I just read this AMAZING book and wanted to share how it’s already changed things up around our house.
The title struck me because, hey, who doesn’t realize they have too much shtuff taking up space? Especially with multiple kids and the junk that they bring along with them…anyway, I expected this book was your usual organization how-to guide but it was so much more!
The author and his family are self-proclaimed “minimalists” which he describes as people who choose to spend their time, money and energy on the things that matter in life (i.e. moments, memories, relationships) instead of the things that DON’T (i.e. possessions). Instead of just telling you how to manage your stuff (which countless books and blogs are already doing) he challenges readers to assess whether they need all this junk to begin with.
The author explains that living with less stuff is not about depriving oneself, but rather a way of learning how to live intentionally. Instead of buying random crap to decorate his shelves, he decorates with a few meaningful family pictures or pieces of artwork his kids have done. Instead of having a closet jam-packed with clothes, most of which he never wears, he has a few very favorite items that are a joy to wear. When a minimalist does need to buy something, he can even afford to have nicer things because he’s only buying things once. He also has more time and energy to spend with the people he loves.
This book came at a perfect time for me. Our 4th bedroom was my “craft” room (also affectionately referred to as the “crap” room) for the past 5 years and in it I stored everything from too much thread, to extra pictures frames, to pillow forms and everything in between.
This is what it looked like in its “organized” state…
We just decided to move the boys into this room so that upstairs, the twins could have their own room and Juliet and Finn could share (in hopes for more sleeping all around).
It took about 2 full weeks to relocate my sewing machines and find space for everything in other corners of the house.
Realizing that I’m a collector, and that I often look to possessions for comfort instead of people and relationships, was just one eye-opening aspect of this book. Since reading it 3 days ago, I’ve cleared out my closet, the kids’ closets, more craft stuff, useless décor – you name it! I’m prepping for a huge garage sale and adjusting to the idea of being a minimalist!
I have to say, it is really a liberating feeling. Our house seems bigger, and I feel less demands on my time. I expect daily cleanup to go smoother and less stress from looking around at piles of clutter.
In the end, I realized this book was less of a guide to organizing as it was sort of an emotional re-prioritization. After reading this book, I was reminded of a quote I’ve thought of often:
“Everything you own, owns a piece of you.”
It’s no wonder we all feel pulled in a million different directions!
I can’t recommend this book enough…it’s a short, quick read and right now it’s really cheap on amazon (especially if you have a kindle). Go buy it, seriously.