Minimalism is a huge part of my life but it hasn't always been. Prior to becoming a minimalist my life was chaotic and my kids were spoiled. I never wanted my kids to become spoiled, it just happened. Before having kids I knew exactly the type of mom I was going to be. I would sit and play with my kids every chance I had, I would show my kids how to appreciate their toys and to be respectful of others and most importantly, I would NOT raise spoiled kids.
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I became a parent. My son had everything he ever wanted or needed from the day he was born. We bought him toys left and right to make him feel "happy'. For some reason we thought happiness came in the form of things and foods. He ate popsicles every day and seemed to have every new hot wheel car. I was far from becoming a minimalist.
"I was failing at the parent game and that wasn't okay with me."
It was in that moment that I took a step back and realized how deep we had become in spoiling our children. I started researching minimalism and tiny houses. That left me with so many questions- "Why do we have all of these unnecessary things? Why do we fill our life with clutter? Where do I start?" I didn't want to empty my life of every single thing I owned but I wanted the few items I did own to mean something to me. What I wanted was to spend LESS time picking up toys and cleaning and MORE time with my kids.
"If I woke tomorrow and all my possessions were gone I would still be the happiest person in the world, I have an amazing husband and two little kids who make me smile each and every day."
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It was around this same time last year that the wildfires devastated Sonoma County. They tore through some of our favorite spots and destroyed homes. I couldn't sit back and watch as I was surrounded with everything I ever needed and they lost everything they ever had. I started to think hard about what I would grab on the way out- it was simple- my kids, my dog, my 2 cats, my husbands guitar, my camera and as many pictures as I could hold. Those were things that meant the most to me. Those are the things that fill my heart with never ending happiness. It was at that moment that I knew I had it in me to become a minimalist.
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How I Took Action...
I rallied my kids and we came up with tons to giveaway. That giveaway led us to throw a community wide garage sale and all the funds went straight to the fire victims. I was so proud of myself, my family and my amazing community. You can read more about our garage sale here.
I knew a community large garage sale wasn't in the books this year. As much as I wanted to throw one again, life was getting in the way and summer was passing by too quickly. I was scrolling facebook I saw a post from a local mom. Her house caught fire and they lost most of the things they owned. It was as if it was a sign to once again pass on things we no longer needed. We made it a family event. Our goal was to fill the kitchen table. Guess what?! WE DID IT!! The entire kitchen table was full of 15 stuffed bags. To say I was proud of my family was an understatement.
My son carried each bag to the car with the biggest smile across his face. On the way to visit the family he asked me many questions about their situation, "what happened? where will they go? are they okay?". At one moment he got very quiet. I asked him if he was okay. He reached up and handed me three of his favorite cars that were sitting in his seat. He held them out, "Mama will you give these to the baby, I don't need them anymore". That my friends was my proudest mom moment.
"The moment I knew that my kid was going to be just fine in this big bad world and that his kindness will be felt by many."
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