Less is More

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March 10, 2012 by Ellen V

I spent last night re-washing all Jane’s 6- and 9-month clothing. Jane is growing like a weed and will soon need them, and the “free and clear” type we used the first time around has made Eric break out like crazy. Go figure.

I’ve written before about how living with less stuff and more life is important to me. I have felt that way even more in the last few months as baby gear accumulates and I have less and less time to spend with Jane. As much as I hate the things that clutter our lives, I find myself sucked into consumerism as much as the next girl. The following are three problems that have tripped me up in the past few months, even in my attempts to simplify, along with how I resolve to conquer them:

  • Baby Jane Babies need very little, but ads would have us believe otherwise! I have been sucked into a great many impulse buy that was unnecessary in the months before and after Jane’s birth. We have been so blessed with hand-me-downs and borrowed other items–environmentally and financially friendly decisions–but I have bought more things because I felt left out of that part of preparing for our little girl. Jane now has much more than she needs, and I feel guilty that I have contributed to that. Solutions: I plan to continue to pass on items that I don’t absolutely love or aren’t gender-neutral. Larger items or those in new condition can be sold. I will allow myself to gift Jane with used or environmentally friendly items with found money.
  • Filling Empty Spaces As I’ve been more strict about decluttering, I find myself making excuses to purchase items. “Surely,” I tell myself, “if I have donated five shirts, I deserve to buy this one.” Solutions: Late in my pregnancy, when very few things fit me, I realized how few clothes I was actually wearing. And I still never felt as though I needed much! By rotate accessories, I can have  fun with what I already have. In other areas of the house, a similar rule applies: I can survey what we’ve already got to get the job done. 
  • Sleep Deprivation Oh, the decisions we regret when we don’t make them carefully! Sleepless nights=buyers remorse. I find myself making little purchases as pick-me-ups after a hard day or week. Solutions: Treating myself is not a bad thing, but it can be done in moderation and without bringing more clutter into my home. A long walk, a Red Box rental, a DIY project for myself can make me feel good!

I have to keep reminding myself that money can’t buy memories. With a mostly-free Saturday ahead and a Target trip scheduled, we’ll see if I can adhere to my own policies!

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