So, how the hell do you prepare for living small? If you’re anything like me, the thought of getting rid of all your stuff sounds terrifying. Like, I need all that stuff. My things. All the things.
It was rough. Our house, a whopping 1048sqft (Depending on what document you’re looking at) with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, was packed full. Overflowing with shit. Crafty things, clothes I might fit into someday, stacks of mail from like…. weeks ago? I really needed those 2 week old Aldi ads. Ok, so some might say I was borderline hoarding. But I was still a great leap away from the TV show! The only dead bodies we found were a few June Bug carcasses.
So, I bought this book to help me out – The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The writer, Marie Kondo, creates her own method for giving up your possessions and living minimally. First, the lady is a total nut job and encourages you to talk to your socks before you throw them away. Second, this is not a good one for anyone with kids and/or employed in creative services. So… basically me. It can be good if you need a swift kick in the ass. But, you’ll need to improvise significantly. Which I did.
Step 1. Purge.
Yup. That’s basically how it went.
The idea here is that we need get used to living with only necessities. I mean, the closet in a travel trailer is like a foot wide. Currently, that would house MAYBE 25% of my clothing. Furthermore, I run an business. I have a ton of shit. It’s overwhelming.
So, I started in the rooms with our clothes. Like the book said to do. I got every damn piece of clothing I could find in this entire house. My sons, daughters, husbands, dogs, mine and all the random items that have been forgotten over the years.
It took me 2 days to get through it all. My husband was not so thrilled to see this when he got home, so like a good and understanding wife – we had a yelling match and I threw to damn cleaning book at him and said “You fucking read it! Help me!”.
After just this section, I wanted to die. But, I needed to move on! I coordinated a garage sale to unload to bulk of what we needed to get rid of. TAKE IT ALL! And, maybe we will make some extra cash. The book says to throw it all in the trash, but that didn’t sit right with me.
But first….. we drink.
We drank way too much. Actually, I was supposed to have my garage sale the next day but what ended up happening is I took all the bags of clothes I had finished and made a mad dash around the house to try and throw out all the things I could find and couldn’t justify in 3 seconds.
After about 2 hours – the hangover kicked in. I posted it all up on facebook and said FREE just take it. Alright, mistakes were made. But, in my stupor I discovered a slightly better system for US than literally just using the KonMari method. I upped to to 5 seconds and done. If it couldn’t be justified outside “I might need it someday”, it went.
Through the next week I went through every room in the house. I saved my office for last. I knew it’d be a difficult one emotionally. So, I took a moment to take the edge off.
Alright! A few hours later and it was DONE. 60 gallon tub full of fabric, shelves of vases, props, felt, stuff and stuff and stuff. I found so many useful things in the process! Like hundreds of dollars in office supplies that I bought to make a cute little productive space for myself!
The space isn’t exactly something you’d see on Apartment Dwellers, but hey… 75% of my stuff is gone and the 1 room in the house that my husband got anxiety about, is clean. Seriously, the guy wouldn’t even look at it when he walked passed. Which, made it hard because it was an access point to the kitchen. You’d think I had won the lottery when I told him the space was complete.
This whole STUFF issue really affected the whole house. Living in constant clutter, dishes overflowing, laundry…. so much laundry! I can absolutely guarantee that half the clothes weren’t actually dirty, they either got thrown in because I didn’t want to put it back on a hanger or the dirty piles and clean piles intermingled. I was stressed! And to be honest, I’ve lived my entire life in clutter. But it all finally came to a head.
My husband, who is incredibly Type A, seems much happier and a ton more comfortable. The big one though, my 4 year old son. He made comments about it for like 2 weeks and actually started cleaning up after himself! It used to be like pulling teeth just to get him to stop throwing his dirty socks on top of the curtain rods. Now, he enjoys cleaning.
Anyways, so there’s the first step. First phase in all of this. Eventually, there will be another purge . But, the improvement we’ve already made is incredible.