#FamilyFriday | The Bare Minimum

As most of you know, we are in the middle of moving. Yay! Count down is at 11 days! We've known that we were going to have to move for a little over a month ago now. Between looking for a new place, running two businesses, and chasing after our very active (and now walking, and - oh, look, now she's running!) 13 month old, we began to pack. And now we're down to the bare minimums. And guess what? I can't even begin to tell you how ahmazing it is!

Seriously. There's so much less clutter. There's less trouble for Hadassah to get into. There's fewer things that I have to pick up after the baby tornado has torn apart a room. All our movies are packed, so we only have the five or six movies on our hard drive to choose from. Dinner choices are limited, because almost all our cookware and pantry is packed away. With so few options, I've found that 1) I have more time to do other things, and 2) I'm more satisfied with my decisions. There's no second guessing, "Well, maybe I should have worn that" or, "Is this really the book I want to read?" or "Which Josh Duhamel movie should we watch, When In Rome or Win A Date With Tad Hamilton?"

There has only been 3 times that we've had to dig around in boxes. 1: Hadassah peed and pooped through the whole box of diapers I thought were going to last two more weeks, 2: I had to find a book for a friend, and 3: Jonathan decided to chop part of his hand off while making tacos. (We don't need a band-aid for 10 months, but as soon as they're not in easy reach, there's blood everywhere. Of course.)

So last week I was in the middle of this business book, and I'm reading about the very thing that's happening in my life! The author decided to purge his house, get rid of a ton of stuff, and this was what he said.

I created 40% more space in my apartment and hadn’t even grazed the surface. It wasn’t the extra physical space that I felt most. It was the extra mental space. It was as if I had 20 mental applications running simultaneously before, and now I had just one or two. My thinking was clearer and I was much, much happier.
— Timothy Ferriss

So I wasn't crazy! This is something that happens! To be honest, I have a love-hate relationship with purging. I love the feeling of getting rid of things - creating the space - but I hate making the decisions. So am I going to just throw away all the boxes that are stacked in the living room? No. But I can tell you that a good chunk of it will not make it to the new apartment. And here are the guidelines that we're using as we unpack:

  • Is it useful? 
    • If yes: have I used it in the last year? 
      • If I have used it in the last year, do I plan on using it again? "Yeah, I used that pasta maker once! It tasted amazing, but oh my word, it was SO much work!" 
      • If no: peace out, junk. You won't eventually wear that cute shirt that's two sizes too small. And if you do, you can go buy another one. You don't need three pairs of identical shoes that are just different colors. And seriously, if you don't own a bakery, you don't need more than one cupcake sheet.
    • If no: Bye-bye... or answer the next question.
  • Is it sentimental? 
    • If yes: is it worth keeping? 
      • If yes, how many other sentimental items from that same experience do you have? For example, you went on a wonderful family vacation and you brought back a t-shirt, both room keys, shells from the beach, and turtles from the aquarium. Forget it. Just keep one thing. One. It will be more special in the end. 
    • If no, it will never do anything but collect dust. 
  • Lastly, does it cause you extra stress in your life? 
    • If yes, get rid of it faster than you can blink! No object, no thing, is worth adding stress to your life!
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble with it.
— Proverbs 15:16

The extra time I get to spend with my family, doing what we want to do instead of what we have to do, is worth all of it! Or if you aren't convinced, here is another mom's perspective and what she did for her girls! If you're still a little nervous, start with a small room that doesn't really matter, like the bathroom. Just that little bit will change your life. Before you know it, you will be purging every three months like the pros. Be blessed!

And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’
— Luke 12:15