When we lived in 1,800 square feet and had only one child we were already feeling cramped. Imagine that? We were stuffed with stuff. I found this video (which was a messy mom video series I did EXACTLY 5 years ago called Mystery of the Missing Shoe). I had just emptied out Z’s closet which was chock full of every baby item from boppy to bumbo.

Then we had our second child and the clutter grew.

And when she was a little older this shipment of hand-me-downs came in.

And we were so grateful and I loved and used all of this stuff, but 
our hoarding ways could only hold up for so long. Luckily life would intervene and teach us some valuable lessons about living with less. 
Lesson #1 Living In A House That Is For Sale

In 2011 when we put our house on the market I knew enough about real estate to know that over flowing closets and cupboards are not appealing. So I started to reduce the clutter. We sold A LOT and packed up all the baby items that we wouldn’t be needing for a long long time. Showing a house with small children is difficult of course, because real life isn’t staged, but there were some aspects of it I loved. I loved having more space in my closet and seeing my counter tops. This was my first lesson in decluttering.

Lesson #2 Having A Baby When Your Baby Items Are In Storage 

After we sold our house we found out we did need the baby stuff after all (surprise!), but most of it was tucked away and not retrievable. We were able to access some of it, but there are a lot of items I still don’t know what happened to. This was lesson #2, having a baby without all the baby stuff. When I participated in the world’s longest yard sale I was reluctant to get rid of the baby baggage because what if we have more kids? But then I reminded myself that I did have another baby and without any of that STUFF. If I did it once I could do it again. We still have some special things, but no more walker, exercauser, snoogie, or tubs and tubs of clothes. I learned that a baby doesn’t need much. It’s great if you have those items and you have a place for them, but if not, don’t sweat it. Your baby will be just as happy wearing a sleeper and playing with a plastic measuring cup.

Lesson #3 Moving Into An Apartment

The final stage in gradually learning to live with less was moving to the third story of an apartment building. I mention the floor we moved to because of the stairs. Carrying everything up three flights of stairs makes you really consider how much you need it. Then again moving 3 times in less than two years makes you think about letting go a little too. If someone had told me 5 years ago when I recorded the video of Z’s closet that we would have two more kids and have less than half of the amount of space I would say they were crazy! Yet, here we are. I am glad it happened in the order it did so that we could warm up to the idea.

I just hope that when we do have a house of our own again we will have learned our lesson. Less is more. Right Ludwig?

For more of this series check out the index page