Oh no! It has happened. We feel like we have too much stuff. Again. How?
New baby + travel + less energy = How.
I thought we were on the right track to not accumulate so much. And maybe we were. I’m sure it could be much worse. We have dismissed so many things and we’re certainly on the sparse end of the spectrum. But picking up has become a more time-consuming daily chore and some nights I’m just happy that I brushed my teeth.
I CAN SEE A FEW FACTORS THAT GOT US HERE:
1. Gifts. The gifts for the baby have been lovely and because of them, we’ve bought very little. They sometimes fill a need we don’t have though, so they’ve added up.
2. In-between phases. Things get a little hairy when Islo is straddling two sizes or in between developmental toys. He’s moved on to new items but isn’t quite done with the old.
3. That thing inside me that thinks there’s a tiny chance we might have another baby. Here I go… "just in case"!
4. My small but present insecurities. If the nanny asks for a certain object and we don’t have it, I start to think we should. Or since I still feel new to this, I don’t have a lot of confidence in where my body will be in six months or what I’ll be wearing.
5. Travel. Nothing like taking a huge journey with a 5-month-old to bring up all of those “what-ifs” and “just-in-cases.”
You know that quote, "we teach what we most need to learn"? I’m always learning. Organizing comes easy to me. Essentialism... less so.
A FEW IDEAS TO HELP BATTLE THIS CLUTTER CREEP:
1. Borrow more. When I have temporarily needed something and have asked a friend, it has always worked out. I just need to do it more and realize that with a baby, most things are temporary.
2. Buy Nothing project. On that note, subscribe to an actual Buy Nothing Project... more than just in spirit. ;)
3. Read up more on minimalism with kids. A few of the blogs that originally inspired me: Becoming Minimalist, Zen Habits, and Free Our Kids.
4. Take a class. Islo and I are starting a RIE class this week. I’ll learn to really watch him as he plays, paying attention to his needs instead of throwing more toys at him. We’ll see.
5. Get rid of 5 things a day. Again. And finally for our October habit, we’re reinstating 5 Things A Day. I even mentioned here that we would probably need to repeat it post-baby. There you go!
+ I’m also working on gaining more confidence in my choices. We can always sell an item to try something else. We spent a lot of time researching and deciding on our incredibly affordable car seat and stroller. It’s been great! I’m trying not to second-guess that decision when I see more intriguing models on the street.
On a deeper level, I’m reminding myself that we are enough for the baby and he needs very little else. Less-stressed parents seem more important than the new "it" toy.
++ For September, we focused on travel with a 5-month-old! Both across the country and across the world. It was amazing, eye-opening, a lot of work and so worth it. Travel can almost be better with a baby… or at least a lot friendlier. <3