So you wanna be cool like me, but don’t know where to start- getting started with minimalism

I am naturally a messy person. I am CLEAN (toilets are cleaned numerous times a week, my hands are washed a million times a day, bedding washed regularly, baseboards are wiped down frequently), but messy. Funny story: When my little sister, Kristy, and I were little, we shared a room. It was basically always a tornado. When we would have a new friend over, we would clean it spotless and then pretend to be extremely tidy people when our friend came over. If a blanket fell off the bed we would freak out and act like it killed us to have one thing on the floor… but in real life…it was always a mess (Ariel and Crystal- you knew the real me), and you know why? WE HAD TOO MUCH STUFF! There wasn’t room for everything. That translated into my adult life as well.

Minimalism is truly changing my life and I just want everyone to experience it. So if you’re interested…here is a little start up guide to get you going. I am in no way an expert on the subject so if YOU are an expert I welcome your feedback! My method for step two is inspired by Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” which can be purchased here. I STRONGLY recommend this read.

STEP ONE- Decide WHY and try to get all residents onboard. Why do you need this? For me, it was postpartum depression, marital stress, financial stress, and anxiety. I felt like changing the ambiance in my home would help my mood and needing less stuff would help us financially. Sometimes having a full-on breakdown is a good place to start. That’s what happened for me. I had a breakdown and decided it was time to throw everything away. I was so overwhelmed. It helps to have whoever lives with you onboard, but if they aren’t down- just start anyway and they may change their tune when they see you go!

STEP TWO- PURGE BEFORE ORGANIZING! This is so so vital I cannot stress it enough! I would say this is the most important step. So many people go out and buy a bunch of containers and organizing crap and just change up how they store things. This is ironic because they’re just buying MORE stuff. I am going to break this purge down for you because it’s so important. Here is how to purge:

a- Do one category at a time. (i.e. Clothes), gather all your clothes in your home from every room, every drawer, every closet..even the hamper. put it in a giant pile preferably in a different room.

b- Pick up every single item and say out loud “does this make me happy?” It also helped me to ask myself “If I was going to go out to lunch right now, and the weather permitted, would I wear this?” If the answer was no, it would go in a donate pile. If it was an item of clothing that I’ve ever put on and taken off because it didn’t fit very well- it went in the donate pile. If it had any stain, small hole, or rip- donate. If I didn’t absolutely love it- Donate. Don’t confuse loving something with using something. For example: I had an old sweatshirt that I wore at least 5 times a week. But I felt no joy when I held it. It was stained and gross. So even though I used it a lot, I tossed it. There are exceptions- Nursing bras don’t bring me joy, but I need them and I cannot spend 60 dollars on a good one right now, so I had to keep them. Do this with every single category. Start with clothing because that’s usually fairly easy. Once you get on a roll, it becomes easier to part with things. Do sentimental items last.

STEP THREE: Put everything away in an organized fashion. When you have your “keep” pile you can start the organization process. Chances are you have enough (or more than enough) organization gear once you get rid of enough stuff. So start putting things away where it makes the most sense. Move through categories quickly. Don’t do one room every few weeks. Just keep this process going until you’re done. Your house will be a bit of a tornado for a while because you’ll always have a category in your living room being sorted through but doing it quickly is the only way you’ll feel such a big change that it’ll be more likely to stick. See my pictures in this post of our crazy mess during our purge- so worth it.

STEP FOUR: Live it! As you live your daily life you may come across items you kept, but realize you don’t need. Don’t hesitate to get rid of more stuff as you come across it. Try to live a minimally as possible. You most likely don’t need seven spatulas. You don’t need 13 samples of moisturizer or 3 almost gone bottles of shampoo. It feels so good to just have what you’re using. I have started saying “no thank you” to free samples at Sephora and Ulta because I’ve learned that my decluttered home > free stuff. Don’t even bring clutter into your home and you won’t have to declutter as often. Don’t buy unnecessary stuff!! You can life without it. we

Points to remember:

