Category Archives: House

Inside My Minimalist Wardrobe

My Minimalist Wardrobe - Autumn/Winter

I used to own a lot of clothes.

Most of them I never wore and many more I didn’t feel great in. There were a few impulse purchases that hung in my wardrobe, tags still attached, and many more I had completely forgotten about. Typically I wore about 20% of my clothes 80% of the time and found getting dressed stressful because nothing ever fit or, despite my overflowing cupboards, I had nothing to wear.

Then, as part of my first big decluttering effort, I got rid of at least half of my clothes. I’ve since readjusted and continued to cull items, but until last week I’ve never actually counted what I own and I’ve certainly never taken the time to lay out my clothes and photograph them.

As the idea of minimalist or capsule wardrobes gains popularity I’ve been asked a lot about the clothes I wear so last week I removed every item from my wardrobe, hung it on the wall and photographed it. Honestly, as someone who really doesn’t put a lot of importance on stuff, it felt weird and self-involved. But it was also really instructive.

It turns out I have fewer clothes than I thought, and there are items I’m sure I don’t need. The photo below shows almost all of my winter clothes. There are a few pieces not pictured (because laundry) but with the additions listed below, here is a look inside my minimalist wardrobe:

My Minimalist Wardrobe (Autumn/Winter)

 

My Minimalist Shoes/Accessories - Autumn/Winter

As you can see, I have a fondness for grey, plaid shirts, Chuck Taylors and denim. I’m a teen of the 90s, what can I say?

Not pictured:

  • grey hoodie
  • black rainjacket
  • black trenchcoat
  • 2 pairs black tights
  • socks (2 sports, 1 woollen, 2 black everyday socks)
  • underwear
  • pyjamas
  • sunglasses
  • year-round exercise clothes (full-length running tights, 3/4 length yoga pants, running shorts, 3 tshirts/tanks, 1 zippered rain-proof fleece)

Before I go in to the details any further, there’s some things to keep in mind about my personal situation and how it may differ to yours:

1. I live in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney, Australia. It does get cool in winter (but never really cold) and very warm in summer, and I’m fortunate that my wardrobe doesn’t need to extend into the negative degrees very often. Much of what I wear is transitional, and all of the tshirts, tanks, and most shirts pictured above stay in my wardrobe year-round. Winter mostly means packing away the shorts, sandals and singlets, while pulling out the jackets, scarves and boots. It’s a pretty easy climate to have a small wardrobe.

That being said, we spent a month in the Canadian Rockies over Christmas, where it does get very cold (it got down to -32C while we were there) and my wardrobe extended to that weather too, with a few additions.

Aside from our snowboarding gear I took my normal clothes plus:

  • down jacket
  • 2 pairs thermal pants
  • 2 thermal undershirts
  • 2 long tanks
  • 2 woollen hats
  • mittens
  • heavy duty snow boots
  • 4 pairs woollen socks

It really was a matter of layering, rather than having an entirely different wardrobe. And I never once felt cold.

(Yes, I do realise that holidaying for one month is different to having to live and work in that climate. I tell you this mostly to show that even when you live in an area with four very distinct seasons, much of what you wear can work across a wide range of temperatures.)

2. I work from home and have two young kids. I don’t go to a lot of events (but when I do, this collection of clothes works 95% of the time, which I’ll explain below). I spend most of my days in jeans and tshirts because that’s what works, particularly when I’m cleaning, playing, gardening, working, cooking, running errands etc.

My style is casual and my lifestyle allows me to embrace that. If I worked in a corporate environment or retail, my wardrobe would look a little different.

3. I’m not a fashionista. Obviously. And while I love saying “on fleek”, I’m not really interested in being it.

But if you can forgive me for being a little shallow for a moment, I like looking put together, I like having my own style and I’m always drawn to looks that aren’t about trends. Classic, interesting, quirky? Yes. But fashion magazine trends? Nothankyouverymuch.

