the lazy gal’s guide : fear

Hello lovelies! We’re back with this series today!

So I tackled the baby clothes this last week. I think for me, personally, this is the hardest thing for me to part with. I can officially check (some of it) off my list.


The tiny little onesies… sweet little shoes… It’s an emotional journey, parting with some of these things. Anyone who’s been there understands. A bittersweet closing of a chapter in our lives. I’ve had to use my process of elimination time and time again, but with the exception of a few compromises, I’ve realized beyond anything what valuable real estate all of these clothes were taking up. I was holding on to all the boy clothes, claiming I would hand them down to my family… with no boys in sight. bBt it was time. So I found someone to bless, and (kind of) moved on. I was to that place.

It was hard. There were tears.

I still have some boxes to push through, (the tiniest of the tiny itty bitty precious clothes that I keep putting off) but a little progress at a time. I decided to hold on to a few special items per age, per child and purge the rest. I will probably revisit this but for now, it is what it is. I tend to give things emotional attachments (surprise!) and this is definitely one of them for me.


Baby clothes, however, are different than this:

aqua_blue_dresserFormerly residing on our Veranda, I no longer have room for this great little piece. I love it. But it currently serves no purpose in our lives. It’s ready to go to our garage sale (Which we will be holding here in the spring-stay tuned! We would love to meet some of you.) But I don’t want to part with it. It’s nothing special, I just think I might need it one day. Everyone’s situation is different. With what I do, sometimes holding on to things for a while to make sure I won’t be using them are worth it.

Emphasis on the sometimes.

I legitimately can conjure up no use for this piece in our current home. At some point, I have to let go. Maybe in three years I will have a house that has a corner and I will look longingly at said corner and wish I still had that piece. Really? Might I? How ridiculous do I sound? Maybe some of you guys can relate. It’s a tough call.

But it’s crowding our laundry room, and taking up space. (PS. yes, that is where we keep our spilled dog food. Hurray for messes.)

A few weeks ago we discussed the role of guilt and conviction the pursuing the simple life. I think there can be a lot of things that hold us back in the pursuit of a scaling back and having less.

Two of these main issues are guilt, and fear. And I know you guys can relate, because I keep seeing the reference to them come up in a lot of comments.

I think there’s a lot to be said for fear, and working through it.


Fear comes in different forms. Everyone deals with levels of fear in all areas of life. But in its definition, lies the key word for me.

Fear is an emotion.

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Guilt, is also an emotion.

A feeling imposed on you by something or someone else.

So if we feel a certain way, it takes time but we can change the way we let outside elements affect us. We’re the ones who are ultimately in charge of our own emotions, after all.

I, my dear friends, work on this every day.

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Conviction in contrast, is a fixed or firmly held belief.

Just like any real change in your life, if it’s going to last… it may start with emotion to drive you there but doesn’t it come down to that hard, rational decision within you to stay the course?

Take marriage for example. I fell in love with Jamin. We fell in love with each other. That was an initial emotion. An attraction. We made out. It was awesome. Now (insert reality + three offspring here) a decade later, we may not like each other every day (trust me, we have our days) so we often say it’s a good thing we love each other. Everyone’s situation is different but for us personally, every day marriage is a choice. Sometimes it’s a simple choice. Sometimes we revisit that choice. It’s the ebb and flow of life and marriage and we ultimately come back to our covenant. Every single time.

I know. Stay with me. Marriage = purging = whaaa?
{If this video isn’t loading, hit refresh. I think you’ll be glad you did for a little happy. ;}}

That doesn’t mean that the emotions aren’t still there. But when it comes down to it, we’re sticking to our guns. For us, it’s a predetermined operation.

I think that our two biggest enemies, when it comes to anything, are fear and guilt.

Letting those two emotions in (usually kickstarted by something else) gives birth to a plethora of different things and in turn can paralyze our growth. Our progress.

family_tree-01I mean, maybe not in this particular order (and maybe overwhelmption isn’t really a word) but isn’t that usually what happens when we give in to these emotions?