  • Don’t feel guilty during your initial purge. You are doing something amazing for yourself and it’s normal to feel a little wasteful.
  • Even kids can live minimally and be just fine. You don’t have to have 6 million toys for your kids. Remember my story about having too much stuff as a kid? Some kids today are so overstimulated and so spoiled in my opinion. I see so many ungrateful kids with SO. MUCH. STUFF. Parenting is hard and I am not at all judging parents who buy 54326 things for their kids because I know it is out of love- but from a minimalist point of view, it is unnecessary. People are surprised to hear that we are incorporating minimalism for Liam too. He is ten months old- he does not need an entire room full of toys. He has a few great toys that he loves and as he gets older we will donate those and buy more age appropriate toys.
  • If you get rid of something that you later realize you still needed/wanted don’t freak out. If you loved it that much, it will be worth it to get another one. If it’s not worth it- you didn’t really need it.
  • Remember things are things. The memories are in your mind, the experiences still happened even if you get rid of the material things that reminds you of it.
  • Photo books are life. We have decided to create a small photobook each year of family photos.
  • You don’t have to fill every space. Some shelves can be empty. Some corners can be clear. Walls can be plain. If you haven’t found something you love to fill a space, leave it empty.
  • If you keep only the things you love, your home will be filled with things that make you happy. Imagine what that will do for your mood when you’re home..being surrounded by things you love. This will also make it much easier to keep tidy. If you are born messy like me- having 75% less possessions is huge in keeping a picked up, organized home.

I have combined the Marie Kondo method of having things that spark joy and a minimalistic approach of having only things I need. I try to only own things that I both need, and love. If it makes me happy but is unnecessary, I don’t get it. I want to own the smallest amount of things I can. This has already begun to save my family money. I haven’t been buying unnecessary stuff the past month and my bank account is slowly mending.
–I CHALLENGE YOU–

Start with something you don’t feel too attached to. For me, clothes was the easiest category. Bring it all into a separate room and go through it one by one. Do an entire category to completion. purge it- organize what you keep- and take the donations to a donation center. See how it makes you feel. If you finish that category and feel happiness afterwards- continue. Move on to the next category. Share your purge with me! It brings me so much happiness to see people doing this. Post pictures of your purge and tag @makeroomforjoy on Instagram so I can see. Here are some photos of our purged, organized, joyful home.

I LOVE my closet now. This is everything(clothing wise) I own except socks, underwear, and jammies! This includes work out clothes, jackets, shirts, pants, scrubs…. all of it! All in one closet. Heavenly!

I tossed my placemats and napkins because I realized they just annoyed me and I enjoyed a simpler table..

these mugs are some of my favorites from my side. And that blanket…my Harry Potter blanket from my hubby that I’m OBSESSED with. And some wedding albums…

I went back and forth with the idea of a rug here…and I decided I didn’t want one. We seriously get SO much dirt tracked inside from the orange Grove that any rug I’ve had just gets gross too quickly.

Our fireplace is my absolute favorite part of our home. Also…Parks and rec ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

empty shelves are ok in my book! May not look pottery Barn but it never looks cluttered and it’s not crap I don’t need. (Can you tell blankets bring me joy?)

sweat towels in that basket and all my dumbells and exercise stuff in that bag ๐Ÿ˜Š and some empty shelves again๐Ÿ˜Š

notice how I brought all my dishes back out…

I hate having to deal with spices. I feel like I have way too much up here,but there’s nothing I hate more than having to pay 7 bucks for a full thing of a certain spice just to use a teaspoon in a recipe so I’m not tossing any of my spices.

Hopefully this gave you some good tips on how to get started minimizing your life. Even if you just take bits and pieces..it can’t hurt to try it out ๐Ÿ˜Š

My first night away from baby…

SUCKED!

lol jk that’s kind of harsh…I had a great time with Patrick.. here’s just a mini post to share a huge life moment with you..

You know what I wasn’t prepared for when I became a parent? The fact that I can’t turn my “momming” off. I knew our lives would change and we would be able to do less and yada yada..but seriously even when we have a sitter and I know he’s fine…I can’t just turn mom brain off and enjoy myself…I still think about him constantly..”it’s 10:30…I hope he went down for his nap ok…” “I hope he isn’t being a banshee for my mom” little things like that that occupy my mind so strongly that on our anniversary night away, Pat could tell I was not all there. But he later told me that he felt the same. It was Pat’s idea to get an early breakfast and head home quickly the next morning. We’ve since accepted the fact that it may get easier, but for now…we can’t let go and enjoy ourselves without a care in the world anymore…because we have a huge care in the world now.

