Outfit 1 – T-shirt • Madewell | Blazer • H&M (similar) | Leather Pants • H&M | Boots • DSW (similar)
Outfit 2 – Camisole • Mango | Cardigan • Mango | Pants • Zara (similar) | Shoes • Converse
Outfit 3 – Kimono • Madewell (similar) | Jeans • H&M |
Outfit 4 – T-shirt • Brandy Mellville | Jacket • Zara | Jeans • H&M | Boots • DSW (similar) | Purse • Zara (similar) | Beanie • (similar)
Outfit 5 – Dress • H&M (similar) | Jacket • Zara | Boots • Frye | Purse • Zara (similar)
I’m going to premise this by saying that this is a generalization. This in no way applies to everyone, but I found it was relevant to my personal experience which is why I am talking about it. This totally makes it seem like a big deal topic buts it not, it’s just about clutter ;)
I was sitting around my condo yesterday trying to clean and organize it but it felt like no matter how much I seemed to do there was no progress being made because there was just so much stuff. It made me think of something I read recently about how there is a correlation between lower-income people (or people who have experienced substantial periods of being low income) tending to be more “hoarders” than people who grew up well off. People who have lived their lives comfortable without any financial worries are able to embrace and instil very minimalistic living space with a lot less effort or personal conflict. They say this is because if you don’t have much you tend to hold on to things. You hold on to stacks of old books, linens, dishes, have emergency food supplies just in case money gets low, keep broken things because you can “repair” them (even though we all know how often you actually repair something when you say you will). It’s harder to let things go because this is the sum of your wealth, your assets. The physical evidence of where your money has gone. It is hard to part from them because of the sacrifices you made to buy them. The sense of accomplishment or success you might have felt after saving for them. They were goals, aspirations, and achievements and the thought of getting rid of something with such emotional ties when you are used to instability is frightening.
This kind of resonated with me. I truly believe that growing up lower-income and really struggling financially for the first 10 years of our marriage makes it hard for us to get rid of things. I am constantly overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that we have sitting around and would love to just load up a truck to get rid of it all (or move and bring nothing so we can start over) out it’s easier said than done. When it comes down to it I find myself second guessing my choices. Refolding and placing back on a shelf the items that I so easily tossed into our donation bag we keep by the door just a few days earlier. Things that have worn out their usefulness are now just hanging around adding to the clutter in case the find another use. I have caught Tom more than once buying things for the girls because he can and not because they need it and I think it’s because there were so many times we had to say no because we couldn’t afford it. There has been only one area in my life that I have successfully been able to pare down and that has been with my wardrobe. Even that took a long time and many separate culls because I still had/have difficulty letting things go. Everything else is a constant work in progress. I can go open a drawer in any room of the house and find things that can easily be tossed and no one would be the wiser but I find myself just slowly shutting the drawer because “you never know”.
I have read several books on decluttering and cleaning and they all make sense. I just find myself having difficulty applying them to my life. I visit the unf*ck your habitat website often, have their app (which is called Unfilth Your Habitat. I guess the F word isn’t as marketable) and they have book now.
Here is the book description from their page:
Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better than Your Mess is the housekeeping and organizational system developed for those of us who’d describe our current living situation as a “f*cking mess” that we’re desperate to fix. Unf*ck Your Habitat is for anyone who has been left behind by traditional aspirational systems: The ones that ignore single people with full-time jobs; people without kids but living with roommates; and people with mental illnesses or physical limitations, among many others. Most organizational books are aimed at traditional homemakers, DIYers, and people who seem to have unimaginable amounts of free time. They assume we all iron our sheets, have linen napkins to match our table runners, and can keep plants alive for longer than a week. Basically, they ignore most of us living here in the real world.
Now that sounds right up my alley. In fact I am ordering the Kindle edition right now. No need to add more book clutter ;)
*There really wasn’t much point to this post than me realizing that our struggles with clutter might be directly linked to our past financial struggles and I had a light bulb moment. Now that I made the connection I am consciously trying to work through those issues.