Google+ Authentic Parenting: De-Cluttering and Moving to Minimalism

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

De-Cluttering and Moving to Minimalism

Welcome to the March edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Clearing the Clutter cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month's topic, our writerswrite about de-cluttering and cleaning up. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.


As we're considering another move - this time to unjob, so a lot more likeable - I've come to assess al of the stuff we own. And I find it appalling!

Now you have to understand that we moved out of Ivory Coast a little over two years ago at a time of war - in an emergency evacuation. We then moved to Congo, but our container full of stuff was only shipped months after we got there. It took three months to arrive and two more months in customs and by then, we already knew we were moving to Liberia.
During that time I got pregnant and had a baby.
Obviously all of my pregnancy and babystuff was in the container, so I found myself having to buy doubles of EVERYTHING!
So now I have about 4 nursing pillows, more diapers any bub can wear, pregnancy clothes coming out of my ears :)

When things started arriving here in Liberia, I immediately had the plan to - yet again - drastically reduce what we own. (Whenever we move to a different country, we donate lots of stuff to our staff and people we know in country - and yet still, stuff piles up)

Away with all the clothes who have gotten to small, too large or damaged.
Away with all those things you never use
Away with all of the things we have double
Away with all the things you only use on occasion, like once a year, when you have a really fancy party
Away with anything that has no meaning to us

I set out three big boxes:
  • One for the orphanage
  • One to sell
  • and one for the things we want to keep.

I also started stuffing things in our luggage to hull back to Belgium.

I'm pleased to see that by now, I've filled two huge boxes for the orphanage and at least 4 normal sized boxes to sell. Yet my 7 pieces of luggage for Belgium are already jam-paked.
It frustrates me to still 'need' so much stuff. But it would be silly to buy the same things I already own yet again, and we do have a house to furnish over there.

The hardest thing will be when we move from here and I have to 'attack' the children's toys. It's easy giving away my own stuff, or even their clothes, but when it comes to their toys, I do have issues.

Do you declutter on a regular basis? What do you do with the things you don't need?



Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living into their lives via new beginnings. We hope you will join us next month, as the Simply Living Blog Carnival focuses on Going Green!

  • 7 Tips for Cutting the Toy Clutter - In a post at Natural Parents Network, Mandy offers easy and child-respectful ideas for downsizing your kids' growing mountains of toys.
  • De-Cluttering and Moving to Minimalism - Giving up the things you own to enjoy a more balanced life, that's what Laura from Authentic Parenting is actively trying to achieve.
  • A Minimalist Clutter Bug - Destany at They Are All of Me writes about the daunting task of clearing away years clutter brought on by disorganization and dislike for throwing things away.
  • The Pack Rat Stops Here - Mercedes @ Project Procrastinot doesn't want her twins to inherit the pack rat legacy, but is not sure how to lead by example. 
  • Clutter Minimized - Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how minimizing different aspects of her life and household have changed her life.
  • Uncluttering Childhood - Are fewer toys and books harmful for your child? Does simplifying the stuff in your life, merely mean faster clean up? Find out if "less" is truly "more" for parents and kids alike at Heart-Led Parenting.
  • Lagom - A search for balance in decluttering our home and our lives, from sustainablemum.
  • Letting Go - Of Things and Thoughts - Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work rejoices in her ability to allow others to teach her to let go - of things and of thoughts.
  • From Cluttered to Clutter Free - Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses the changes she went through from growing up in a cluttered household to becoming a decluttering diva.
  • Facing the emotional roadblocks of clearing clutter - We all have reasons we hold on tightly to our stuff. Lauren at Hobo Mama offers advice for breaking through those walls.
  • Spring Cleaning with Freecycle - Amy at Anktangle shares how her Spring cleaning ritual has become much more fun (and productive!) since she's embraced her local Freecycle community and all it stands for.



  1. We tend to de-clutter and re-evaluate what we have a lot. Helps that we move frequently (military). But, even with that motivation we still find ourselves swimming in stuff sometimes. I know right now I have clothes in my closet I will never wear, books on the shelve I've just been carting around for years, and baby stuff I should pass along. And we've only been in this house for 9 months! It's a never-ending process.

  2. I am constantly decluttering. I like to think f it as a process rather than an end product.

  3. Moving is definitely the time to reconsider what you have. That was a staple when I was growing up as an Army kid. My husband's family, by contrast, just allowed the company my father-in-law worked for to keep moving ALL their stuff every time and never went through anything. And it shows! I get so nervous now that we're feeling more "settled" that we'll fall into the trap of never going through our stuff anymore. I have to remind myself regularly to tackle one or another project: clothes closet, toys, storage, etc.

  4. Wow! You really got a lot of stuff. It's a good thing that you are really generous and the type who really gives. :)

    1. mm I don't think we have a lot of stuff. We just happen to have the baby stuff double because of the container thing, otherwise we have very little :)ell, at least compared to sedentary people

  5. Packing to move has always been a great inspiration for me to get rid of excess things during the process. I can't imagine what it would be like to be making all those international moves with the delays in getting your things to you, too! No wonder you had multiples of things. Sounds like you're making fantastic progress!


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