It can be an endless cycle. A downhill panic attack of what-ifs. You can apply this to anything in life and negative thoughts.

I’ve often said that the state of your home is a great reflection of where you are in life. I think the same can be said for purging, and resisting those bad emotions while you fight to change something. It isn’t easy. It truly is a battle.

Fear. It’s something we have to shake off and move on with. No matter what we apply it to in life… it can limit us from so many things, and ultimately stop us from changing the way we live.

If we’re seeking a life of simplification we can’t give into it.

When it comes to purging, some of our fears are perfectly rational. There are some pieces that are worth holding on to. That wisdom comes with time, and the ability to step back and process your priorities.

It’s all about meeting your ultimate goal for your home and family, so it’s a little give and take on both sides of the fence.

But maybe some of them are just a little doubt that we tend to blow out of proportion with our own perspectives. I know I tend to over think. All the time. To my extreme detriment, it’s how I’m wired. I have to do my best not to apply this trait to every relationship/space/item (insert any noun here) I see with my artist/designer/emotional attachments personality. I mean, it’s not all my fault, but I did get us into this little conundrum in the first place.

Discretion. How to you apply it with fears and purging your home? Is it something you struggle with? How do you move past it?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Have an inspired day, not-so-lazy gals!

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Responses to the lazy gal’s guide : fear

  1. Lucinda says:

    I have all of the emotions you describe but with my job not purging. I find getting rid of stuff very therapeutic but I’m much older and one child is a senior in college. Wait till you have to move a parent into a nursing home you become resentful of all of the junk you’ve (they’ve) accumulated it clutters life for the good stuff.

  2. Just to address the issue of baby clothes. I still have two large buckets/tubs of my daughter’s baby stuff. She is 21. I looked through it a few years ago and cannot imagine why I saved most of it. Really. It now holds no, none, zip emotional attachment like it did when she was small. Hard to imagine but true. I admit, I still have it but not because I want it, it just happens to sit in the deep dark recess of a storage closet and it would be more work to throw it away than leave it there. I know, I know…someday I’ll tackle that closet.

  3. Oh the baby clothes… I haven’t had kids yet, but I can see myself doing the same thing. Letting go of all those tiny pieces will be so hard… but I’ve always thought I would create a quilt out of them? That way you can remember and re-use them in a new way!

  4. amanda says:

    I love that beautiful piece. Wish I could be at your yardsale, i’d probably be the person knocking at the door at like 6 am, all like “aren’t you having a yard sale, I wanted to buy that amazing piece you shared on your blog a few months back!!” Anyhow – I love to purge and organize…seriously I do it for fun. Yet there are certain things even I want to hold on to. Cards, letters, used to feel the need to keep gifts, even ones I didn’t like. Now I can purge the gifts w/o feeling guilty (okay except for the occasional gift or two that I just feel bad giving away) but w/ cards, I love that someone took the time to send me one and it’s such a personal gesture. Yet I have no desire to have a huge bin of cards one day! Sigh. Love this series – it’s amazing! Oh and so is the Ebook, seriously ya’ll, get one!

  5. Nancy Woo says:

    Thanks for the post. Very inspired to tackle my boxes.

  6. Nathalia says:

    You know, maybe you will regret not having kept that armoire one day, because you just found the perfect corner for it. But then, there are so many other armoires looking for a home out there.
    I know when we had only two days to clear my mothers home I had to make decisions so quick I got frazzled, and I am very resentful about it now. But then the questions I constantly had to ask was “Do you need it?” and if that was a no, it was “Do you absolutely love it?” and if the answer was also no, like with the larger part of the books, I now know that there would have been no point in keeping them, and I would propably purge them now. Besides, if I really remember a book and want to reconnect with my mom, I can just go out there and buy that book.

