Did you know there are 300,000 items in the average American home, that 1 out of every 10 Americans rents an offsite storage facility, and that 40% of the world’s toys are owned by children in America but only 3.1% of the world’s children reside here.
The majority of us have clutter laying around our homes, taking up space, and stressing us out.
It doesn’t matter if you work outside the home, work from home, are a full-time parent at home (which is still working from home), or anything in between, the clutter gets to you. When you have small (or big) kids home all day that compounds the mess and chaos even more.
Cleaning becomes a vicious cycle. We vow to do better this time. We spend hours, days, or weeks getting rid of things and then we think the stuff is gone so now things will get better. But after a few weeks we are burned out, every family member has brought back in 50 new items to replace the lost ones, we are back to managing junk, and the cycle continues..
There is a beautiful word that seems to be circulating the interwebs a lot lately: purging
What does that mean?
Well, I am glad you asked.
Purging is to “rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release (emphasis mine).”
Who doesn’t need a little cathartic release in their life? Which leads to the why…
Our stuff is stressing us out, especially the womenfolk according to a study done by UCLA. Stress keeps us from doing our best, and being present, because we are either thinking about the clutter, cleaning the clutter, or hiding from it.
Stressed and tired is almost a battle cry for modern moms. It is like we don’t know any other way to live. The great news is this doesn’t have to remain a way of life on a constant loop. Purging isn’t a utopian universe. Stressors will still knock on our door and throw us off track, but purging will help us stay in better balance even when things are off.
Purgings has many benefits, but let’s narrow it down to 3 because, it is one of my favorite numbers and I’m the writer, so I get to decide. 🙂
- Less stress- We’ve already talked about how having stuff stresses us out, so the obvious alternative is to have less stuff. Purging allows you to focus your energy on things that you want, need, and love.
- More time- If you are anything like me, you spend most of your mom-time chasing messes rather than dreams. Since I started purging in my house my children have seen an increase of quality unrushed time. I have also had more time to devote to my businesses and on most days (today would not be one of those days) my house can be picked up in 15-30 minutes.
- The kids can manage their own messes- Not sure about your house, but in mine, telling a child to clean their room could turn into an all-out battle that involves screaming, crying, and lots of garbage bags. (I mean me, not necessarily them.)
We have gone from this being a messy room
To this being a messy room
My kids are happier and so am I. They spend less than 10 minutes cleaning up their room on what we would consider an extremely messy day now.
Purging does take time and I will write more about the process in a later post, but just like it takes money to make money, it takes time to make time. Cleaning takes time too, but it often lacks the focus that purging does. It is checking boxes off. With purging, we are working on a whole change of mindset. Cathartic release, remember?
The time you spend letting go of things you don’t truly want, need, or love will help you buy back time you are missing out on. Don’t just hold on to the motion sensored bear that Grandma gave them. You know, the one that goes off every few days, scaring the bejeebies out of you and is now sitting in the corner of the toy room collecting dust. Or, if you are lucky he gets moved every once in awhile to be tossed aside and left for you to deal with. If Creepy bear makes you unhappy, Creepy bear must go.
You have to start somewhere, but you don’t know where. I encourage you today to just pick one small place that makes you cringe when you lay eyes on it. The drop point for your mail, the junk drawer in your kitchen, your nightstand, or your dining table. Can you tell there were plenty of spots in my house that drew out the same response? Set your timer for 15 minutes, clear that space, and then sit down with a cup of tea (or coffee…whatever your tickles your fancy) and enjoy the beginning of happier days. Then come back and tell me what you did! Even better take a pic and post it in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter
You have a renewed way of thinking. It isn’t just about cleaning the house anymore, it is about everything in your house having a purpose. Here’s to purging!!!!!