The Struggle Is Real -2016

I know that women in developing countries have serious struggles of their own, but can you imagine what our struggles might look like in their eyes?

  • Having to endlessly pick up after our kids around the house, I can't take it!
  • You can't find your shoes, where are your socks??!
  • I'm having to trip over stuff to get to where I am going!
  • The sink is overflowing of dishes, again.
  • This (food) is out of date, ugh!  my life is so hard!
  • The laundry just keeps on piling, I can't keep up with it..:(
  • Who left all of the books strewn all over the floor, -pick them up!!?
  • It's been nonstop all day for me, I just need to take a bath.
I could go on and on with our "struggles" but the more I think about it, the more ashamed I am. Oh the guilt! So, I'm turning my shame into motivation to seriously purge my home.

I feel like I'm always purging my home. Is it just me or does anyone else seem to be donating boxes or bags of stuff after a huge purging episode?? I swear, the enemy knows my weaknesses. After 8 bags of purging, feeling that much lighter and free, someone brings me boxes of hand me downs of stuff. The hoarder within me, says "yeah, sure I'll have a look!" and guess what, EVERYTHING has potential. I should learn. If I can't see it, I won't miss it and even if I see it, I probably will not miss it. A fact.

How then do I de-itemize my home for good and is "for good" even a realistic expectation? Looking up at those struggles listed, could I swap those struggles for things that matter eternally? Let me break them down for us.

  1. Having to endlessly pick up after our kids around the house, I can't take it! Our homes in westernized countries are so full of stufffffff. We think we need it, we hoard it, we save it, stack it, storage it and we keep accumulating more stuff. I cannot even wrap my head around the sum of $$ we would save, if we were not so easily swept away with things. The things we buy, we end up purging anyway sooner or later. The things we own, end up binding us, they end up owning us in one way or another. We lose precious time for instance, we become around the clock cleaners, maintainers, and hunters (hunts for the missing {insert here}!).. It robs us from time for ourselves, as mothers. Our kids go to bed and you have so much to prep for in order to survive the next day, and then you're done for the day. Would you not want to curl up and read your favourite book? Read those blog posts that you bookmarked for a quiet moment? Could this be your quiet moment, where you work on a project you've been thinking about for months? Does motherhood and you time have to be a balancing act? Can it not just be the journey you are on and there is no seperation of the two? How would it be, if instead of STRIVING, we could be THRIVING in the coming days? Would the shouts and arguments over toys scattered around the home be swapped into talks and cuddles and outdoor walks? What steps must we take, in today's society and the areas we live in to make this a reality? 
  2. You can't find your shoes, where are your socks!? How many pairs of shoes does one child, never mind woman have? YES, there can be too many shoes. This is a nuisance in my home. My kids never seem to find their shoes, always one shoe missing. I see them trying to leave the house with sandals in the middle of winter, and it drives me bonkers! "Where are your shoes?!" How many pairs do kids need, as they are growing up fast anyway, and don't get a chance to enjoy them long enough? A few "shoe cultures" I admire are the Finnish and Koreans. Finns never walk inside the home with their shoes on and leave them beside the front door. Koreans always seem to take their shoes off in the most respectful way possible. Say what? Yes, have you ever seen anyone place their shoes away in such a symmetrical manner, I have! Koreans :) If I had the shoes I need, (which I actually have fewer than I "need"), my kids would live by example. If they had just the right amount of shoes for designated weather, they would be lost or mistreated, especially when you have multiple kids! I can't help but think of Little House On The Prairie, when the girls would cherish everything they had as it was gold. Their corn husk dolls, special laced up shoes.. polished, ready for school. Could we adapt that mentality? How can we, when we live in this society. how can we fight the strong winds of today's capitalism and pass that onto our children? I'm talking about shoes, but this goes for every piece of clothing.
  3. I'm having to trip over stuff to get to where I am going! What would your life look like if you were not swayed by Walmart or Pinterest? Would you walk into a temple instead of a westernized, asthma risk house? Would our homes be a place of rest and worship? Would you be aware of your surroundings, instead of being drowned in visual noise? Picture this for a moment...What would your home look like? I have purged so much, yet I still have too much stuff I have a hard time parting with. I guess I don't have the answer for that, yet. Yet.
  4. The sink is overflowing of dishes, again. Well, how many dishes do we need? Most of us have a dishwasher, how crazy is that. We tend to talk about how back in the day, they had house servants, and how we have to do everything by ourselves. Well, we have house servants too! We got a dishwasher, laundry machines, most of us have a coffee maker, fridge, the endless kitchen appliances - list yours! We even have a vacuum cleaner! How cool is that! A machine that sucks up dust and bits and good Lord, is that not a praise worthy privilege? Not to forget, the toilet! We have running water, electricity.. it's just mind blowing when I think of the stuff we have, yet we moan about our "load". Can you picture that the developing world mothers face, when she sees your list of "servants"? Embarrassing! Turning my shame into motivation-turning my shame into inspiration! What can we do, to own less dishes. Every dish has a story, a potential- how can we minimize our cupboards? Keep on purging, I know I'll get there! And, so will you!
  5. This (food) is out of date, ugh!  my life is so hard! I read this thing on the "time-wasting-book" page once, "When I buy a lettuce, I usually bin it right away. Saves me doing it in a weeks time".. I chuckled, but it's so true! Not only do we have this gadget in the kitchen that keeps our food fresh, we forget about our food. We take the food for granted in some way or form. Take the time to look at this video below. I'm on a mission. I would like to go back to basics with 'food'. Simplify the ingredients and the source of food, so that it gets the respect it deserves. Genesis 1:29 and 2:9 and much much more... Read the THM Plan book!! HERE is my aff'link, check it out! (For those who do not know, this is the reason for my cleared up complexion! read about it HERE) 
  6. The laundry just keeps on piling, I can't keep up with it..:( So my girlfriend and I were daydreaming about what our laundry piles would look like if all of our kids and us, had 2-4 sets of clothes. The loads would be smaller, and it would be a small load to carry (ha ha pun intended!). The kids wouldn't get bored, they're growing kids! The turn over would still happen, correct? And, we would always have something to wear! No longer would we have mismatch items, speaking gibberish to us. It would all make sense.
  7. Who left all of the books strewn all over the floor, -pick them up!!? Sometimes I catch my kids using the books in their plays, as chairs or whatever. They're on the floor instead of where they belong. I hate the fact that the baby gets a book and manages to rip out a page or two. A lot of book mending going on in my home, it sorrows me. I love books. Books used to be irreplaceable. Now we get most of our information online. I would like to keep this art very much alive in my home. The smell of pages when you open the book, I love it! How can we, in today's tech savvy world, pass on these things to our kids? Put them behind locked doors, watch over them as they read -not in my house hold. Is this just a lazy-mother syndrome, or do you see where I am going with this? I cannot stand over them and watch them put away each book. Is there another way to pass on the value of books on to my kids?
  8. It's been nonstop all day for me, I just need to take a bath.  What if we didn't have all the stuffff to do everyday that having a moment to yourself that gets interrupted, wasn't such a big deal after all? Get what I am saying?
Thoughts??? Please do share!