Speaking of being an overly attached mom… When we did our big purge, I tossed a lot of sentamental stuff without the bat of an eye. My favorite jammies Liam wore in the first few months that were too worn to keep…no prob! Love letters from my hubby..bye! The ONLY thing that made me lose it- Liam’s stupid pacifier that he used only for a few weeks because I hate pacifiers.. it instantly brought me back to the 6days he spent in the NICU.(nothing compared to some babies, but still so incredibly tough) I pictured him clear as day sucking on the passy that was half the size of his head in his little NICU incubator..I felt the emotions of leaving the hospital without my baby all over again. TEARS!

Then I was suddenly back the the first week he was home rocking him trying to offer the pacifier to see if he just wanted to suckle or if he wasn’t getting enough breastmilk from me…the chaos of those first couple months is so real …. That was the only thing I held onto for no reason at all… It doesn’t bring me joy..he will never use it again…but I couldn’t let go. I don’t think I’m ready to accept the fact that I have an almost 1 year old.

I’m tearing up writing this. Being a mom was all I’ve ever wanted in life. Some women have high career ambitions or social ambitions…honestly I’ve only ever wanted to be a great wife and a mother. I didn’t dream of being a dental hygienist…I don’t care to change the world or climb any ladders. I want a simple life. And I want to be a kick-ass wife and mom. Postpartum depression made me feel like I was a terrible mother for a few months. It tore me down and made me feel worthless and isolated.

Minimalism and writing on this blog have started pulling me out of the darkest time I’ve ever been through. I thank you for following my journey. I’ve settled into a bit of an identity for this blog- I’m basically a minimalist mama. The main focus will be about living a simple life without a million THINGS, but with a million reasons to be happy. There will be some “mom crap” thrown in because being a mom is a HUGE part of me, but I mainly want to help people live an intentional life without the mental and physical clutter that could prevent them from true happiness. I hope you’ll keep following because I’ll be sharing my steps for beginning “semi” minimalism next week.

Settling into minimalism- the good, the bad, and the empty

It has been 1 month since our decision to go minmal! It seems silly, but I’ve learned so much about myself this past month and it’s been nuts. So here we go..let’s talk about what was wishful thinking and what actually works.

One dish per person is the stupidest idea I’ve ever had. Efffff that! Our dishes came back out of the closet…mama couldn’t hang. Seriously sometimes I use a spoon while cooking then two for eating because no one likes different foods to touch the same spoon….the only dishes that have stayed minimal are Liam’s. We still wash his stuff by hand and it is wonderful…but our stuff..failed idea….those who actually do this- you’re amazing and insane

I like the empty walls and shelves: I had a lot of ugly stuff on these shelves I have

in my hallway. They are those hall closets without doors..so I felt like they needed to be full. So I got rid of a lot of it and now there are a couple empty shelves and I actually love it! Feels airy and fresh.some people may call it cold..but then again some people may call me annoying and I disagree with both ๐Ÿคท

The laundry still piles up- the only way I could avoid this is to have like 1 pair of pants and 2 shirts. I HATE LAUNDRY. I leave clean loads in the basket all week…why can’t I just fold it right away? I’m the woorsstt. I’m working on it. I thought that since reducing my wardrobe by like 75% laundry would be easier to stay on top of…and maybe it is a littttttle, but I still suck.

Cleaning my house is a million times faster. My favorite part of all of this is how quick and easy cleaning my house is! My room is still a mess due to said laundry..but cleaning up is faasstt. There is room for everything it’s so nice! My floors get so stinking dirty because we have a lot of dirt in our backyard and our dogs track it in, but as long as I use my dry mop daily and wet mop every couple of days..it stays okay.

