Less is more...
When we first learned that we were having twins, adding baby #4 and #5 to our crew, there was a great deal of shock and panic, which of course subsided over time, but if you ask my husband, he would confirm that we were living in a daze for a good month after the news. One thing that lead me to be overwhelmed was the amount of "stuff" I felt like we needed to accommodate two babies at the same time and then just the amount of "stuff" in general that our house would contain with having five children overall. Clutter is my enemy, I have hoarding tendencies, this situation wasn't looking in our favor.
With the twins, I was very thoughtful about what we absolutely needed and then began the process of downsizing the already growing pile of baby "things." With twins there are a few items you need two of - cribs, car seats, highchairs, and bouncy seats. But then there are things that you don't require an excess amount of, for example a baby really only needs a few blankets, compared to the 20+ my other boys had, so I had three blankets for Ryland and three for Caroline. I also started to get smart about clothing. Poor Ryland, he is the "hand-me-down King," being Ross Boy #4. The amount of boy clothing that I had for each size was ridiculous, so for him, I would pull out the boys' old things when it was time to change the closet, keep it simple by thinking, what do we need to get through the week and then sprinkle a few special items (possibly new because I felt bad for him, plus he needed to match his sister from time to time). I then do my best to not over do it with Caroline, gosh it's tough though!
We converted the bonus room upstairs to the twins' bedroom, so with the loss of that space our lower level has become our hub. It is a jungle, toys everywhere, so that has been something I've been working on as well. Here and there when a phase is over I'll sift through and donate those items that aren't being loved on as much. I don't know about you, but I have to do this when no one is looking because even if it is a toy that hasn't been touched in months, the minute they see it exit the lower level it becomes their favorite and the tears are endless. Maybe my kiddos have hoarding tendencies like their mama! I need to teach them the phrase "less is more." I see it as appreciating what you have and feeling fulfilled by those things compared to being showered in abundance when in reality too much can be overwhelming and heavy.
I had five children in seven years, so my closet has become an endless pit of clothes. I actually really liked my maternity wardrobe. I enjoyed it because it was simple, filled with basics that could be worn in different ways and enough pieces to get me through a couple weeks, but not overwhelming, like the rest of my closet. Because my body has changed I have two sizes floating around, items that are new and then some that are 15 years old (remember the hoarding tendencies). We are only a few weeks away from the start of a new school year and I took a moment to really look at my closet and felt like the clutter was suffocating me! Something clicked in my brain and I almost wished for my maternity wardrobe, so I've been purging my closet! Less is more. When your life feels like a circus every day, like mine, you have to find ways to simplify certain aspects, my clothing can be one I can easily control - so I'm knee deep in the process, focusing on basics, and quality.
Less is more. I think it's true beyond physical things as well. Quality is more important than quantity. That can go for the types of relationships you have in your life, are the ones you have bringing you joy, lifting you up, supporting you? Same goes for involvement. Sometimes I feel this need to "do more," be more involved in our community, have my children engaged in multiple activities. It's rewarding and fulfilling when you spend your time engaged in activities that are meaningful to you and that help you to find your path. Too much, whether that be physical things or emotional ties can add clutter, can be distracting, can weigh you down.
In my life, I need efficiency, I need structure, I crave calm. So with those needs I have found that if I continue this path of decluttering my life of physical things (clothing, toys), then they don't stack up and cause stress. The same goes for my emotional well-being, focusing on what I can wrap my arms around and letting go of things that are toxic (relationships, stress) then I can be my best me. I am by no means a minimalist, but I'm sizing down parts of my life to allow for more joy, accomplishment, and peace.