So I just realized my cleaning posts weren’t posting…bummer you all missed out on some cleaning, haha! I’ll get them posted over the next few days, but I wanted to share this post I’ve been working on first.
I made a huge decision a few months ago to stop stressing over What If’s and focus on what is best for our family now. I am not talking about being unwise with money. We have a rather large “rainy day” fund. I am talking about making priorities and basing how you live and spend your money around them. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was hanging onto a lot of things that weren’t really helping my family or myself.
We have a modest sized storage room and after making this decision I went into it to get a few things. Looking at how full it had become was really overwhelming and draining. It was really hard to find the items I needed (suitcases for a trip). After thinking about it, I realized that 2/3 of it was baby items and clothing that my boys had outgrown. We were keeping them for a “What If.” I felt that if I got rid of the items I was shutting the door on the “What If” of having another baby (something both my husband and I really do want). I also worried about the “What If” of needing the item again someday. When I was honest with myself, about what was in there, I realized how silly this idea was. Things have changed since I was a brand new mother 9 years ago. I am a different parent, new things are available, we live someplace totally different.
Almost all of the items were given to us or purchased at a consignment sale or garage sale. When we got them we were actually in a harder place financially than we are now, and we managed then. Some of the clothes had been through my two boys plus whoever wore them before and looking at them with honesty I knew I would never put another child in them because they were so worn. Why was I hanging onto them? Although the good condition items held some significance because my boys wore them or played with them, they were not favorite outfits or favorite/classic toys. Why did they deserve a place in my home? Why were they taking up so much space, and allowed to overwhelm me?
Our storage space could be used in much better ways. It was time to let stuff go. It’s been a tough week, going through things, thinking about how big my boys are now, and missing my babies. But It is a decision that is for the best.
Being frugal and having to adhere to the restraints of a tight budget can sometimes put people in a position where they are not honest with the quality of life they are currently living. I’ve been in homes overrun with items, where the people inside are captive to their stuff and thought; “how did this happen?” It happens because they let the fear of “What If” take over. Hanging onto something when it does not serve a purpose is not frugal, it is detrimental (go look up all the studies done that link disorganization and too much stuff to depression, yikes!).
We have budgeted our finances so that we have a monthly amount to go towards clothing etc. for our kids. If we don’t use it all one month we roll it into the next month. We have always been able to pay for our children’s needs when they arise. We are already planning for What If, in a healthy way. Plus I have had the boys help me go through items. We have a bin for each boy to store “special” items. I have a bin for me too. They don’t remember their first outfit or first favorite toy, but I do! I have had discussions with Aiden about healthy ways to learn to let things go, and that it is okay to want to keep some things, just not everything. It’s also opened the door to talking about being practical and smart with money.
The items that are in good condition are going to a consignment sale. And the money earned from it is going towards a family project; building a tree house! A tree house is something that is a high priority for us. Aiden has been asking for one for a year. My husband and I both have great memories of playing in tree houses as kids. Getting rid of items we are not using to have something we would use and that will help create family memories is a great trade off!
This process is ongoing there are definitely other things in our home that we are hanging onto for the wrong reasons, but I hope this post helps someone else avoid the traps of “What If.”