I like what I like and I love that trends play very little role in that any more. Most of the clothes pictured are at least 3 years old and I very rarely have a problem wearing the same things over and over. In fact, I like it. I like the non-decisions involved in getting dressed most mornings, I love knowing what suits me and I don’t really care much what others think about it anymore. (Basically, I love being in my 30s.)

For example, my black Chucks are 12+ years old, my denim jacket is a 90s original that I’ve owned since I was 15, the black wool pencil skirt is 6+ years old and the mustard miniskirt is an ebay special from the 1970s. Trendy I am not.

So, how did I get here?

It’s hard to break down a process that took years to gradually work through, and I’d caution against the whole “toss everything and rebuild a wardrobe from scratch” approach, unless you have a significant budget and, frankly, a whole lot of time.

This might mean living with items you don’t really like, getting clothes repaired a few times to stretch their shelf-life, or living with fewer items than is strictly comfortable until you’re able to replace or replenish. Over the years I’ve done all of those things in order to have a small wardrobe I really dig.

Over the past few years I have gradually been able to:

  1. Remove items from my wardrobe that no longer fit, are stretched, torn, stained or just make me feel a bit crap. (These are often the items you put on in the morning but change out of before leaving the house because you feel bleurgh while wearing them.)
  2. Establish my personal style. I’ve always loved good quality jeans paired with tshirts and Chucks, collared shirts with a jumper/sweater, chunky boots and tights, a denim jacket over a dress… These are outfits I wear almost every day because I like them. Taking time to work out what your personal style is can take a while, but a big indicator is to look at what you are consistently drawn to. Pare these looks back to the essentials and start there. A pair of jeans, black pants, a black skirt, button-ups, tshirts – these are the foundation to most styles.
  3. Find good quality brands for the items I wear most often. Over the years I have discovered which brand of jeans, plain tshirts, hoodies, knit jumpers, sneakers and sandals fit me well and last the test of constant wear, and I go back to these time and time again. Sometimes that means I pay more, but when I wear my jeans 5 days a week I don’t mind paying extra. PLUS, knowing the brand, the size, the fit of these basics means I can shop online (when I need something) and find what I’m after either on sale or, my personal favourite, second-hand.
  4. Learn how to mix and match for maximum effect. Every item I own can be worn in multiple outfits, and that’s by design. I’ve gradually removed everything that doesn’t fit easily with my other items and now, for example, I can make a grey tshirt work for 95% of occasions by pairing it with:
    1. my black pencil skirt, a tan belt, tan heels, clutch and aqua necklace
    2. black skinny jeans, black flats, khaki jacket and aqua necklace
    3. blue patterned skirt, black belt, black tights, denim jacket and black boots
    4. dark denim skinny jeans, purple and grey heels and clutch
    5. jeans, black belt, white chucks, aqua necklace and navy blazer
    6. jeans, grey plaid shirt, chunky scarf, black chucks and parka… (Plus I can replace the grey tshirt with a blouse or a white tshirt and triple the options immediately.)
  5. Stop caring what other people think about my wardrobe choices. Because, to be perfectly honest with you, they’re probably not thinking about it at all. No-one cares if you wear the same clothes all the time. No-one will notice. And, if you create a small wardrobe that works well, you won’t be wearing the same things all the time anyway.
  6. Stop buying things on impulse. These were almost always the items that didn’t fit in with the rest of my clothes, were poorly made, didn’t last more than two washes or that made me feel a bit crap when wearing them. Stop buying them and start buying things that work for you and save both money and time.
  7. Look after the clothes I own. I get my jeans repaired, I don’t wash my clothes unless they’re dirty, I have my shoes resoled, I use laundry bags for all my delicates, I line dry… These changes mean I don’t have to replace clothes as often as I used to, which in turn means that when I do, I can afford to spend slightly more.

How does my wardrobe work?

