Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Pack Rat Stops Here

Welcome to the March edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Clearing the Clutter cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month our participants wrote about de-cluttering and cleaning up. Please check out the links to their thoughts at the end of this post.

Once I was pregnant, I vowed to leave my pack-rat ways behind.  I read "Beyond the Sling" by Mayim Bialik out of curiosity and one section of the book is about how babies don't need all these things.  It might seem obvious, but to me it was an epiphany. I started thinking about how simple a life could be without so many things.

My pragmatic husband would certainly be happier, and anyway, an expat lifestyle is easier without tons of stuff.  I wanted our new family and new life together to give me the opportunity to do something I'd never learned how to do before--let go of all the unnecessary junk and be happy living in the now.

That was back when I didn't know there were two babies.  Then when I found out we were having twins, I dutifully searched Google for registry recommendations.  How much stuff was I going to need to handle twins?  And of that stuff, how much was I really going to need?

Astro lends a critical eye as we go through clothes to see what still fits.
(This didn't!)
As a first time mom, it was hard to gauge.  But I knew I wanted less rather than more, and besides,  we would have to lug everything back with us (to Scotland) on an airplane, so I couldn't go overboard.  Now I'm learning that this is not a one-time struggle.

We've had it easy up until now; babies are babies and they need me and their papa and not much else for the time being.  But I do wonder how I will handle the coming years.  Simplicity doesn't come that naturally for me and I want to be an example for my children.  I know that I will need a more scrutinizing eye to judge what is truly necessary, and I should be creative in using what we have in new ways, and that I must be decisive when it comes to things we no longer have use for.

And, I'm so glad for my husband.  He is the yin to my yang!  When I'm in doubt, I can always count on him to be practical.  It doesn't hurt that his natural aesthetic is minimalist, either.  Sometimes I wonder how our styles work together, but that's where the magic is, I guess, and that's what I hope the babies will take away from us.  Not the packrattiness or surgically-clean spaces, but a healthy balance of respect for simplicity and fun.


  Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living into their lives by clearing out the clutter. We hope you will join us next month, as the Simply Living Blog Carnival focuses on Going Green!


  1. I remember feeling badly as a new mother that I didn't have all the latest gear. You are so right that babies need very little. How wonderful that you realized this early on and that you have your hubby to help keep your practical goals on sight.

  2. My husband's totally my critical eye, too! Sooo helpful to have that around.

    I didn't want much for my first baby but got more than I needed, anyway. For my second, I really needed nothing besides a car seat. It was so odd! But freeing.

  3. I can imagine that having twins would complicate the question of how much stuff you *really* need for them, for sure. It sounds like you've done really well so far, and thank goodness for partners that balance us out!

  4. I can so relate to this right now. In the year since we've moved overseas, I've learned that the more stuff I have, the more stressed I am. Now with baby on the way, I'm trying to do diligent research on what the real essentials are.


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