This month I decided to play the 30 day Minimalism Game Challenge as a New Year’s resolution since I was doing a “No Spend January” to stop bringing more things into the house. I wanted to make sure more things were going out than coming in, so this is the perfect game for me to try! The rules are that on Day 1 you get rid of 1 thing, Day 2 you get rid of 2 things, Day 3 equals 3 things and so on. As you can see, it’s going to get intense on Day 20 and those higher days for a hoarder. Maybe even a typical person might struggle getting rid of about 465 things in one month. But I’m up for the challenge and documented week 1 in the video. If you have played the “30 Day Minimalism Game Challenge” I would love to heard about it in the comments below!
Finally!!! After months of clean out of this toy room, it is finally clean!!! This has been an emotional roller coaster with feelings of anxiety and frustration to joy and happiness. There were days I thought I would never get it done. But I kept going because baby steps still move you forward. Another huge part of keeping me motivated was documenting it all on my YouTube Channel. When you have people watching you and cheering you on, it keeps you cleaning out your hoard. I realized that short term goals and high accountability gets the best results for any personal achievement. I am learning to heal from my hoarding mindset. I have attached the video below so you can see my Before & After photos of my hoarded toy room.
This Christmas I decided to scale back on gift giving and over spending on Holiday experiences. After finishing all the wrapping, I saw the amount of gifts I had and it triggered a panic attack. I am not kidding here, I know it sounds absurd but not giving a lot of gifts this year triggered an anxiety shock inside of me. I quickly went on Amazon to buy a few more gifts to ease my alarming nerves. I know that last sentence sounds obnoxious but it’s true. My love language for showing love is gift giving. So I show my love by giving the people I love multiple gifts. The more gifts I buy, the more love I am showing you. So when I only saw a few wrapped gifts, I panicked because I didn’t want to disappoint any of my loved ones. I didn’t want them to think I stopped caring about them. This is how my mind works as a hoarder. I attach an extreme value to ordinary items. In this video I share more in depth on my mini Christmas melt down:
I shared before how Santa brings 25 gifts to each child for Christmas. This year is going to change. I know from past Christmases I could easily spend anywhere between $2,500-$3,000. This totals everything: gift-giving, dinners, parties, decorations, Christmas shows and experiences. Some of that would go on my charge card and some was cash. Luckily that’s all that is on my card and I could have it paid off by March. It’s crazy how fast one little holiday could add up to. The gifts to the children alone would be about $1,000. This has got to stop. Remember Susan Powter and the ” Stop the INSANITY!” slogan. Yeah, except I don’t need to lose weight, I need to lose this idea that I have to make the most magical Christmas every year. One could never be less than the previous year.
This Christmas will be focusing on being more frugal and enjoying the experiences more. Whether it’s visiting the local Tree Lighting ceremonies or taking the kids to see the local house lights in our area. No more expensive Christmas show, Train rides or Gingerbread Houses with Santa. Seriously, there was a make gingerbread house with Santa event and it was $50 per child. The second child is $10 off. So for $90 my kids came make a crappy cookie house and see Santa for 5 minutes. Sorry, I really dislike making gingerbread houses!! But the point is that I am going to focus more on fun frugal Christmas experiences this year.
As for presents, I have so many ladies’ dinners that have a white elephant present exchange. So $20-$25 gift limits there. The only positive thing about being a hoarder is: I have so many really nice new home décor that I have squirreled away in my house. I think it’s time to become a re-gifter or make a pretty craft with things I have. Luckily I am very crafty and bins upon bins of supplies. So that is how I am starting my December 1st! Vowing to cutting back on the cost of the holiday season and enjoying more family free experiences!
Cleaning out this hoarded toy room is going to be a 10 part series! If you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll quickly understand why this room is so hoarded! Since Santa brings 25 presents per child and the rest of the family follows suit in giving an additional 10 gifts per child, the value of toys make sense now. This year we are scaling back on gifts. If I want this toy room to finally be functioning, I cannot have another 50+ toys cluttering it back up. Plus, I now realize how wasteful this is. My kids don’t even play with all the toys. It could be from a combination of they can’t get in the room and there is just too much it’s overwhelming. I think all of the hours everyone had to work to afford those presents to just sit in a room, waiting for me to sell them at 80% off or donate to someone else. This is a new Christmas! A Christmas of enjoying experiences instead of buying more stuff. Below is a video of the progress we are making in the toy room!
It’s time for a confession: Santa brings the 25 presents each child for Christmas. Now before anyone screams out profanities, let me explain. As a child growing up in the 80’s, Santa brought me a minimum of 25 presents. It was like waking up to the Toys R Us Super Toy Run! I ran downstairs to see a plethora of gifts, candy and toys! Ohhh…it was glorious! I played with those toys until they broke. Jem & the Holograms, Barbie, She-ra and My Little Pony all hung out at Paradise Estates & Crystal Castle under the tree. I grew up thinking that was normal. So as I got married and had children, naturally Santa brings them 25 presents each too. And they have the same reaction I did…it’s like Toys R Us threw up all over the Christmas tree. It wasn’t until my brother-in-law pointed out that this was an insane amount of presents to give. He grew up with 5-10 presents under the tree with one of them being big. My husband experienced the same. He just let me do my thing because it had made me so happy. After talking to different people, I found out how excessive I was in my gift giving. This is so shocking to me. With Black Friday only 3 days away…I have decided to scale back this year. I will have to tell my boys that Santa will not being bringing as many presents as he did before. Big kids get bigger stuff like PS4 and iPads so it will be more around 10 gifts this year. I need to teach my children that this over consumption for Christmas is not okay.
In my journey of healing myself from my hoarding habits, I’ve found a few things that worked and a few things that have not worked. So far, one simple rule I made has been the most successful. That is why I named it my Number 1 rule to stop my hoarding and clutter in my house. It’s simply: “I need more things going out than coming in.” That’s it, very easy! It’s basic math really and holds a lot of truth. These past years in my house, I had way more stuff coming in and hardly anything going out. It’s time to reverse that equation. And to do that, I must restrict my shopping. All the impulse buying, yard sales, Facebook Marketplace, the Sharing Table and freebies had to stop. That’s what I have been doing and it’s working! I have three completely cleaned rooms now. Currently I’m working on my fourth room. If you’re a hoarder and you want to give this a try…I would start with something as simple as ten things going out versus one thing coming in. Don’t pick things that are very sentimental to you, I don’t care if it’s 10 pieces of paper. As long as you grow the habit of getting rid of things in your house, more things are still going out than coming in. Even if all you can handle is five things going out versus one thing coming in. Baby steps still move you forward and even if you are walking slowly, at least you are not walking backwards.