Minimalism Update

Last week, sick of the clutter in my life, I decided to make a change.  I began the process of decluttering my home and moving towards a simpler life.  Today I’ll be sharing how things went, and what I learned in the process.

Minimalism is currently very trendy (although the concept of minimalism is ages old) and there are a wide variety of resources available to newbies like myself.  Books on minimalism and decluttering can be found on the shelves at Walmart and Target (yes, I’m talking about you, Marie Kondo), and there are a number of bloggers and YouTubers who have shared tips and tricks for living a minimalist lifestyle.  I used these resources as a starting point for my own journey.

Not wanting to overwhelm myself, I designated 10 areas in my home to start with.  I posted my list on my blog in an effort to hold myself accountable.  These areas were:

  1. Kitchen towels and linens
  2.  Sheets and bedding
  3. Coffee mugs and other dishware
  4. The “junk” drawer
  5. Makeup and nail polish
  6. Lotions and other “smell goods”
  7. Medicine
  8. Books
  9.  Candles
  10. Shoes

One week later I can say that I successfully decluttered most areas on this list.

Wait a minute, Kate.  You decluttered most of these areas?  What happened to accountability?

This is where the learning process comes in.  One thing I discovered about myself over this past week is that I like to complete tasks in an obsessive step-by-step orderly manner.  Once I started decluttering an area in my home I wanted to keep working in that area until everything was taken care of.  An example of this is my closet.  After decluttering my shoes, I found that I wasn’t content to have a well-organized shoe rack amidst mountains of clothing.  I took a few hours and went through my entire wardrobe.  I found that I was much happier once the entire space had been cleaned out; almost like a weight had been taken off of my shoulders.

The rest of my decluttering journey took on a similar style.  I’d get started in one room, then find another task to complete that wasn’t on my original list.  Here are the areas I actually decluttered:

  1. Kitchen towels and linens
  2. Coffee and travel mugs
  3. Sheets and bedding
  4. Candles
  5. Books
  6. DVDs
  7. CDs
  8. Shoes
  9. Clothing

While this list is one item shorter than the original, the amount of “stuff” I got rid of was fairly large.  From my closet and dressers alone I removed six garbage bags full of clothes, belts, and scarves.  I was a bit ashamed when I realized just how much I had amassed.

I discovered a lot about myself while decluttering my space.  Impersonal items  (tablecloths, kitchen towels, etc.) were easy to get rid of. It was much harder getting rid of items with sentimental attachments. Books were especially hard for me.  I didn’t realize that I would have such a difficult time letting go.  Once I did let go, I felt a lot better.  I’ve developed a few guidelines to simplify the process.

  • Items that are used on a regular basis: keep
  • Items that are used only sometimes, but that make life easier: keep
  • Items that are in good condition and have a useful purpose: keep
  • Items that are seldom used and/or can be lived without: discard/donate
  • Items that are worn or broken: discard/donate
  • Items that are expired or outdated: discard/donate
  • Multiples: discard/donate the extras
  • “What if” items (i.e. “What if I decide to take up golf someday and need the spare set of clubs in the basement?”) – discard/donate
  • Paper clutter (i.e. magazines, store flyers, old mail) – discard/donate

I’m hoping these guidelines will help with some of the sentimental items that I have a hard time parting with.

While I still have a long way to go, I’m very happy with how my journey toward minimalism has started.  My home feels much neater, and I feel less stressed and better able to relax.  Less stuff means less to clean, freeing up time for more enjoyable things.  This week I plan on tackling the bathroom, as well as weeding out a few more areas in the kitchen.  I’ll be working in a room by room fashion moving forward, which I think will keep me from going crazy help me be more efficient. I’ll continue to update you on my progress, and hope that you’ll do the same.

For those of you joining me in decluttering, how did your week go? Were you able to find areas to minimalize?

Xo Kate

**Watercolor background courtesy of


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