Neurodiverse Minimalism with Limited Spoons

One day I noticed my daughter frantically cleaning our living room. She enjoys cleaning and does it often, but I could tell that this particular cleaning session was troubling her. 
I asked her what was wrong.
“Our house is small and our stuff always everywhere.”
She’s 3. 
Viking Man and I are both Neurodivergent. The world around us always seems chaotic and messy. Despite my, quite literal, clean freak nature at times, it was becoming impossible to stay on top of all the little messes our family of 5 can create in our 600ish square foot home. 
Considering we live in such a small home, and we spent a few years of our early family days in the Navy, we’ve always been slightly minimalistic. Despite only owning easily packable things, we still owned a lot of things that didn’t hold much meaning to us or were multiples of the same thing (I.E. a gazillion Legos). 
Over the past month I’ve been working through each section of our tiny house, slowly tossing, donating, and organizing our things. This is a slow endeavor for someone like me. I have to go through and thoroughly clean everything, even though it’s all been recently cleaned. I also have to take breaks because of my spinal disorder limiting my mobility at times. Not to mention, I have three little ones underfoot trying to help me. I also have to do all of this while my husband is away at work, but also provide him with details about what I will be changing, because too much abrupt change can be problematic for him. Not in the abusive spouse kind of way, but the “I’m stimming because this is freaking me out” kind of way. 
During this entire experiment towards minimalism, I’ve learned some very valuable lessons. 
The first lesson being that it’s okay to have a large amount of things if they bring you happiness. I have a lot of kids and a lot of books. Both bring me joy and happiness, so I’ll be pairing down on neither. In fact, I intend on increasing those numbers… eventually. 
The second lesson I’ve learned is that social media/internet should also be a part of every minimalist’s purging process. I’ve decided to ditch Facebook, because it was bringing very little joy to my life and causing me to waste time versus the return in value it was giving me. Instead, I use Twitter to relay my thoughts and Instagram to share pics. I only use either about once or twice a day and am on them for maybe 15 minutes total. If someone wants to talk to me, or I them, we have to actually pick up the phone and text them, email them, or write a letter. Either method seems to hold more meaning and attachment than scrolling through Facebook and liking posts ever did. 
Lastly, I’ve learned that relationships are also something every minimalist should look into in their pairing down attempts. Some of my family members are very toxic, but I’ve held on to them because, you know, family. Ironically, when I gave up Facebook, I stopped hearing from them. It’s too much effort for them to pick up the phone and call, or to write an email, so I’m no longer worth their time. Easiest purge yet. 
All of this is still a work-in-progress. I haven’t found the happy medium for organizing our homeschool area, or how to help my husband not panic anytime I utter the word ‘purge’, but things are beginning to look clearer. 
I feel happier. 
The kids seem happier about having fewer toys to pick up. 
And Viking Man seems moderately okay with all of this, so long as I remember to cook dinner and give him space for healthy stimming.
I’ve adjusted to using less internet by reading and writing more. I’ve also been baking, a lot. So those are all major pluses. Not to mention, it’s been ages since I’ve stepped on a Lego. Okay, maybe just a week of no Lego pain. But still, that’s progress.  

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3 thoughts on “Neurodiverse Minimalism with Limited Spoons

  1. Oh my! I definitely understand clutter! 6 kids equals a lot of accumulated stuff! I too am in the process of purging. Since I’m not having any more kids I am slowly going through clothes to get rid of or donate the things we can’t reuse, the things that are stained or holy, the toys we don’t need. Clothes are hard because some hold sentimental value. Toys on the other hand I am ok with getting rid of. Books too, I have a hard time getting rid of those. But I am trying! I just bought a few new shelves from ikea to wrangle the books. Good luck with your endeavor 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My wife is a minimalist and tends towards OCD. I’m pretty messy and tend to “creative” chaos. Our daugther is the messiest and dirtiest person I’ve ever met. It’s tough. We do purges regularly and try to keep at least the living room in good order. We have no knick-knacks (sp?) and no toys are allowed to sleep in the living room. We used to have a “clean surfaces” policy but we are laxer now, specially since my work desk is in the living room and I have no place to hide my office stuff (I work from home full time). We are now remodeling our home following permaculture principles (yeah!) and in preparation we are having a mayor purge. I also feel springs makes you want to get rid of things that no longer have a place in your life, right?
    Cheers,
    Lucía

    Liked by 2 people

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