Happy Monday! I'm excited to participate in the book tour for Melissa Michaels' newest book, Make Room for What You Love...and I'm in good company with a slew of other awesome home bloggers. Melissa asked each of us to talk about a way that we're simplifying our home and life, making room for what we love. For me, the topic was easy: making room for our first baby! I realized that part of the reason we've been so eager to buy a house is that we have TOO MUCH STUFF. We think we're outgrowing our rental, when really we just need to cut down the clutter. Eventually, we will "need" a bigger house. But for now, our current place is perfectly sufficient. It's 1200 square feet, with 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a den. That is more than enough for two adults and one tiny baby! Some people in New York and London raise families in homes that are half that size! I admit, I want to buy a bigger house...but we don't need to. So last weekend, we decided to "make room" in our current house. We went through every single room and consolidated closets, made giant Goodwill piles, and threw away junk we were storing for no good reason. We do a little spring cleaning every year, but this is the first time we've ruthlessly gone through everything--and it felt gooood.
The result is that we were able to clear out the entire extra bedroom for the nursery! We'd considered renting a storage unit for the stuff in there, so it was VERY satisfying to cross that off (and save ourselves $60/month).
Going through the house also made me realize that I have enough clothes, shoes, pillows, and decorative tchotchkes to last me a long, long time. So going forward, I want to be really deliberate about anything new that I buy. I recently heard a saying that I liked: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." I'm not going to stop shopping altogether (we still need diapers and clothes for our baby!), but I want to be way more critical about every purchase, especially since we are entering a new season of life where money is going to be tighter. I realize that "making room for what you love" can apply to lots of things. Not just physically making space in your house, but also making room in your budget, schedule, etc.
For example, we've decided to both take three months of maternity/paternity leave when the baby is born. Half of that time will be unpaid for me, and all of it will be unpaid for Ben. But we think it's worth it, because we'd rather have that time together as a new family, than the money we would make (or the stuff we could buy with that money). I'm sure becoming parents will lead to many more decisions like that, where we learn to prioritize what matters most, even if that means letting go of something else.
What are some ways that you've made room for what's important in your home/life?
For the rest of the book tour, check out these lovely bloggers:
Eleven Gables / At the Picket Fence / Fieldstone Hill Design / Julie Blanner / Southern Hospitality / Beneath My Heart / Thrifty Decor Chick / Reluctant Entertainer / My Sweet Savannah / Domestic Fashionista / 320 Sycamore / Sunny Side Up / Craftberry Bush / Happy Happy Nester / The White Buffalo Styling Co / Sweet and Simple Home / Finding Home Farms / In My Own Style / Fox Hollow Cottage / The House of Silver Lining / Infarrantly Creative / Shabby Nest / Today's Creative Life / Sarah M. Dorsey Designs / Emily A. Clark / Just A Girl