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All of the Stuff

All of the Stuff

Aside from the influx of gifts and gear we got when my daughter was born, I find it very hard to control my impulse shopping when faced with cute baby clothes. (Oooh, baby jeggings?! Yes, please! That adorable hat with animal ears? She must have it NOW!). Sure, they’re little things, but together they add up to an unruly wardrobe situation.

And I can’t blame just the baby stuff. My closet and drawers are a hot mess, too. I probably wear 20% of what I own. The rest is either old, doesn’t fit, out of style, or not practical in my current phase of Iife. (Will I ever wear that black suit I’ve had since my job interviews fresh out of college? Nope. Do I feel this weird need to hold onto it forever and ever? Yes. And why do I still have that hideous bridesmaid’s dress from my friend’s 2009 wedding? Help.)

I am envious of minimalists who somehow don’t have endless clutter. According to Japanese organizing expert Marie Kondo (who has gained worldwide fame for her approach to decluttering), there is magic to tidying up. In a nutshell, less stuff brings more happiness. All you need to do is assess your belongings and determine if they spark joy. If they don’t—say good-bye.

With that in mind, I set out on a mission to create more order. Especially during the holiday season, I’m extra motivated to declutter and do some donating.

For the baby:

Right now, everything sparks joy for my daughter. She’d be happy playing with a piece of cardboard. Anything she sees, she wants to touch or put in her mouth (just this morning I had the unfortunate experience of scooping out a piece of a leaf). But that doesn’t mean she needs a zillion toys in our living room. I made a pile of what she actually plays with, and what just sits there because she’s grown out of it. The toys she plays with went into a cute basket next to the couch. The older things went into a storage bin. The living room is already looking better.

For me:

I took a good long look at my clothes and said goodbye to the non-joyful items (and there were a lot). Things that no longer fit me may just be the perfect fit for someone else. Bags of clothes ready to donate, tidier drawers, and a closet that’s looks like it can “breathe” again helped me feel so much lighter and relieved.

For my husband:

He is now the Commander-in-Chief of mail piles. I don’t think he’s very happy about it.   

This is a good start to a less cluttered life. But no matter what, a home with a baby is never going to look perfect. And I’m perfectly okay with that.