Escaping the Housework Hamster Wheel

hamster-wheelSince around the middle of August I’ve slowly gone through and gotten rid of a lot of stuff. I still have work to do, but I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel. As a new mom/business owner, keeping up with my housework felt impossible. I didn’t think there was a way off of the hamster wheel of housework but I’ve come to tell you there’s hope!

The secret to minimal housework is simple, have less stuff, give everything its own “home”, and commit to a daily maintenance schedule. Disclaimer: I’m still working on this! 

I’m not sure who to give credit for this quote but it definitely speaks to me.

“For the longest time, I thought I needed to be more organized. Now I know I just needed less stuff.”

I don’t know how this works, but by reducing mine and my daughter’s clothes, I don’t do laundry as often. You would think I’d have to do it more often, but so far I do laundry once per week or sometimes even longer.

I’d say I’m only using 25% of the closet I had at the beginning of August. For my daughter, I’ve picked out about 10 – 15 outfits and hung them in the closet. Getting ready is now a breeze!

Here are some things to remember when cleaning out:

  1. It takes time, and that’s okay. There are plenty of life lessons to learn along the way of cleaning out. You discover a little bit more about yourself during the process;  why you buy things, what you need to stop buying, what’s important to you, and what really makes your heart sing!
  2. Things aren’t as valuable as you think they are. We tend to think what we own has held it’s value for much longer than it actually has.
  3. If you feel guilty for buying something expensive that you rarely or never used, come to terms with the guilt, learn your lesson, and let it go!
  4. When you start finding things to get rid of, dispose of them quickly! A pile of junk waiting to be sold in a yard sale 6 months from now just adds stress! It’s better to donate it or throw it away than have to look at it!
  5. Finally, here are a few tips I’ve read that helped me part with some of those “what-if” items:
    1.  If you can easily get the item in less than 20 minutes for under $20, let it go.
    2. If you haven’t used it in the last 3 months and don’t see yourself using it in the next 3 months, let it go.
    3. If you really can’t let go of some things, put them in a box and hide it away. Set a reminder on your phone to go back to that box a few months later. Whatever is in that box when you go back to it that you haven’t needed, Let. It. Go.

Once we get rid of the things we don’t need or use, being organized is easy because there isn’t a lot to organize. I’m gradually applying this idea to my home. Room by room, closet by closet, cabinet by cabinet, and drawer by drawer. With each new wave of cleaning out, I feel my life aligning with the truly important things, God, family, friends, health, and personal growth. I’m escaping the housework hamster wheel and you can too!

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