Along with many of the people in the America, the appeal of minimalism entices me. At the beginning of the year, I did some serious Konmari-ing on my house. I got rid of over half my books, my clothes, toys and kids books, kitchenware, kids’ clothes. I had a soothing bedroom. I created an inspiring office space out of my overstuffed studio. I went through the storage room which has been a home not only to our old junk, but also to my in-laws’ belongings, and eliminated many, many things, making so much floor space the kids would go in there to play.
I was well on my minimalism journey. January was looking great! February was a poster child for minimizing! My motivation carried into March and kept me moving! I constantly was saying, “Does it bring me joy?” and if the answer was no, I donated it.
But now it’s July, and the last couple of months have been emotionally rough. Not only have I been getting a little fluffier around the middle due to stress eating, but my house has been packing on the pounds as well.
I’ve been searching “Why to Hold On To Stuff” or “Benefits of Keeping Things”and Google stubbornly directs me to pages like “Why We Hold On To Stuff And How to Let it Go” and “Benefits of Keeping Things Simple”.
Since Google won’t cooperate with me, much like some children I know, I decided to make a list of my own.
Benefits of Maximalizing
1. If I were a true minimalist, I wouldn’t have the exciting challenge of artfully dodging the pointy toys labyrinth on my bedroom floor every single time I walk through my room. This way I can practice in case I ever need to go through a laser maze to steal something.
2. We have enough riding toys for all our kids and their friends, and probably some strangers, should strangers want to come over and ride a scooter.
4. I can walk by my dining room table and look at old photographs any time I want. I can’t do anything else on that table, but I can look at photos.
3. My kitchen counter has the renowned pleasure of being a “before” (hazardous disaster area) and “after” (you can see it) several times a day.
5. My kids have art options: they can choose tempera paints or face paints or markers or crayons or oil pastels or chalk or watercolors or acrylic paints (and then leave each project sitting out in a different area of the house, but that might not have anything to do with maximalism).
6. True minimalists probably never have the joy of playing the awesome game of “What’s that smell?”
7. We get more exercise by moving all. the. things. off the couch before we plop down.
8. When I’m trying to write a blog post at the last minute, I can pull out random paper and punches left over from my scrapbooking and card making days and keep the kids out of my face for a few minutes. I bet minimalists can’t do that.
11. We have enough real plates for an impromptu party or spur of the moment play date, which actually happens fairly regularly. I won’t guarantee I can find clean forks however.
10. Minimalist kids likely have tidy closets and drawers. All the corners and recesses of our house hold treasures untold, which my precious babes discover and strew all over the rest of everywhere. It’s fun for everyone! (Ahem. I may be lying about the everyone part.)
9. Minimalists probably don’t have enough pillows to create cozy reading nooks all over the house.
12. If one of my kids loses a shoe, we have spare pairs. Or at least a spare shoe. When I tried to only have one pair of play shoes and one pair of nice shoes, they still lost their shoes. Maybe minimalist kids don’t lose shoes.
13. I know most lists don’t have 13 points, but I never claimed to be a minimalist!
Perhaps by this winter I’ll be back on my game, and the maximalism will lessen. For now though, I’m choosing to accept what is, and embrace its benefits!