    1. I think what we bring into our homes is almost more important than what we take out of it. I found that the most important step to getting things in order was learning what we *really* need and sticking with that. Not buying more and not accepting more...

      I think another important step is learning what the magic number of things for us is. For us, 2-4 sets of clothes isn't enough, because I do laundry once a week and the kids would run out of clothes! And we actually have so few things that for us, the struggle is buying more so that once it's laundry day, everyone still has a clean outfit, underwear and socks! :D

      You know what my problem is? Family heirlooms from parents and grandparents? I have two shelves in my house with stuff from them that we don't use, but need to hold onto. I sometimes fantasize about getting rid of them, but I just feel like I *can't* because someone might ask about them. Don't know what to do!!!

      Do you have any organizing/de-itemizing New Year's goals? Mine is to get my last unorganized aspect under control = my yearly photo albums. I've been slacking on it because I've waited a few years until I have a new laptop to make the albums online (hence I don't need boxes full of scraping stuff). Well, now I have the computer, so it's time to get busy! If I can get my albums in order, I feel like I'll really be where I want to right now.

      Sorry, my comment is so looong. I just get excited about these things. ;)

      1. Yeah!!!:) :) that is why I ask "which one is easier done, to start from zero (after a housefire, flood...etc) or purge? I know 99/100 times that the things we buy or get, we end up purging anyway. Old habits die hard.

        We do laundry everyday, since J and K help out, so 2-4 sets of clothes would totally work for us, except maybe sock and undies.. we need many more lol!

        I totally get you about the family heirlooms. In many ways, our parents do not want to part with these items and they just get passed down.. until a house fire or flood,( no, I am not wishing for one lol!!) or someone goes "hippie on themselves" and travels to India. LOL What shall we do about them??? Maybe tell your folks and folks-folks, we don't have the space, but if you would like to store these, take them back? I dunno...

        My de-itemizing goals for 2016 my friend is, to have 50% less in this home. I would like to half everything we have at least. After the house resembles more like a temple, I can then start scrapbooking online. I don't have the mental capacity at the moment to even think about the millions of photos that need organizing for one and secondly, getting them printed. Wish me luck!!!


    2. Hey, Cathy! I've had your post up all week pondering it. Now it's time to write back.

      So... wow. You and I think the same thoughts here. Crazy. To your sentiments, I can only say a big YES!! The problem is STUFF. There's just SO MUCH of it, and it really steals our time, robs us of peace and joy, and gives us mental clutter and a longer to-do list. I really do think that all of us would have happier and better lives without such excess. Even those of us who class ourselves as minimalists usually have too much (I know I do).

      Random thoughts:

      Your previous commenter mentioned heirlooms. YES. A problem. My parents have huge expectations that everything in the family will stay in the family - and not only has my mom been collecting for all the various family lines, but I'm an only child (and thus the sole receiver of all the unwanted family heirlooms). My parents have a storage unit that is actually bigger than their house - and it's full! The thought of going through it at any point makes me shiver.

      - Clothes. We do minimize the children's clothing. I don't know how many pairs of clothing they have, but it's not many. Perhaps five? I do laundry every day, so it's totally feasible for us. It really helps on storage, organization, and volume.

      - Shoes. Yes. I think that anything more than TWO is too many for a child. They simply cannot keep track of them responsibly, and it turns into a huge mess. Right now our children have more than two pair a piece (more like 4-5), and it's creating a huge nuisance issue.

      - Toys. Yes, toys are an issue. Too many! (Grandparents again!) My solutions are: Get rid of them when they're not looking. (Seriously.) Rotate them. Wait for them to break and throw a party, especially if it's the noisy annoying type. Store them in clear plastic boxes that have to be taken out one at a time. Throw up my hands in despair and just give up. (Hopefully not that last one.)

      And yes, I do have problems with hoarding, even though my goal is minimalism. What if I need it? But I'm learning to overcome that by training myself to think, "If I need it, then I can go buy it" rather than having to keep every little thing. And I'm trying a bit of the KonMarie method - if something needs to go, I can say thank you and let it go! There's someone else out there who needs it.

      Here's to decluttering in 2016!!! :)