Pilfering the Crayons, or, Decluttering with Children

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” - Socrates cwy_minimalism3Ah hahahahah! What a concept to introduce to my little guy, who eagerly accepts every sticker, lollipop and flimsy prize toy offered. And I don't blame him - new stuff is exciting! Treats are awesome! Prizes are validating! (and then getting rid of those things, well, the quote I've seen floating around the internet in various places - "I smuggle out broken bits of crayons like a drug lord" - rings pretty true. I've certainly hidden old coloring pages in between cereal boxes in the recycle bin.) But oh, how I love me a good empty bit of space, and how restful and joyous my mind feels when the clutter isn't around.

I remember the first time I realized I had way too much stuff. The last year of college - on a humid Boston day in late August- I was moving into a forth floor walk-up, and I hadn't suckered enough friends into helping me carry my boxes up the stairs. So I felt every. Single. Ounce.

I'd accumulated so much, and it sucked. It was literally heavy, but also emotionally so heavy - hanging on to so many things was weighing me down, bumming me out, and taking up energy that would be much better used elsewhere. cwy_minimalism2I came to understand that the more stuff I had, the more I was responsible for: for lugging from one apartment to the next. For ensuring it stayed in good shape, was taken care of, was respected.

Years later, I became a mom. And we parents all know that tiny babies born in the US should come with their own storage unit, plus a spare attic or two for all the new items they come with!

At some point last year I stumbled upon a blog called Nourishing Minimalism. The writer of the blog, Rachel, discusses the difficulties of decluttering or embracing minimalism with kiddos around. She has some great ideas on how to get the children on board and Finn and I started the 2016 in 2016 challenge - can we get rid of 2,016 items this year? We're on our way!

cwy_minimalism1I hope that these ideas make sense to Finn, so he spends less of his life and energy dealing with objects - wanting, buying, and collecting them - and so he never has to know the aggravation of carrying 8 million boxes up four flights of stairs on a disgustingly humid summer day in Boston.



Postscript for you all: 

A material object that I do highly prize? Amazing family photographs. Truly some of my favorite possessions in my home. Do you feel similarly, but it's been dreadfully long since the whole of your family has all been in the same shot? I would love to help you out with that!  It's never too early to contact me about a future session - I often schedule a few months out - 617-480-0387 or cwy@willowbabystudios.com  

Also,  for extra cuteness in your life, please jump on over to Instagram and follow me there to see a little darling every day!  #willowbabydaily


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