Thursday, August 2, 2012

Other stuff: Organization vs. Minimalism

This is the longest I've lived anywhere.  Due to hubby's military career (and before that, my own financial instability) I've relocated more times since high school than most people do in a lifetime.  As a result, I didn't tend to acquire too much junk.  When you're moving a lot, you learn to travel light, and there are regular opportunities to purge.

Now we've been in the same place for 8 years.  I haven't lived anywhere for 8 years since I was with my parents, and the longest we lived in one home was 10 years.  So my current level of housing stability feels weird to me, and it isn't one to which I am well-adapted.

Our current home (the first home I have ever owned) is about 2000 square feet if you don't count the 3 season rooms, garage, or barn.  We have no basement and no attic.  This was a little tight when we had two kids at home, but for just two of us, we rattle around like dice in a yahtzee can.

I've never been known for tidiness, but some areas are starting to get ridiculous.  I clean most of a room and then some things get put in a pile "to be sorted later".  The pile grows, and then gets relocated because I have full intentions of dealing with it later, or because someone is coming over!  But later never comes, and often out of sight means out of mind.

As a (former?) clothing blogger, I have to admit that it is the same for clothing items.  The piles seem to have a life of their own.

  • A pile to be mended or altered...Cuz I'm all Suzy Sew-master like that?
  • A pile to be donated... that never actually gets to the drop-off point.
  • A pile of skinny clothes.  (Hope springs eternal.)
  • A pile of fat clothes.  (So does pragmatism.)
  • A pile of clean laundry I haven't put away yet.  (As does laziness.)

Is it TLC - level bad?  Not yet.  But I could see it going in that direction, to be honest.  And I grew up in a hoarding household.  That's not what I want for myself or my family. But what's the answer?

I used to devote a lot of time and energy to "organization".  Why is this self-defeating for me?

  1. Because it's another thing to spend money on!  Shoe racks, organizers, bins, totes....  It's bringing more stuff in, when I need to be getting stuff out.
  2. Organizing, at its core, is just REARRANGING.  Moving stuff from point A to point B.  Putting it in a prettier container or a less obvious place. I have other things to do with my life than move and mask messes.
  3. It's never done.  Ever.  And ... let's be realistic... I'm a lazy person.
So I've come to the conclusion that LESS is MORE.  Less stuff = a more relaxing environment.  Less stuff = more efficient use of my time (when finding things!).  Less stuff = more time with my family and my hobbies.

I'm not talking about living in a home like this...  We all look at those places and go "yeah, give me/my kids/my dogs ten minutes in that joint and it will look like a bomb went off."

I just want my home to be cozy, uncluttered, to have the stuff I want and need at hand, and to not live like it's a museum.... or the town dump.

I'm getting ready to start what will be a revolution in my home.  Believe it or not, I'm actually hiring someone to come help me once a week.  Hubby is gone for six months, and when he gets home, my goal is to rock his world. 

Wish me luck! I may even take before and after photos.


  1. 2000 was tight? EEP. ha. living in the city shows you how small a space you can live in. Hope you get just how you want it.

  2. So I hear! I keep watching Househunters International and the whole unit is smaller than my living room. I live in the Midwest. My mom's place (old Victorian farmhouse) has like 17 rooms!

    Unfortunately, like a goldfish I expand to fit the space available.

  3. Good luck. I hope you achieve your goal.


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