us choose the closest school, the one that we can walk to each day.

Anyone else going through this sort of process? Do you live in a smaller house by choice? Or are you considering living more minimally? If so, this article was one that really motivated us and helped me understand the difference between organizing and true decluttering. True decluttering is where the magic happens!

So tonight, I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine, and keep tackling our storage room downstairs. Piece by piece, memory by memory.

Also, I had a lovely Mother's Day. With five young kids it's hard to get a break and Sunday was no different. It was as busy as every other day but that's okay. We're busy because we are so blessed. I also held in my mind, friend's who have lost their mother's and friend's who want more than anything to be mother's.

This may not be the most perfect picture, but it sure does represent life right now! Silly, spontaneous, fun, dirty, loving, never still or boring and rarely quiet!

These guys? They are my everything.

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