Right Sizing, or What I've Learned About Getting Rid of Everything

I'm getting rid of everything. Well, actually, I'm getting rid of 2015 things. Get it? 2015 in 2015. Thanks Nourishing Minimalism, for the idea and the chart. Gosh, I really love charts.

So far, I have gotten rid of a little over 400 things. I'll often ask Jim to come audit a pile, just to keep me honest. It has been a combination of donations, consignment shops, and just outright trash. We've tried really hard to be mindful about how we donate. We've been taking business or interview clothes to the LGBTQ center in WeHo, books to our local library, and when we have something that might be immediately useful to someone, like an old rain coat or a pair of shoes, we've been placing them strategically on SMB.


This is super new-agey and not at all like me, but I try to hold each thing in my hands and ask myself if it brings me joy. The answer is almost always no. An object bringing you joy is a pretty high bar to clear.

The big changes are easiest to see. The limited toy selection has changed the way the kids play. Instead of the "dumping game" where the bins and toy chests are emptied with wild abandon and no one object is actually cherished, or frankly, even enjoyed, O and P are engaging in elaborate imaginative play with the limited selection of toys available to them, and when I ask them to help me clean up, they are more likely to assist, my best guess being that the mess isn't so overwhelming. 

The dishes don't seem to pile up the way that they had been. I think it is because once we cleared out the flatware drawer, we run out of forks much faster. 

The house feels bigger and more put together, not just because we've gotten rid of things, but also because we have focused on acquiring the right things. For every 100 things I de-own, I have acquired one new thing: a cool map for the huge blank wall over the sofa, a large pot for the maiden hair fern that reminds me of my grandma, and a ladder style bookcase that actually fits the space it occupies. 

We have a long way to go, but so far the results have been tremendous. I'm sure the last 400 items will be harder than the first 400, but I feel pretty confident that we will know when we are done. I don't know how to explain how much lighter I feel, how there is not only more room in my house, but also more room in my mind. 

Spring Cleaning

O: We can give those stuffed friends away to another family that will cuddle them.  

It is officially spring, and somehow, here in Los Angeles, that means it has been greyer and colder than this winter ever managed to be.  We are in the middle of a great clear-out and clean-up: tossing out, donating, and scrubbing. 



It feels good to start fresh, shedding the layers of dirt and clutter.  It feels good to role-model the importance of letting go of things that are no longer useful, to teach, by example, how you can hold a moment in your heart while letting go of the physical manifestation of that moment.

I held in my hands today, the clothes that each of my children wore when we brought them home from the hospital.  O's was a tiny newborn onesie, striped with green.  I remember how her skinny arms barely filled out the long sleeves.  I had purchased a grey, long-sleeved newborn outfit for P, but it never would have fit her and was much too warm for the early August heat. P came home in a plain, white, cotton onesie, sized three months.  I let go of a lot today.  

I kept those two onesies.