My husband and I have been accumulating STUFF for probably 8 out of our 9 years of marriage. Maybe 9 actually ;). But a year into our marriage we started having a slight desire to get rid of some of our stuff because we were running out of space and our home was always cluttered. Clutter is so stressful. And it's extremely hard to learn to break the emotional attachment that we form with our possessions. However, there is nothing peaceful to me about it when clutter takes over my own home. I tried and tried and tried to organize my clutter until sometime, nearing the end of 2014, I came to the realization that YOU CANNOT ORGANIZE CLUTTER! So sometime this last month I decided that I AM DONE! DONE trying to organize clutter. DONE being attached to (the rest of) my possessions. (some of my family would say I hardly have anything left anyway - and it's a running joke that I will put any random thing I'm given in a garage sale when I'm tired of it.) DONE keeping things around just in case. And so over the last several weeks I have been listening to motivational talks on YouTube about simplifying and minimizing while attacking my house at the same time. I have a WHOLE EXTRA ROOM in my house devoted to getting my STUFF out of my way so I can sell it in our upcoming CCC sale. The stuff that doesn't qualify to sell there will be donated to local charities if it doesn't sell via social media before April (to raise money for our family missions trip to an orphanage in Haiti).
I do not have a before picture...there is probably one somewhere on my computer...but you can ask any of my friends and they will tell you how messy my counter tops used to be!
My kitchen has made GREAT progress...my counters used to CONSTANTLY be cluttered. ALL OF THEM. They have never been this bare since we moved in however many years ago. I LOVE the peace it brings. I LOVE being able to sit down at the end of the day and see THIS. THIS is what allows my mind to slow down and rest. THIS allowed me to play hide-and-seek with my husband and kids outside in the dark last night and not feel like I had to be doing something! THIS is freedom from my clutter. And I'm still purging ;). We have somewhat minimized our dishes as well - there's something about having less dishes/cups/etc that makes cleaning the kitchen so much faster and easier! Things cannot pile up throughout the day if you don't have enough of them to pile up before needing them for the next meal, ya know!? I LOVE living like this.
I cannot put into words how excited I am about all this. About how refreshing it is to my spirit. My oldest is loving it too. In fact, she got out of bed tonight, an hour into bedtime, and came out grinning ear-to-ear asking if she could de-clutter more of her stuff. Of course I said not until morning ;). But I'm so excited that she's excited too! Clutter leaves a negative energy and my family is feeling the positive effects of purging ourselves of a materialistic mentality. On the other side, they also feel the negative energy created when mommy is restless and can't play because I need to tend to our STUFF...take care of it, clean it, organize it - NO MORE. I'm done with that.