Have you heard of the de-cluttering philosophy where you hold an item you own and if it doesn’t bring you happiness, you throw it out? I decided to try this technique because ever since getting married, and then having kids, I swear my house is overrun with constant tornados. Maybe having less will help my sanity and shorten the hours my chores take me. Here are some things I’ve gotten rid of so far that do not bring me happiness:
90% of my toddler’s stuffed animals: She had enough to start her own zoo and charge admission to all her little neighborhood friends who would come over for play dates. And yet, heaven forbid any friend (or her little brother) pick up a single animal because that would always be the one she apparently intended to play with next. Hell hath no fury than a toddler deprived of a toy she had forgotten about but now wants immediately!
My husband’s hole-ridden undies from before we got married: He’s convinced they will one day come in handy for workouts and yard work. Problem is… he hardly ever works out and we don’t have a yard…
15 of our 100 Sippy cups: We can get by with only 85, right?
All the crayons: I’m sick of the baby trying to eat them or draw on the walls. And seriously, where have I not found bits of broken crayons and their wrappers? After seeing them in the toilet and others finding their way into my toddler’s underwear all the time, I’ve determined they do not bring me happiness.
My beautiful, completely insensible heels: These used to bring me happiness, making my legs look sexy and my butt appear firm. They used to be worth the pain in my crunched toes, back when I didn’t have to chase kids and actually had time to coordinate them with my outfit. But I’m a mom now; sensible shoes trump attractiveness and perfect color harmonization, so out they went.
My daughter’s bazillion hair ties: Never around when I need them but all over the freaking place when I don’t care what her hair looks like. And they are the multi-colored type, instead of the clear ones, which means they show up very noticeably on any surface on which they fall.
The pantry and fridge drawer organizers: Our house is where good intentions go to die. The pantry and fridge look great after I spend an hour organizing it with those perfect containers meant to make the space look cleaner. But then nap time ends and my kids come running for their snacks, which apparently means pulling every single item off the shelves until they find the 20 things they will beg me for. I’ve given up the hope of organization for the next few years, tossed those plastic containers, and it has actually freed me to find the happiness in our clutter.
Baths: The splashing, the slipping, the tantrums when it’s time to get out, the children sitting in their own filth, the bath-crayon drawings all over the tub walls (you know how I feel about crayons)—nothing about bath time brings me happiness so out they went. Don’t worry—my kids aren’t the stinky ones in class. Showers are a thing in this household.
My self-imposed guilt: Obviously this doesn’t bring me happiness. It’s a daily struggle to kick the guilt but I keep fighting it off because I’m actually a damn good mom, and I bet you are, too.
What things have you gotten rid of because they don’t bring you happiness?