  7. Bobbi Jo says:

    This post is CRAZY because I am dealing with all of this RIGHT NOW!!! I want so badly for everything to be perfect and in its place and organized and in reality Im barely able to keep the house surface cleaned all week….so then I get discouraged and I give up and I get overwhelmed and then I do not even want to clean, I kind of just keep my head above water until I have time to really dig in….but when do we really have time to dig in??? Its so frustrating so Im trying to focus because I am easily distracted when cleaning and organizing and crafting! One baby step or task at a time and let the rest go….and somehow be ok with the fact that everything is not perfect all at once!!
    BLESSINGS , Bobbi~

  8. Laura says:

    Thank you for your sharings about life, home, emotions, organizing…I have only read your blog for a short time, but it seems that each time I do a part of it resonates within me. I am delving into life and I love it!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Overwhelmption. I am so giggling. :)

  10. Paula Abay says:

    Life is all about adapting to change. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it, learn from it and move on. As you said-keep a few special baby items (for me it was the smocked dresses I made my girls) and instead of embracing sadness, embrace joy and thankfulness for the growth in your children. Enjoy the change in them too!

  11. Amanda :) says:

    Oh, have I been there many a time. I try hard NOT to be an emotional pack rat (or pack rat, for that matter) and like you, have “purged” closets, old shoes and clothes I will never wear and ….baby clothes & toys, keeping only the most cherished. I toss only the drawings/school projects the kids approve of, they get a say in what mom keeps. As excited I am to receive their artwork, I have no room and they understand :) I have kept a few things from each of their school years nicely packed away and at the end of each year revisit the pile with each child. I love the simplicity of things and am overwhelmed when my home is not in order. NOT because of other’s views, well maybe a tiny bit but mostly because I am a visual person. Visual chaos creates mental chaos, its a yucky place to be in when you’re also a multi-tasker, planner, organizer, etc. So, I am always in cleanup/simplify mode, but the reward is sweet. When I look around and REALLY see how blessed I am, not by possessions but by the memories we’ve made as a family in this home, all I can do is say “Thank you Lord”
    And to honor him, I WILL respect the home and anything else I’ve been blessed with and take care of my family to the best of my ability. It is a daily choice.
    Thanks for sharing and letting me ramble :)

  12. Tammy says:

    I also struggle with the same problem. I have a loft/attic full of baby stuff that I can’t bare to part with, I struggle to get rid of anything as I treasure everything especially anything giving to me as a gift or passed on to me. It drives my husband nuts! One of my grandmothers collected all sorts of things, hoping to find a priceless antique my other Grandmother lived a tough life and only really possessed what she needed but was also extremely frugal and wasted nothing. I seam to have inherited both of their traits ha ha

  13. Kara says:

    Oh my holy cow…I love, love, lovedy-love that infographic on the marriage of ridiculously high and expectations…perfection!

  14. Harbormom says:

    I’m 70, so the only thing I have to sort do is let down the hems in all the dresses I smocked for my now-33 year old daughter, so her 4-year old can wear them. But I am in love with your dresser-and-mirror. Just tell me where to come pick it up! And I’m not kidding!

  15. tiffini says:

    I’ve often said that the state of your home is a great reflection of where you are in life…..i read something similar awhile back combined with my daughters cry for help for our home…i delved into getting rid of everything – it is going slow due to job etc. but we are taking steps and it feels so good
    cause…i can own that my house is a reflection of my heart..yikes! that scared me
    love your heart girl…you keep inspiring and staying real…xo

  16. Nicole says:

    Oh gosh, what a great and timely post! I’m in the process of purging to move and I am definitely in the “keep all the things” camp. Craft supplies and ‘nice’ clothes I’ve personally outgrown (but hope to wear again) are my biggest Achilles heel and I’ve often gotten rid of items in past manic purges I wish I still had today (guilt + money spent replacing the items). I come from a long line of keepers though, so I blame it on genetics… and work through it as best I can, keeping a little bit to ease the purge (kind of like that one dessert night a week when on a diet). And regular revisiting of items that got kept and still sit unused months or years later…

    As for baby clothes – my mom had a bin of my clothes, and her mom had a bin of hers… I LOVE looking at my mom’s baby clothes (beautifully made sheer dressed with satin slips), but don’t give two figs about mine – except for a couple of knit pieces that I put on my own daughter. However all the toys my mom kept my toddler now plays with regularly and I’m oh so glad she kept those! I try to keep that in mind when purging… that and I take regular “outfit” photos of my daughter – they’re much easier to store!

