You did it. You “KonMaried” your entire house. (Is that even a word?) And it feels GREAT. But now what?
If you have kids, you know that even doing a full stop on all toy shopping, the birthdays, holidays, and even trips through the McDonald’s drive thru line are still going to bring vast quantities of crap into your house. It is inevitable. And although some try “gift free” birthday parties, there are always those well meaning parents (cringe…myself included) who feel guilty about having their kid attend a party without bringing at least some small token of appreciation. Gift cards for experiences seem to be a nice in-between solution for tackling this one. Weekend trips to the zoo, water park, museum, or amusement park can be incredibly expensive (especially when you are toting around what feels like 268 kids), but gift cards for these experiences can serve to offset some of that cost. Keep the memories, kick the stuff – it is a win/win.
Let’s get real for a moment, though. In most cases it is virtually impossible to actually stop buying everything altogether. (Email me if you have succeeded in this). Growing kids are still going to need new seasonal wardrobes plus shoes (oh, the shoes). And our family continues to feed the paper plate obsession while simultaneously going through about one paper towel roll every single day. I’m currently trying (and failing…hard) to employ a “one bag in, one bag out” policy. Truth be told I would be succeeding in this if I included the insurmountable amount of trash our family generates, but I’m trying to limit the “one bag out” to items no longer needed that we sell or give away. Each weekend I attempt to create a Goodwill pile, no matter how small or insignificant it may look at the time.
Clothing seems to be the primary place where our stuff proliferates uncontrollably. The kids’ clothes sit in bins in the attic and I rarely bother to revisit and take stock. Because stairs. And heat. Once I finally get up there I realize I have missed the super tiny window of time where one of my kids could have worn some of the nicer hand-me-downs I saved for this precise purpose. It is a problem. I have started adding Google calendar events to my schedule around seasonal changes throughout the year to remind myself to pull out those bins and determine if anything is usable.
My closet is slightly less of an issue now that it has been pared-down significantly. I occasionally buy clothing for myself, but probably only need to go through everything once or twice a year to be sure I am using everything I keep. My goal is to constantly question: “Do I ever wear this dress?” “These shoes look and feel great in theory, but are they actually getting used?”
Many times when sifting through the clothes I discover that I have saved unsalvageable things purely for sentimental reasons. At that point I determine whether I am actually able to let it go. Sometimes I can…and sometimes I can’t. I try not to dwell on it if I can’t seem to part with an item, and just leave it for another day.
Don’t tell Marie.