Most days you will find me wearing a combination of:

  • tshirt or button-up shirt
  • knitted jumper or hoodie
  • jeans
  • black belt
  • Chucks or riding boots
  • khaki jacket or black parka

If you look at my tshirts, shirts and jumpers, those items alone give me at least 12 different top options. Add in three pairs of jeans, three everyday skirts with tights and boots and three jacket options and that’s pretty much what I wear all the time. Honestly. It’s really simple.

I can live on the edge and wear a dress sometimes (crazy!) and I also have some casual tops (the feather patterned top, black blouse, green cardigan, grey and black sloppy joe) that I wear with jeans or a skirt.

I’ve never sat down and actually worked out how many outfits I can make from this collection of clothes, but at a glance I would say that I could make well over 100 combinations with the clothes I own. That’s not to say I do, because I really don’t care that much, but if I wanted to, I could.

So that’s a look inside my wardrobe.

It feels a little weird spending so much time writing about stuff (particularly in light of last week’s post on This Season’s Must-Haves) but I know the wardrobe is an area that many people struggle to work through.

With that in mind I’ve written a bonus post this week (be sure to check back in tomorrow) where I answer some of the most common questions about creating a minimalist wardrobe, including budget, finding a style, fancy events, laundry and how to get started.

And on Thursday I’m super excited to bring you a podcast episode with Courtney Carver, creator of minimalist wardrobe challenge Project333.

I guess that means it’s the unofficial wardrobe week here on the blog…

Further Reading:

 

How to deal with sentimental clutter

How to deal with sentimental clutter

A few weeks ago I had a documentary crew out to our house. They were filming a short piece on the emergence of minimalism in Australia and asked me to be involved.

I was really excited to be asked, but I won’t lie: I was terrified. Terrified of being on camera. Terrified of sounding like a privileged douchebag. Terrified of being found a fraud when people exclaimed, “That’s not minimalism!”

Part of the shoot was done in the small garden shed we use as secondary storage. In it we keep things like our lawn-mower, my gardening gear, house paints, camping equipment, outdoor toys, a couple of boxes of Christmas decorations and one memory box per person.

I was asked to open each of the memory boxes to show how I manage to keep a balance between sentimentality and clutter. I was happy to do this until I was asked to open a plastic crate down on the bottom shelf.

I had no idea what was in there. I knew it was my stuff, but it could have been anything.

Upon opening it I realised it was old marketing materials, catalogues, business cards, order forms, inspiration boards, design sketches and press clippings from my jewellery label. I had not thought about this stuff in over two years, and it’s been more than four years since I closed down the business. The question wasn’t, “What is it?” but rather, “Why do I still have it?!”

I muttered some kind of excuse as to why I still had this clutter, and swiftly moved on.

But over the following days I really thought about it a lot.

I remember having gone through all this stuff during one of my biggest purges, and going back to look at the contents now I can see I did keep only what was interesting or had some sentimentality attached to it.

It’s really interesting to go back and trace your journey towards simplicity by looking at what you’ve held on to during various purges. By looking at the contents of this box I could see the process of becoming less attached to my business (and the goals, successes and stories tied to it) but hadn’t been ready to let go. I could, however, see a big shift, and the good news was that I had been intentional about it rather than blindly keeping everything related to my business.

And, when it comes to dealing with sentimental items, I think that is the key: Be intentional.

We need to be intentional about what to keep and what to let go of. Instead of looking at the box of trinkets or childhood items and saying, “Argh! I can’t decide so I’ll keep it all,” we need to make a decision.

If that decision is, “I love this thing and want to keep it,” then that’s perfect. If that decision is, “I don’t know yet,” that’s OK. It might be the best answer for now. But you need to ask the question. You need to be intentional about keeping things. Otherwise it will continue to be just clutter.

So last week, I headed out to the shed and opened that last remaining box of deferred decisions.

It was interesting to look through the contents and see what I had thought was important. I didn’t feel bad for having kept it, but upon inspection more than 2 years later, I realised it had changed from stuff I had intentionally chosen to keep, to clutter.

And I realised that the transformation from clutter to sentimental works both ways.