I swear that purging everything has significantly impacted other areas of my life: this is something I read about before starting…people purge and lose weight, or start a new business, or do something unrelated that they’ve been meaning to do for years. Kinda thought that was just fancy talk and I didn’t think it would really happen so obviously..but it has. Here’s what has happened since minimizing –

1- I have finally gotten serious about figuring out some digestive issues I’ve had for years and have cleaned up my diet and started being diligent about my probiotics.

2- I am much more active.

3- my mood and ppd have improved greatly.

4- I want to meet up with friends again. I want to have people over/ be social/ build or continue relationships that I started not caring about for a while.

5- Im remembering that I’m a wife too. I have been so focused on being the best mom I can be that my husband probably thinks all I want from him is his sperm..and now that I have my baby, I no longer need him until it’s time for #2. I have no idea how minimizing has made me wake up and realize I’m still a wife…but I think I’m just thinking a little straighter. For the record my husband has great sperm , but I love him for MUCH more than that ๐Ÿ˜œ

Basically, we have quit some of our minimalistic adventures, but kept a lot of them and we notice a difference all over our lives from it. I would LOVE if you guys kept sending me pictures of your purges! I love seeing it. Tag me in them on insta or DM them to me! @makeroomforjoy

I just put a poll up on my @makeroomforjoy Instagram account to see what content you guys like- I’m having trouble deciding what direction I’m going. I would LOVE the feedback. Check back next week to hear about my first overnight trip without my baby and more about the struggles of balancing mom/wife roles. And I’ll throw in the ONLY item that made me emotional during our purge.

Mama, you’re not alone! And I’ve learned that neither am I.

I know I said this blog (let’s just call it was it is) wasn’t going to be all about postpartum depression, but the response I got to my first post was almost overwhelming. SO MANY WOMEN have gone through similar, if not the same, experience I’m going through now. So I wanted to take a minute to tell anyone reading this that at least 25 women have reached out to me in the past two weeks…Mamas going through things I had no idea of! Dear friends or family that had to take, or are still taking medication because their ppd got that bad. Even some ladies sharing other things with me- severe financial stress, anxiety, past domestic violence. You guys!! So many women are going through (or have gone through) such difficult times! I really struggled with whether or not I wanted to start this blog and let everyone see into our lives ..but if it does nothing else other than helping you guys know you’re not the only ones feeling what you’re feeling, it’s worth the vulnerability. So in the name of helping others I’m going to share a couple more things about myself.

1: I’ve had really bad anxiety for years. And I don’t throw that word around Willy nilly. I’ve been known to leave a cart full of groceries in the middle of Alberstons because someone gave me a weird feeling and I freaked out and Had to get out asap. I miss out on a lot of fun things because big crowds make me incredibly nervous. I’ve also excused myself in the middle of patients because I feel pannicky (spelling?) for no reason and I just need to walk around for a sec. Liam’s sleep has been an anxiety trigger for me. I’m extremely strict with his sleep schedule and Im proud of it. With that being said, I saw my brother for the first time in three years last month. Having him here and wanting to be included in everything was so good for me. We missed bedtime a lot and his schedule was off numerous times, but I learned that I survived. I still 100% prefer my schedule, but I have some peace of mind knowing we can miss bedtime every now and then if absolutely necessary.. Thank you for that, the brother!! And for your service!

2: I have been super irresponsible with money the past 5 months. Like omg. I want to blame the ppd, but I don’t know if that’s a valid excuse. I used to be SO GOOD with money, but lately I’ve been ridiculous. Between a couple pre-term labor scares, and a short nicu stay, we had a much higher than expected out if pocket cost for having this sweet babe. Then our dog needed surgery…so we’ve had lots of bills. And how did I react? I started buying completely unnecessary crap and digging our hole even deeper. Now guess what? New year, new deductable, and Liam needs tubes in his ears. I’m embarrassed and ashamed at the hole I dug my family into, and I hope that minimizing will help get us out faster.

