Dipping a Toe into Minimalism

Dipping a Toe into Minimalism

I have always kept the common places in my house uncluttered.  Everything has its place and there are not too many things.  I have an aversion to clutter, it actually stresses me out.

But, that hasn’t stopped me from hiding all of my clutter in the guest room.  It is all in there, hiding in the closet and drawers.  Things I have not touched since I moved into this house, six years ago!!  Why have I been keeping this stuff?  There are boxes and drawers that I don’t go in, but I think that I need them there.  Why do I need them?  What kind of security are those boxes giving me?  Will I really ever need that stuff?

In case you couldn’t tell, I have been reading about minimalism lately (lol).  Reading is an understatement, I have been devouring minimalism content.  The Minimalist say that minimalism is not about having few or no possessions, “Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.”

Interesting.  All of this STUFF I have could actually be holding me back.  I’ve held on to it for years, moving from place to place (I used to move every two years before this latest 6 year stint); it has not been adding any value to my life.  It has been getting in the way, dragging me down.  I began to question all of the stuff around me.  It seemed like perfect timing that as I began to question all of this STUFF, and as it started to weigh on me a long holiday weekend approached…

I spent part of the long holiday weekend going through the guest room closet and my bookshelf.  I got most of the way through the guest room closet, here are two photos of that accomplishment.








The items on the floor are trash, on the bench is the donate pile and not pictured is a television to sell.  The second picture is a trash bag full of papers and old cards to throw away, and I have a box full of paper that I need to shred before I throw them away.

When I threw the trash pile away, it took me a few trips, I felt relieved.   I had held on to all of this stuff for no reason!  There were old memorabilia/junk that I don’t even remember where I got them.  Worn out clothes, clothes I have not worn in years (YEARS) that I am donating. While I like to re-read books that I own, there are books with themes I no longer support that I still owned.  I guess I hung on to them so my book shelf would look full….that’s a silly reason to own something!

I still have a long way to go, this was just my first pass at the clutter.  I will be taking time to go through each area of the house to get rid of items that don’t add value to my life.  This experience has really opened my eyes to the benefits of being mindful when you allow stuff/possessions into your life.

Are you wondering how to get started?  You don’t have to be a minimalist to do this activity.  The act of going through your items to ensure they add value to your life is something anyone can do.

  1. As yourself, are there any areas in your home that gather clutter?  Do you hide things in the guest room like me?  Is your closet full of items you have not worn in years?  Do you have multiple junk drawers?
  2. Start in one location. Pull each item out and study it.  When is the last time you used this?  Will you need it in the future?  Do you still like this item?  Does this item add value to your life?
  3. For items you decide to get rid out, put either in a trash pile, donate pile, or sell pile.
  4. Throw the trash pile away immediately after you finish for the day! This way these items can’t sneak back into the drawer.
  5. For the donate pile, log all of the items you are donating. You can claim these donations when you do your yearly taxes.
  6. Take pictures of the items in the sell pile and list online to sell!
  7. Repeat as needed.

I am just learning about minimalism and thoroughly enjoying it.  Do you practice minimalism?  What techniques do you use to ensure you only bring items that add value into your home?  Do you have a time of year you declutter or have a “one in one out” policy? I would love to hear from you!

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