That picture above, well that’s not a picture of me, but that’s pretty much what I feel (and sometimes look like) on any given laundry day. The older I get the more I feel like I’m becoming a baby hoarder. Every spring I do “spring cleaning,” which basically means I pull out all my old stuff, look at it and decide to throw away two things and keep the other 200 pieces of clothes. However, approaching 35 has got me thinking about how many orange shirts I actually need, and whether or not I should still be holding on to the matching shirts my best friend and I brought the summer of ’98. That was a summer I will always remember, but does my closet really need to relive that memory every summer for the rest of my life too? Well yesterday when my husband took on the monumental task of washing, drying and folding clothes after I dumped all my summer gear into the laundry baskets, I thought of how much my hoarding tendencies are hurting the family.
Ya’ll I’m that girl who takes random items from peoples homes when they move because I can use them “for later.” While that has proved valuable at times (mainly when I’m redecorating I have a ton of vases, flower pots and other home decor), my garage and basement say that I don’t know when to stop. I swear by a clean house, so don’t get it twisted. I just like things. But in true brown mama fashion, I have to admit when I’m going overboard and am beginning to outgrow my baby hoarding tendencies. It’s time to get serious about simplicity. When my home is cluttered, my mind is cluttered too. So, here are 3 commitments I’m making toward a clutter-free lifestyle.
I Only Need One
I visited my grandmother over the Memorial Day weekend and one of the things I noticed was how little stuff she has. She has a just a few outfits (that are specific to where she’s going, you know lounge clothes, grocery store clothes, Bingo clothes) and all her clothes fit neatly into her drawers and closet. So I asked her about it. She said it was simple. She wears her clothes until they are tattered (she also sews them) and then she donates the old item and buys one thing to replace it. That sounds logical. It’s minimalism at it’s best. When one piece of clogthing gets too old, you replace it with one thing. I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to the store to buy a black shirt and have walked out with 12 items. This makes much more sense. Lose one, buy one.
Recognize My Own Greed
I have to admit it, I’m greedy. Three things I love in life: my kids, my husband and my food. I love to eat. I hate to cook, but I must because I love to eat. Seriously ya’ll, I have to talk my self down every time I pass a Chipotle, Qudoba or Jimmy Johns. Recently, a good friend of mines hit me with a real decent quote that made me rethink eating out often:
[quote title=”Title” Text=”There are people starving in other countries and we buy food outside of our homes while we have food sitting in them.” name=”My Good Friend” ]
When she said that, I thought about the pounds of food I’ve let go bad in the back of my fridge. The many times I’ve eaten chicken at the Cheesecake Factory while a whole chicken sits frozen in my freezer. Is this Godlike behavior? I think not. It’s time for me to check my greed ya’ll.
I’ll admit it mamas, I’m the girl who comes to the clothes swap either empty-handed or with two things. I just hate giving my stuff away. I always think I’m going to need it for a rainy day, or that I’m going to look for it and it won’t be there. But then I thought about an acclaimed female philosopher’s words about objectification. She talks a lot about living in a world were we objectify people, places and experiences. I think if I focus my efforts on giving freely and enjoying people, places and experiences that I can bury my hoarding tendencies while they are still in their infancy.