3: I still have some really bad days. For the most part, I’ve improved so so much, but I still have days where I feel like the ppd is starting all over again. This is hard on my marriage- after a week of feeling great, it’s hard to explain to my hubs how I can just be in a terrible mood the next day. It’s hard for him to understand and hard for me to explain. Like when he wants to go do something social and I want to sit on the couch and he doesn’t understand… But if I didn’t have his support the past 9 months, I never would have made it. Patrick you are a Godsend of a husband. I know this hasn’t been easy on you and I love you. I’m sorry for the random crying, the crazy irritability, and the massive antisocialness. (real word?)

Thank you to everyone who has been following along with me. You have no idea how happy it makes me when my friends tell me they went through their closet or tossed something that didn’t spark joy! I love it!! My life has changed since starting this site. Learning things I’ve learned about friends and family has made me feel a deeper connection to my community of women and has made me feel like I’m not alone. We got this!

Next time- how our “semi minimalism” is going and a few ideas that are noottttt working out.

Please always feel free to email me at alisonbuoyerdh@gmail.com if you ever need to vent. Even if I don’t know you. Venting is life.

Clearing our house cleared our minds.

A baby with an ear infection is like having a newborn all over again except he isn’t nearly as snuggly…he’s squirmy and cranky and almost impossible to calm down between the hours of 8pm and 2am. We’re so tired! Thankfully last night was a big improvement so here I am to word vomit all about our purge. I feel like I have a million things to say…

I had clothes in 2 dressers, three closets, and 6 of those canvas tote bin things. I emptied EVERYTHING into my bedroom. After filling 4 bags of “donate” I thought I should take a picture of what I still had left to sort through..

I thought this was a lot of clothes until we did my mom’s one closet….and this wasn’t even all of it…

So to make this work you have to collect every piece of clothing you have you put it all together and pick up each thing one by one… I would ask myself..does this bring me joy? Do I love this shirt? Would I buy this in a store right now? Does it fit me well? And 75% of the time it was a no. I now only have clothes in a half of a dresser and my closet..this includes scrubs, coats, workout stuff..everything. and I LOVE it!! I open my closet and I can literally grab anything and I know it’s something I love. (And YES my Crocs made the cut..BOTH pairs..biotches) 

Look how happy Mother was when we started putting her stuff away… 

Ps..while we were doing this she told me she doesnt own a single pair of sweat pants…..look what she’s wearing ๐Ÿ˜‚ we laughed for like 10 minutes…she is so dumb..I love her. This was hard for my mom. She thought she’d have nothing left to wear. Getting rid of stuff was so easy for me. I have very little emotional attachment to things..but I saw first hand that some people do. So if you get emotional hopefully you have someone there to help. And hopefully they’re nicer than me because I just rolled my eyes and told her to pull herself together..

So for my own house, each day Inhad off, I chose a category (kitchen stuff, baby stuff, cleaning stuff..) and brought it all into my living room and followed my system of asking myself if it brings me joy and how useful or practice it is. I wish I had a before picture of my cleaning closet but this after picture fills my heart with excitement …seriously …. 

My Norwex mop, a vacuum, a broom, and my bag of Norwex cleaning stuff…up top is some carpet cleaner and cleanup bleach that I can’t quuiiteeee part with yet. But omg I love this! 

The best part of allllll of this crazy purging is that I truly love (almost…again…gotta keep tax stuff) everything in my home. Every cupboard and closet I open makes me happy because it’s not stuffed full. I’m just in love.

I want to share the top things that stand in the way of a successful purge:

1: Feeling wasteful- if you do a big, giant initial pirge..you’re going to feel wasteful. Patrick kept seeing dollar signs and wanted to sell stuff instead of donate…but I knew it would just sit in our home and we’d never sell it. He also kept saying “we just bought that!” Yes…but I don’t even really like it….sorry dude. We got in a full on argument over a roll of Christmas wrapping paper that had enough left for like 1 gift and I had a brand new roll of the same print…I won..obviously. Remind yourself that once you finish this you’ll hopefully stop buying stuff you don’t love and you won’t be in this situation again…just accept that you’ve wasted tons of money and you don’t need a stockpile of almost gone Christmas paper. 