When we are initially faced with the idea of simplifying our home, we balk at the idea. “But this isn’t clutter! All this stuff is sentimental!”

Then we move a little further into our journey and we realise that much of that sentimental stuff is, in fact, just clutter. Deferred decisions, guilt and a lack of time.

We move through that clutter slowly, methodically, keeping what we believe to be important. It becomes sentimental again.

It gets packed away, saved for posterity. Then we rediscover it, hiding in a dusty box in the shed, and we realise that it’s no longer sentimental. It’s changed back to being just clutter. Much of it is stuff that we were simply afraid to be without, but with the passage of time has come the realisation that it’s OK.

And so it was that I found myself looking through the contents of that box in the shed. It was interesting, but I was ready and happy to let it all go. So I did. Every single piece.

I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a (brief) moment of fear as I picked up each of these items and put them in the recycling box. But, quite literally, the second I let the item drop from my hands, I felt a lightness. A relief. A release. And I knew I was making the right decision.

Death to the ironing pile!

Death to the ironing pile

Growing up, my mum was Master of the Laundry.

No sooner had you discarded your dirty clothes than they were in the washing machine, hung, dried, ironed and back on the bed. I grew up using this as one of many measures of competency at home.

My hat is forever tipped to such Laundry Masters, but I now accept the fact that I am not one of them. And that’s OK.

In fact, I am very, very, very bad at keeping up with my ironing. Like, bad enough that there are clothes at the bottom of the basket that may or may not have been there since…May. That kind of bad.

I generally manage to take care of the top 75% every week, but rarely seem to find time or motivation to finish it completely.

And while I’m slowly finding my groove and establishing the rhythms that work in our home, my lack of ironing prowess has always bothered me.

Over time though, I’ve worked out a few hacks to help cut down on the amount of ironing I need to do. Which leaves me time to do more pleasurable things, like scrape paint off windows or clean the toilet.

3 Home Hacks for Ironing Pile Death

1. Shake, shake, shake! 
As I’m hanging up the wet laundry, I give everything (except handwashing or delicates) three really good, firm shakes before I peg them up. This plus line-drying generally takes care of most wrinkles.

2. Sort and fold straight away.
Not always practical, I know, but when I can I like to fold and sort the clothes as soon as they come inside or out of the dryer. It means they don’t get all creased up sitting in the basket for who knows how long.

3. Drop your standards a little. 
I can’t be sure, but I don’t think people talk about us behind our backs due to this non-ironing thing. “Oh, would you look at that rumply family? How embarrassing. Can you believe they walk around like that?”

Now I no longer iron tshirts, kids clothes, pyjamas, gardening gear, exercise clothes, jeans or shorts. I do iron Sparky’s work shirts, anything really creasy like cotton and linen, and a handful of my delicates. I will admit that I love ironing pillowcases and teatowels though. Weird, I know.

How about you? Do you iron? Do you avoid the ironing? Do you outsource it? Are you the Mayor of Wrinkle Town?

5 Steps to Creating a Simple Bedroom – Slow Home Essentials

slow bedroom 5

I’ve stayed in some pretty terrible accommodation over the years.

There was the blood-spotted linen of a bedbug-infested hostel in Rome. The Thai bungalow where our toilet emptied directly onto the ground below the bed. Not to mention the leaky Dodge van named Esme that we slept in for a month in the Floridian summer. Rancid pillows. Mouldy floors. Amorous hostel room-mates. You name it, we’ve seen it, which is perfect for a life on the road.

But at home? Notsomuch.

The bedroom is supposed to be a haven of calm, a place to rest and relax, a space of comfort. Which is funny, because our bedroom is often all about piles of folded laundry, random toys, empty glasses and four in a bed.

Creating a simple bedroom is one of the essentials of having a slow home, as it provides you with room to relax, space to disconnect and the quiet to rest.

Here’s 5 ways you can turn your bedroom into the haven you need:

1. Declutter.

Again with the decluttering? Yes! It’s the single best way to promote calm, clear out dust and give a breath of fresh air to your space.

