So it appears that Spring has sprung early in Maryland this year. We had the windows open with temps in the 70s this past weekend, and the seven day forecast shows much of the same. And as a result, I have been going a little overboard with Spring cleaning – particularly de-cluttering. So much so that my husband joked that I needed an intervention. I really should have taken some before and after photos. That would’ve made for QUITE the blog post;)
I mean, there is nothing quite like that first warm day, is there? When the curtains are blowing in the breeze, the kids are running around outside in t-shirts and the bikes and baseball bats are out all over the lawn…it just gets me going. As much as I love the cozy winter season, I’m always ready to say goodbye when we get that first taste of warm sunshine and see curtains dancing. It’s like a switch goes off and I immediately get ready to welcome in the new season with open arms. It inspires me in so many ways, especially around the house. I want to start fresh, clear out what we don’t need…after a season (or two!) of so much focus on excess, I long for simplicity.
Last Friday, I got my latest Magnolia Journal in the mail. And I can honestly say, no magazine has ever inspired me quite this much. (Well, maybe a tie with the Fall/Winter issue;). I was actually legit bummed when I had just a few pages left because it was THAT good. If you haven’t picked up the issue, I can’t recommend it enough. I have never read anything that is so useful, purposeful, or beautiful. It resonated with me so much. The entire focus was on simplicity (talk about timely!), and reading Jo discuss it in her own words felt like she was literally inside my head. I *might’ve* even shouted, ‘YES!’ a few times…by myself…I wasn’t kidding when I said it was an amazing issue! (I told my girls to read it too, because I feel like kids are sometimes hard to sell with the whole simplicity thing – but they’re obsessed with Jo and maybe they’ll be inspired too;). So that, combined with the gorgeous, inspiring Spring weather we were having…well, let’s just say I could not be stopped. Hence the intervention comment;) It just felt so good to get things bagged up and cleaned out.
But I feel for the first time, that I finally, finally GET IT. I’ve gone on plenty of de-cluttering rampages before – when I’ve felt like I was drowning in stuff. And I’d bag up everything and donate it. I’d clear out the junk drawers and linen closet and storage room…only for it to allll come back somehow. I’d proclaim time and time again, ‘NEVER AGAIN! I MEAN IT THIS TIME!’
But it feels different now. I’m even moving onto the sentimental stuff. That’s a first. Because I keep more than I need to, really. If I couldn’t even find it if I were looking for it, why even have it taking up space, you know? Of course I’m holding onto the super special things, but really – do I need to save every birthday card from EVERY aunt and uncle, grandparent, cousin, and friend? Times THREE? No wonder our “Memory Box” was out of control. So I saved a few and recycled the rest. And now the box can close on its own;)
My mental state when things are in order is a million times better than when things are a mess. I realized last week I was crankier than normal, and just so happens, the house was out of hand. Connection? Absolutely.
And as I went from room to room, and had the kids help with picking out things to donate, I realized something else: that this house, all 1800(ish) square feet of it, is so very perfect for us. It is manageable, I know where everything is, and we live in every square inch of it on a daily basis. Our house is simplicity in itself. And for someone who’s been craving exactly that a lot lately, I feel so grateful. It’s just what we need right now. Coming home and walking inside feels like a big, warm hug. And I love that. I can honestly say, I truly wouldn’t want a bigger house. A bigger house would mean more stuff. More rooms to clean. More space between me and the people I love the most in this world. None of that appeals to me in the slightest.
I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately, and what I’ve come to realize is this: 1. It’s not the things that matter. 2. The peace of mind when you free yourself of stuff is life-changing. 3. There is so much beauty in simplicity.
I just wanted to share those thoughts with you, as I continue this journey towards simplicity. Perhaps you’ll join me? Because I’m just getting started – this house is going to take weeks – ok let’s be real – more like months – to fully get to where I want it to be. Maybe I’ll even do a post with the methods of my madness?! How I decided what to purge, where to start, etc…hmmm…stay tuned!
I don’t doubt for a second that it will be worth it. Because I really do believe that when you have less – you truly do have more.