2- Feeling guilty donating gifts- this one is hard. You may find something that you want to toss, but your mom, friend,sister, or whoever bought it for you and you feel guilty. Don’t! Chances are you were so happy when it was given to you. It made you happy at one point but it doesn’t anymore…it doesn’t need to sit in the back of a closet. For me this was a few Christmas decorations my mom bought me for our first married Christmas..I picked then out and loved them, but now I look at them and they just don’t bring my any joy..I had a Santa that legit looks like a pimp..how tacky am I!? . He needed to go..sorry mom..but really..why did you let me choose that?!

3- Home feeling empty- well obviously getting rid of 20+ giant trash bags of crap is going to make your home feel a little empty. For me, I actually love it. I got rid of quite a bit of home decor that I bought because “it matched” but I really wasn’t crazy about it..so my house feels very empty right now. I know for some people, this is a problem..some people like lots of decor. The way I see it is like this… I didn’t even like that stuff…I’d walk past it without feeling a thing…now I know that if I’m out and I see something I absolutely love..I’ll get it..and I’ve learned something about myself..I’m actually pretty eclectic. I really don’t care deep down if my vase, rug, and curtains go together. I’d rather have things I absolutely love that don’t match at all…but again, that’s just me. I have friends who feel joy with a perfectly decorated living room that flows together beautifully. Do you boo! It’s about what makes YOU happy.

K I know this is SO long but I told you I have a million things to say!! So give me 5 more minutes of you life because I want to also share the benefits of doing this.

1- I will no longer always have “so much to do”- I am the queen of that saying! Every single day off of work..I have soooooo much to do. It usually starts with needed to clean up! I always feel like my to do list is unrealistic. My life was so overflowing with “things” I literally felt overwhelmed. I had so much stuff that there wasn’t a place for everything… So it would be impossible for every room to be clean. My mind felt as cluttered as our house. I truly believe that if your space is cluttered..you’re mind will be too.

2- I won’t hate having visitors as much- this probably sounds mean..especially if you’ve visited me before lol. But I generally dislike having visitors for the most part. The postpartum depression has made that much much worse..but even before that, I’ve hated having people over. My house is almost always clean in a sense that my toilets and baseboards gets cleaned numerous times a week…but it’s never picked up. My kitchen usually has stuff from last night’s dinner out..and there are like 8 pairs of shoes scattered through the living room. And…. A dirt backyard with dogs. So hair and dirt cover our floors 5 minutes after I vacuum..they’re gross. But I love them. I LOVE deep cleaning, but I HATE picking up. So nowwwww it’s already feeling amazing because I don’t have much stuff. Liam’s toys fit into a basket that I bring out when he’s up and put back in his room when he sleeps. Everything has a place and nothing is crammed or jammed or overflowing. Basically this means last minute visitors or visitors in general won’t mean an hour of trying to cram stuff out of site…

3- Your mood improves if you’re surrounded by things you love- there isn’t much to say here…it’s just true..

Okay last point I prommy!( That’s promise..get used to my shorthand..it’s going to come into play a lot in the future). Things that still need improvement…

1- Too many dishes.  The best thing we’ve done in our kitchen is toss a BUNCH of baby bottles. Liam gets bottles of pumped milk only when I’m gone..on work days he gets 2 usually because I come home for lunch..so we realized 25 bottles was excessive..but I HATE doing dishes so I thought a ton would be smart. Wrong. They just get so backed up! So we kept our 3 favorite and and we wash them by hand as we go. It’s been heaven!! So I think I’m ready to follow suit with our dishes. I’m ready to stop using the dishwasher and start hand washing dishes as we use them. When we have 10 plates for the two of us..we wait until there are 0 left to run the dishwasher…then we use from there because we hate unloading it..sink fills up…you get the point. So tomorrow I am boxing up some dishes and keeping them in a cupboard for company. We each get 1 of each thing. Wash it when we’re done with it. I’ll let you know how this goes…pat has no idea yet…I’m just deciding this..

So I totally have more to say but this is getting ridiculous so I’ll save it for a different post. Can you tell I’ve had 3 cups of coffee already today? I fricken love coffee.  Ps. Can you guys see a way to subscribe to this? I was trying to make a button so that if people want to to be notified when I make a new post, they will be. But to be honest I’ve been too lazy to mess with it ๐Ÿคท. I’ll look around today…or maybe tomorrow. Below are some more pictures of our purge. In-process AND afters. If you can’t tell the difference I have a major problem lol.