2. Go Small

The smaller the space, the better your chances of really simplifying. If you have a large bedroom with tonnes of furniture, shelving and wardrobe space, you’re simply likely to fill it with stuff. Sparky and I now share one small wardrobe. We know it’s time to organise and cull when that space gets cramped.

If your bedroom is large, consider moving to a smaller room or designating half the space for chilling out. No furniture aside from a couch or chair to encourage reading, quiet time or early-morning meditation.

3. Get Rid of the Gadgets

No TV, no phones, no laptops and no smartphones. No kidding. (I admit I have been guilty of the phone-next-to-the-bed sin. But I definitely sleep better and drift off faster with some tech-free time before I bed.)

While I do read Kindle books on my iPad at night, I find it sometimes impacts on my ability to get to sleep. Ideally a (real!) book is the best option, but there are also e-readers that don’t use the blue backlight of an iPad. These are a better option for night-reading, but so not in our budget right now. (So I try to limit the amount of screen reading I do in bed, to various levels of success.)

4. Light and Airy

You want good natural light, fresh air, effective window coverings that keep the room private but allow the daylight in, as well a lamp next to the bed. Reading, dressing, loving – you want the room to be comfortable for all its intended purposes.

5. Somewhere to Sit (other than the bed)

A bench at the end of the bed is your best option – it gives you somewhere to sit while putting on your shoes and somewhere to lay out the clothes for the next day. Avoid using it as a dumping ground for laundry, dirty clothes and handbags – this will just return the clutter you’re trying to clear out. And if you don’t think you can avoid it, then consider a smaller chair instead.

simple bedroom - via sothebys

slow bedroom 4

 

Obviously, everyone’s idea of a dream bedroom is different and what works for me may not work for you. But if you’re looking to slow down and simplify and are low on time, creating a simple bedroom gives you a big return on your investment.

These tips also work for kids rooms, although the ages of your kids will impact how much of it they actually apply. Start with your own room first and show them how nice it is to have a private space where you can chill out, and who knows, maybe they will follow your lead? (Or maybe not.)

Not Convinced? Give it a Trial Run

  • Leave the technology out of the bedroom for a week and see how it makes you feel.
  • Clear everything off your bedside tables – with the exception of a book, lamp and glass of water. See the serenity some empty space brings.
  • Make an effort to open the curtains and windows every morning.
  • Try making your bed every morning – first thing. Sounds silly, but it starts your day with a small achievement and makes your bedroom into the haven you deserve.

Try these changes for one week and take note of any differences you feel. Do you feel less stressed? Is it easier to get to sleep at night? Is your quality of sleep improving?

While creating a simple bedroom won’t fix all your stresses and worries, it will give you a safe, relaxed space to return to every evening. Why not try it out and let us know how you feel?

 

Slow Home Essentials – Decluttering

2014 in 2014 Declutter Challenge

Decluttering.

Yes, it’s a buzzword. Yes, everyone is getting into it. And, yes, for a while I felt like that was the only thing I was writing about.

As a result, I actually stopped posting about decluttering because there is a lot more to creating a simple life and a slow home than sorting through our stuff.

But every day, more and more people decide their lives are too full of stuff and need to be simplified, and I want to help.

Early in January I started a Facebook group for those who are participating in the 2014 in 2014 Declutter Challenge*. Over 600 people have joined the group, which is truly one of the most supportive and encouraging spaces I’ve seen online.

We share ideas, struggles and problems, as well as links to interesting articles about simplifying. Some of our members also post amazing before and after photos of their homes, as they continue to work through their space and simplify. It really is an inspiring place.

Some of the advice being given is incredibly valuable too, so (with permission) I’m sharing some of the best crowd-sourced decluttering tips from our online community.

Some of this advice may seem basic, some may seem too advanced, and some will contradict other suggestions. This is because we are all unique, and what works for one of us will not apply to another. It’s important to find a path that suits you, and yet still challenges you enough to make a difference.

