What’s with all of the decluttering?

You may be wondering why I post a lot about decluttering, when you thought my blog was going to talk about my story. More specifically, my story about Prudence. My minimalism mission was magnified by Prudence, absolutely. When I felt like my entire life was spiraling out of my control, I could focus on my minimalism journey, and give myself something positive to do that I could feel proud of. But it all really started when I found out I was pregnant with Jude. Let’s go back a bit, shall we? I think this will all make more sense that way.

I am sure I’m not the only first time mom out there who freaked out, wanting to make sure their home was perfect before the baby arrived! I did a lot of reading and listening to parenting blogs and podcasts, because I wanted to make sure I did it all “right”. I wanted to have a good plan in place for how I was going to raise my children. What I didn’t expect, was how much time I had to prepare for all of this. I started researching this stuff right after Josh and I got married, because as we often said to each other when making decisions “we’re not getting any younger, why wait”? We married in 2016, just before I turned 35, and we started trying to have kids right away. We had no idea the journey we were about to embark on.

I’m going to fast forward through all of the stress, frustrations, doctor’s appointments, and everything else that threw me for a loop that year (for now). We finally got a positive pregnancy test in the fall of 2017! We were so excited, we told everyone right away. And then a week later, we were in the ER being told we weren’t pregnant. We were absolutely devastated, and I was even more determined to get more help in our fertility journey after that. Enter University of IA, which I can not recommend enough, by the way, and just a few short months later in February 2018, we were pregnant with Jude!

I was a mama-to-be on a mission! We had just moved into a new home, a much larger one that we hoped we would fill with many children! We already had my teenage step-daughter full-time, four cats, and a dog, and we were going to be adding a baby in just months! We only moved in what we needed, decorated sparingly, and focused on making sure we didn’t overload our home with things we didn’t want or need. I went around my home like a mad woman getting rid of stuff and organizing and reorganizing it, trying to make sure everything was just right. One of the funniest moments was when I decided that I had to completely revamp my closet, which at the time was an entire large bedroom, with four completely stuffed retail clothing racks, two dressers, and an entire closet of shoes in another area! It was nuts. My mom came over to help me because I was so pregnant I couldn’t bend over to pick up the piles off the floor, and she was shocked at how many clothes and shoes I had! I’ve come a long way. I’ll share more on my wardrobe journey another time.

Fast forward again. At this point I’m a stay-at-home-mom, still trying to find my way as a purposeful caregiver to this little dude that I had waited so long for. One day I came across the term “minimalist” and it all just kind of spiraled from there! Here’s how the rabbit hole went for me… If you haven’t seen Minimalism: a Documentary About the Important Things, stop reading right now and click on that link! It’s life-changing!

That led me to Courtney Carver. Oh, Courtney. She changed my life with her book, Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More and her capsule wardrobe Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More, her latest book which she just released this year.

Of course then I watched the Netflix series on Marie Kondo, and read her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Then I moved onto Joshua Becker, and his The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own and then I followed his instructional book The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life.

Now, why did I share all of those resources with you? Well, because I watched them, read them, tried their methods, and consider myself pretty well-versed on the concepts of decluttering and minimizing. However, not one single method worked for me exclusively. At different parts of my minimalism journey, I used different methods, and I am finally, after over two years of working on my physical declutter, nearly ready to move onto simplifying the rest of my life. So I’m not here to tell you how to declutter, what you should or shouldn’t keep, or how to prioritize your life. What I will tell you, however, is if you watch the documentaries, or read even just one of these books with an open mind, I can guarantee you that it will improve your life. Life is too short to have our things weighing us down. Let’s let go of the excess, and “live like a daylily” – on purpose, each day, making the time and space to do what we love to do!

Why I’ll never look at a daylily the same again.

My aunt told me that a daylily only blooms for one day. That’s it. A single day. God made this beautiful flower, on purpose, to live and die in a single day. My aunt told me this on the day that my daughter lived. It was also the day that she died. May 19, 2020. That was the day we said hello and goodbye to our dear Prudence Grace. She will forever be our little daylily, made by God, on purpose, to live for one single day. People have asked how I’m doing. I mean, it’s horrible what we went through. I am not even going to lie about that. As I sit here today designing this website so that I can share my story, I keep stopping to weep. But I think this is a story that needs to be told. Prudence was only here for one day, but in that one day she taught me the biggest lesson of my life. She taught me the importance of a single day.

“We can’t know why the lily has so brief a time to bloom in the warmth of sunlight’s kiss upon its face, before it folds into its fragrance and bids the world good night to rest its beauty in a gentler place. But we can know that nothing that is loved is ever lost, and no one who has touched a heart can really pass away, because some beauty lingers on in each memory of which they’ve been a part.” -Ellen Brenneman