A Rough Few Months

HI! Id like to start by saying this site is in progress! I was going to wait until I had time to make it beautiful to share it, but why? This first post is explaining why we are deciding to minimize our stuff. This is going to be a journey and so will this journal. (I call it a journal and not a blog because I feel like journal is a more accurate description of what it is). There may be typos and run-on sentences because I want to type as if I am just talking to a friend rather than making a post.

Having my sweet Liam was a dream come true. Despite the severe sleep deprivation of having a cranky newborn and a few breakdown moments begging my mom to come over ( I have a baby whispering, saint of a mother who has raised 8 kids and can do it half asleep- and probably has), I vividly remember thinking “I was born to do this”. We would do tons of tummy time, read books, and sing and dance like crazy between every nap. I felt like I had the most perfect life and I was overflowing with joy and gratitude.

I went back to work when Liam was 4 months old and it started off okay but slowly got harder and harder to leave him. Somewhere around 6 weeks after returning to work I started noticing my days off were getting lazier an lazier. I am embarrassed to even admit this, but I would sit on the couch with Liam and just hold him and stare at the wall until nap time. Then I would lay him down and head back to my comfy spot on the couch and stare until he woke up. Some days I didn’t even eat until Patrick got home from work because making toast seemed like way too big of a chore. Having anyone other than my mom or sister over was so uncomfortable and I just wanted to be alone all day.

So one night I got home from work after Patrick spent the day with Liam and he mentioned that Liam had refused any and all tummy time and just rolled to his back and was laughing about trying to force him to stay on his tummy. I started crying. I realized that I hadn’t done any sort of playing with Liam in over a month. I explained to pat that nothing was bringing me any joy and I felt like he was this amazing dad and I was a terrible mom. I kept venting telling him how work is so exhausting because I’m trying to act overly happy and annoying (my usual self) so people don’t ask whats wrong. I don’t want to do family stuff…I don’t want anybody coming over…I just got it all out. “I think you have postpartum depression..I’ve been wondering for a while”. I thought that PPD came on right after birth or you were in the clear. I had no idea you get start developing it 5 months postpartum! But there it was and I knew he was right.

SO this whole online journal is NOT about postpartum depression but rather about our journey to overcome it, longtime anxiety, and financial stress. I was originally going to keep it completely private and just have a place to type out my feelings, but I had 2 friends privately talk to me about feeling the same way and I realized I had been hiding this from a lot of family and friends and I just want it to be out there so people know whats up.

I am not a medical professional (well dental..but if someones dying..still call 911) and I am in no way saying that if you are suffering from any sort of depression my methods will “cure” it. Get help! See a doctor! Go to therapy! read up on it! make a game plan for your mental health because once you accept that something is off and make a game plan to fix it, it automatically lifts a small weight off your back. I can honestly say the past couple weeks I have felt better than I have in months.

So WHAT ARE WE DOING? We are getting rid of our STUFF. I was so inspired by blogs I read of minimalists and then fell in love with Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. So we are going full force with purging anything in our home that does not bring us joy. (Other than tax documents and things of that nature- gotta keep those no matter how unhappy they make me). I don’t plan to be a full on, “sell the car, buy a tiny house” type of minimalist, but more of a “semi” minimalist. So far I have sorted through all of our clothes and kitchenware and I feel a little chunk of my dark cloud gone. It’s all I can talk about to my family. “does that really spark joy?” is something I say daily now. It has actually become a family joke with my parents and siblings..BUT IT MAKES SENSE. everything you own should make you happy! Did you buy that vase because it kind of matched your living room or did you walk by it and feel so much happiness from it that you HAD to have it? That shirt you always put on and then change because you’re not crazy about the way it fits…donate it.

My first official post about our first purge day and how a visit from my brother was life changing will be very soon! spoiler alert- I got rid of about 75% of my clothes! If you took the time to read this whole novel, thanks!! I hope you’ll read the future ones and get inspired to make room for some joy in your life too because its seriously the businesssss.