  17. Kristen says:

    I had tubs and tubs of baby things. Two years ago I went thru them…my daughters were 6 and 4. And I cried and cried and cried. I have one tub full of things I’m keeping, my favorites. I still have pack n plays, strollers, a high chair and other any things that I’m having a hard time parting with. I was holding out hope that there would be another.

  18. Tonya says:

    I cut six inch squares from all my favorite baby/toddler clothes and sewed a patchwork throw. It just felt wrong chopping up all the cute clothes but each piece holds a memory and this allowed me to keep the memories without the clutter. I only have minimal sewing skills so it took awhile but it wasn’t too difficult (and totally worth it). I even included a patch of torn blue jean knee because if you have a son you know the memories that represents! My son is almost a teenager now (how the heck did that happen?) and he LOVES the blanket so much that he has me saving patches from his favorite tees so I can make him another one someday.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve run across your projects on pinterest, but have just started actually following your blog… what a pleasant surprise! I’ve enjoyed your humor and insight.

    Your post has really struck a chord with me. We are at this tipping (aka breaking) point in our lives. We have a lot going on… but I’m just starting to realize how much is attributed to the “clutter” in our lives. I thought it was just our stuff, but I’m learning differently. One of the biggest forms of clutter for us, though, IS our expectations. They are, as you so beautifully illustrated, WAY too high and littered with things that are not necessary for us right now.

    I know for me the main thing I need to let go of is “expectation clutter” so I can truly focus and care for the areas of my life that are the most precious. I think I need to frame your graphic and put it on the fridge so I can keep on track… ha!

  20. Sharon says:

    Wow….! I am parked there! Just yesterday I started “working on the basement” and trying to purge from the disaster I’ve gotten us into! Everything has a story…as in who it was from….where it came from….where we were when….but I’m SUFFOCATING from the overwhelming-ness!!!! I’ve finally decided I’ve got to make the decision to DO SOMETHING about it. I’ve found the best way for me to let go ….after I make the decision to get rid of something … is to take it IMMEDIATELY to my car so I can get rid of it right away. I try not to let anyone else in the house “look in the bag” or else it ends up sitting somewhere else in the house again. It’s helping! I want a clutter-free life. I want simplicity…..ans I’m determined to make it happen!!!! Thanks for the post!!

  21. Bekah says:

    As the recipient of your baby clothes purge… I’d like to give a big ol’ thank you shout out! Seriously, I know how hard that was to purge. I have done that a couple of times and I get all weepy and depressed every time… I hope it comforts you to know that we truly appreciate it (being a fellow YM family w/ 3 kiddos…), and I have already enjoyed putting Abel in several things. Hopefully it helps you to know their things went to a place full of boys and a mama who will take good care of them… And find someone else sweet to pass them to when we have out grown them! :)

  22. Christine B says:

    Have you thought about turning some of those baby clothes into a ‘memory quilt’? There are some really fantastic ones around if you look on pinterest. Choose some of the best patterns and colours, cut some clothes into squares, but some others you can leave whole and sew on as actual clothes, or socks, or hats etc. It will get use as a functional throw quilt, and you can make one for each of your babies.
    I just used my absolute favourite little newborn onesie of my son’s on the cover of a 12×12″ photo album, I sewed it to the front. It will be an album of all his best childhood photos. I’ll be doing the same when my next baby grows out of his new onesies (I’ll be meeting our next son soon, I’m due in July). Some parents have even framed some of the really special pieces. I know you don’t have an aversion to framing memories 😉
    Those are just some ideas to get those little precious memories out of storage and into your life again!

  23. Nicole S says:

    I don’t look forward to the day when I’m purging baby clothes. Just packing them away for our next little one (hopefully) brings me to tears. Great entry.