Slow Home Essentials - Decluttering Tips

On Feeling Overwhelmed

  • Pick one pile, or one drawer or one corner. One bit at a time, one bit every other day. And smile and just keep swimming. (Kellie)
  • Take a before photo, so you can see how much better it looks than before. Even if its just a small job. (Sally)
  • Set your timer for 15min. Make it a game, see how much you can sort, organize, clean before the timer goes off! Remember: baby steps, a little at a time. (Heather)
  • Sometimes it helps to get one big thing done, such as a piece of furniture you want to get rid of. Sell it, donate it or whatever. That big change can be a catalyst to keep going since you see progress right away. Also I sometimes force myself to do something hard – get rid of something I know I don’t really need or want but am keeping for guilt or other emotional reason. After that big push, the little stuff seems easier. (Bridget)
  • Just go simple. One step. One thing a day. Don’t think about all of it, or getting rid of 2014 items. Just one thing a day and you’ll be on track (Deborah)
  • Being overwhelmed can be debilitating. Sometimes having a decluttering buddy may help. Someone you trust and is supportive to get you started. (Elisa)
  • Be proud that you have started. Also I think that decluttering is like a lot of other skills – you get better at it as you get more practice. (Tess)

On Decluttering Childhood Items:

  • I only keep a very few of the tiniest clothes – one outfit and maybe a special pair of shoes or cute wee hat, a stuffed toy perhaps and a blankie if it was special. With one child already 18, I can see that he isn’t going to want a huge box of baby things. My mom kept a few little things for me from my babyhood and it was sweet, but I didn’t want a load of clothes or babythings from the 1970’s for my kids. (Bridget)
  • I kept a first or favourite stuffed animal and books for each daughter, 2 infant jacket, hat, booties sets knit by my late mother, and a very few baby toys. (Cathy)
  • For me it helps to know that there are babies who really need clothes, blankies, etc. and donate to them. Much better use than storing multiple outfits that may never, or barely, see the light of day again. (Bridget)
  • I took a ton of pictures, and they take up less space. There are only two articles of clothing – the first one i bought for her, and the first thing she wore. (Anna)
  • Toys get passed along. Clothes, I’m keeping sentimental clothing items, and really good ones that I would want if we had another child. I have one 60L plastic tub that they’re in. It’s maybe 1/4 full. That’s my limit on keeping clothes. (Holly)

On Dealing With Paperwork:

  • Quickly work through the papers [that are currently covering the entire office], put them in a tote so the office is picked up and usable again. From then on, file mail properly and vow to look through the tote once a week and keep weeding it out. This way I’m not so overwhelmed! (Julie)
  • If you get really behind, declare a “backlog” and get it out of your intray (email or post). Then you have a clean slate to go forward and work on your backlog for the first 10 minutes each day. (Anna)
  • It has taken a lot of practice, but I find that it is easier to not bring in paper than to get rid of it afterwards. It seems like everywhere we go, they try to give us hand-outs, info we “need” etc. I often find that I can say no at that point, or read it there and then leave it or drop it in the nearest recycling bin before I go home. The other thing I do is rarely print things on my printer. Instead of printing receipts, etc. I just file them digitally. (Bridget)
  • I usually ask myself, “Can I get this information online?” If the answer is yes, I file the paper in the recycle bin. (Elisa)

On Storage ‘Solutions’ and Organising

  • I knew enough was enough when I was spending $100s on organizing. I was buying stuff for my stuff. Now I have very few bins or baskets because I got rid of all the stuff that was in the bins and baskets. So much better. (Jen)
  • I spent some money recently on bins. Part of it was on new bins to make my recycling easier. Part was on 60L tubs with lids to store craft room stuff in until I have time to go through it all. I don’t get a lot of time to actually declutter/organise, with work and a little one. But for me the cost was totally worth it, as it means than in the meantime my sewing room is usable, as all the clutter is in tubs (loosely sorted, so I know where to look for things). (Holly)
  • I do spend money on containers but only after I have decluttered. (Alicia)
  • Getting rid of storage containers that I had managed to empty was one of the things that felt the best! It is such a mental shift. (Andrea)
  • My next goal is to empty two storage containers and give the containers away! (Kasey)
  • A friend was able to finally get me to see that so much of my clutter was organizing boxes and such. She showed me I was doing it all backwards! That got me getting rid of stuff and then I didn’t need all those organizers! (Linda)

