“I’m done, I can’t live like this anymore,” I told my husband.
We bought a house over budget, were living paycheck to paycheck and barely getting by even though my husband was making a decent yearly salary.
I am not joking when I say he was working 60-80 hours per week and doing school on the weekends.
I remember the day I pulled into the driveway and thought “We are literally working our tails off just to pay for THINGS”. Things that mean nothing.
So started our journey toward minimalism.
I didn’t even know where to start. Overwhelmed is an understatement.
Which is why I wanted to share How To Simplify Your Life When You Are Drowning In Things.
I created The 7 Day Minimalist Challenge just for you! CLICK HERE to get your FREE copy!
My hope is that this post will inspire you while offering practical tips to the overwhelmed mom on how to simplify life and find freedom from things, expectations, people, and your own mind.
We had a life-changing but extremely difficult conversation that day. I explained to my husband that our lifestyle was not setting us up for success.
I did not want to spend my entire life working, spending, getting in doubt, paying off debt only to accumulate more. It was a bad cycle we had created and we both knew something had to change.
We decided to sell our 19sqft home and downsize to a tiny 850sft home.
We had two kids at the time and I knew I could do some serious downsizing to get us to comfortably fit in that house until my husband had finished his apprenticeship program.
So we spent thirty days fixing up our home and preparing to list it. By God’s grace and faithfulness, we received an offer over asking price and accepted it. It was one of the most amazing examples of the power of God.
When all the dust and excitement settled, then came the nitty-gritty work of actually downsizing. I remember being so excited when we received that offer and so ready to start a new life.
I gathered boxes, tape, and all the packing things to get started.
Then I sat quietly in my living room surrounded by my giggling toddlers and stuff. Stuff I didn’t even like.
You see, I lived in the scarcity mentality back then and had a very bad relationship with money.
I would never spend money in chucks but spent it on clearance items because I was “getting a good deal” and had filled my house with “things” that I didn’t even like.
So I vowed to myself that day that I would not spend another dollar on anything that didn’t bring me joy and decided that I would rather wait and save for a year to get the exact item I wanted rather than fill my life with cheap crap.
At that moment, I found a clear vision for our home.
Define A Vision For Your Home
Before that moment, I had never taken the time to define a clear vision of what I wanted for our home.
I honestly just looked around at what my mom did and what other people were doing. More importantly, I wasn’t living in control of my home. I was in a constant state of reaction.
When I was able to clear the clutter in my mind, it was simple.
I wanted our home to be…..
- Filled Only With Items We Love
- Uncluttered and Organized
- Welcoming to Others
- A Place To Create
- A Place To Love
Once I defined what I actually wanted for our home everything started to fall into place.
As I packed up each item of our home I remember asking myself these questions: Do I love this item, does this item serve a purpose, will this item encourage creativity in our home.
If the answer wasn’t yes to at least one of these questions but hopefully two, I donated it.
Stop Caring What Other People Think
When we decided to sell our house, we knew without a doubt that it would be the very best decision for our family.
Still, fear set in.
What would people think if we sold our house after only 2 years? What if they thought we were having financial or marital issues?
That inner dialogue of fear and doubt raced through my mind.
Finally, I had enough and set those lies aside.
The truth is you will never make everyone happy. That’s the problem with the hamster wheel of people pleasing.
If you are pleasing one crowd you are most certainly displeasing a whole other crowd.
It’s a never-ending game that you cannot possibly win. The people who judge you, don’t deserve to take up space in your mind.
Well-meaning people who love you will question your decisions, but if they can’t support you then you need to agree to disagree and not let it bother you.
Chances are they have made plenty of mistakes of their own. Also, most people probably don’t care as much as you think they do ;-P
Don’t Allow Yourself Feel Guilty
When I began to simplify and downsize our home, I started to feel guilty.
Like I had to keep that nicknack I got from my great aunt for our wedding because it was rude not donate it.
If an item is not serving you, it has no business in our life. Holding on to items that aren’t useful is a great way to end up hoarding.
And you will wake up one day and find yourself surrounded by things you don’t even care about.
Many other feelings of guilt stem from decluttering.
Things like ‘I might need’ it and ‘I’m wasting money’ started to flood my mind as well.
But I stuck to my mission and vision for our home and was truly focused on only keeping the items that answered yes to the question above.
Which leads me to my next point.
Become Extremely Focused
Put your blinders on and become extremely focused about what you need and want in your home.
It’s really easy to ride on the feeling of motivation, but that’s actually just a feeling and it will pass.
Once I started packing up boxes, I started to second-guessing myself.
Was this really a good idea, would we actually be able to downsize, maybe we were making a mistake, maybe I should keep more stuff.
Those were all distractions from the life I truly wanted to create for my family.
Once you’ve defined the vision for your home, stay focused, stick do it, and do the work to create it.
Enjoy The Feeling Of Freedom
Once I got past worrying about what people think, and the fear of making a mistake, an incredible feeling of freedom came over me.
I felt powerful!
Powerful that I overcame so many feelings of fear and doubt, powerful that I am in control of my life, not things, and powerful that after all of the decluttering and simplifying, my family was still happy.
We still had each other and plenty of stuff to maintain our life.
I’m proud to say that we lived comfortably in that tiny 850sqft home and actually loved it.
In conclusion, I want to encourage you that it is never too late to take control of your life and begin to simplify.
It’s not easy but so worth it!
For me, the hardest part was overcoming the emotional attachment to things and what they meant to me.
I’m still an aspiring minimalist. Our home isn’t perfect and I will catch myself slipping back into my old ways occasionally.
But I have learned to nip it in the bud and make a practice of being very intentional about the things we bring in our home.
Don’t forget to Take The 7 Day Minimalist Challenge! CLICK HERE to get your FREE copy!
Next check out: How Getting Rid Of Stuff Made Me A Better Mom
I hope you found this post helpful and encouraging! I invite you to leave a comment and let me know what you thought of this article.
May Your Coffee Be Stronger Than Your Toddler
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