Last month, our Calgary team gathered for a delicious evening of team building, celebration, and togetherness. As we sat around the campfire making s'mores and catching up, a really great question was asked: of all the things we've learned and experienced in our years of professional organizing, what is one thing we have changed or implemented in our own lives or homes?
The answers were beautiful, thoughtful, and each one unique. A small glimpse into what matters most to our team, and valuable insight we felt was worthy of sharing with each of you.
Over the years and through different seasons of life, different priorities have come to the forefront for me. Initially my organization style was focused on minimalism- downsizing, minimizing, and only allowing what was absolutely essential to remain. Once it felt like we had reached a comfortable place with that, my focus shifted toward zero-waste - doing everything we could to create the least amount of waste as possible. These ideologies, of course, had to shift a bit after having babies - but finding the right balance and rediscovering what works best for out little family has been a really exciting focus for our current organizing journey.
Organizing has really made clear that my family's commitment to living small has value. Consciously choosing to live in a smaller space comes with it's fair share of sacrifices (and the occasional side-eye) but after 11 years of living in homes no bigger than 900sqft with my family of three, I can attest that the biggest upside for us is that physical closeness has fostered an environment of emotional closeness too. We only have space to hold on to things that are absolutely necessary, and very little time is spent with maintenance and upkeep of our house and our belongings, allowing for much more freedom, calmness, and simplicity in our day to day lives. Thats's not to say the same cant be true in larger homes, but for us, choosing a small home has given us so much freedom.
'The 5 Minute Tidy' is non-negotiable in our house. Over the years, I've seen firsthand how quickly things build up and can get out of control. By strictly sticking to a quick tidy-up/reset before we go to bed each night, we ensure that things never have a chance to build up and we're able to avoid getting to a place where our home feels overwhelming.
Once you truly commit to minimalism and downsizing your possessions, it can be addicting. The feeling of freedom and relief you achieve through lightening the load is unlike anything else in this world. Minimalism is a spectrum - from the far extremes of near-nothingness to a more moderate 'essentialism' - wherever you may find yourself on that spectrum (or wherever you hope to one day land) continue to push and edit and refine along the way. There is always something more that can be perfected as you go.
Whenever life feels out of control or overwhelming, coming home and editing and reorganizing my physical spaces allows me to calm down and feel in control again. As organizers, we know how significantly our physical space can effect our mental and emotional well-being, so taking the time to ensure our home feels like a calm, gentle sanctuary is really the ultimate act of self-care.
Having a baby forced me to get super clear on our priorities. Mommy blogs, Instagram, and everyone you know will give you an endless list of things you 'need' to have before your baby arrives. The reality is we need significantly less than what society tells us we do. And finding minimalism (but also balance) in new motherhood has been a challenge, but also the most rewarding experience.