On Yard Sales vs Donations vs eBay

  • I found my last garage sale very disappointing for the money made versus time and effort put in. I am considering having another one but with the primary goal of getting rid of a lot of little things I don’t want anymore, versus making money. Most everything would be a buck or two or less, and there would be a lot of free items like books. I think this would move a lot of stuff, leaving very little to donate to charity shops. (Cathy)
  • My mindset had to change from making money to the actual goal of just getting rid of the stuff. (Mandy)
  • My friends did a Yard Giveaway. They put signs up saying that as of 9am everything on their lawn would be free, first come first serve.s Everything was gone in 2 hours. (Andrea)
  • I find more value in the peace of mind I get from having a clutter-free space, rather then the monetary value. (Tee)
  • My last (ever) garage sale wasn’t about the money, it was about the stuff leaving. The feeling of donating the left overs and coming home to knowing there wasn’t anything left to “rehome” was so great, that the value of what left was bigger than the cash in my hand. (Kellie)
  • For me it’s about having a way of moving things on. I find it easier if I know it’s going to a good home or cause and not just to landfill. I’ve never had a garage sale. I eBay at my own pace. Lovely people come to my house and take away my clutter and give me some money too. Our lifestyle is always changing, outgrowing toys, clothes or items, so I like to move things on. (Elisa)
  • I will try to sell things that are in good condition, especially if they were expensive. I am pretty tight on cash. I use an online method to sell things and it has been very successful. I plan to have a yard sale in the spring too. For me, the little bit of extra money helps pay the bills and reduces my anxiety. If I’m anxious, I don’t do any decluttering so for me, this works. If you are not worried about money, then giving away to a charity would probably be the best. Every situation is different so do what is best for you and your family. (Christina)
  • There is a monetary value in what I have sitting around but the money it cost is GONE. I can’t spend it so I am letting go of it, letting family and friends know that they are free to take whatever they want and the rest goes to the op shop. (Sue)
  • If I delay getting the clutter OUT of my house, stuff tends to sneak back in – so now the box of unwanted stuff sits by the door and once filled, it goes in my trunk and right to a donation place,. Done – out – gone. (Linda)

Generally Excellent Tips:

  • Clutter is always delayed decision making. Good luck. (Elizabeth)
  • Make it a daily routine, always thinking when you walk past something, “Do I really need that?” (Linda)
  • In general [decluttering] is much easier than it was in the beginning, but sometimes I still have to give myself that pep talk. (Bridget)
  • When stuff is made to last, you can live with less. Because less is more. (Sally)
  • As I started decluttering and finding items that didn’t belong in any of the other rooms, I placed them on [a central] shelf. Every night I walk past and make a decision about an item or two. [Loose ends] are all in one spot and not making anywhere else untidy, plus it kept busy fingers away from things best not played with. Now with 2 shelves cleared I can see the process working! (Kellie)

This is by no means exhaustive, but it will hopefully help you tackle some of the most pressing and common roadblocks that we often face when simplifying life and home.

Do you have any additional tips or suggestions to add? Pop over to the Facebook group and introduce yourself, or let us know in the comments below which of these suggestions has been the most helpful to you. 

 

* I know not everyone who reads here is on Facebook (often this is a direct attempt to declutter your online lives – a move I applaud greatly!) but at the moment this is the simplest way to host a large group discussion. I am considering creating a forum space where the entire community can discuss simple living and slowing down, regardless of whether you use Facebook or not. If that is something you’d be interested in, let me know. But for now, Facebook is the imperfect solution, unfortunately.)

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