no. 1: Just do something.

When you first decide to simplify your life and home, decluttering is pretty exciting.  It is so immediately satisfying: the sense of lightness, the newfound space, the feeling of calmness and peace that comes from deciding to step away from consumption and accumulation.  

It’s giddy stuff, but momentum can only carry you so far.  There will be days when you feel like no matter how much clutter you toss or give away, there are roomfuls still waiting you (…because maybe there are.  Sigh.).  It’s easy to get discouraged, particularly if you’re the lone declutterer in your home.  My husband is the quintessential hoarder keeper of all things; he doesn’t like to get rid of anything, and we have the crammed storage spaces to prove it.  So I feel like Sisyphus most days, just pushing that darn rock up the hill one more time.

So my rule is this: Just do something every day.

One day I might feel really motivated and tackle a closet, but the next morning I may wake up and feel overwhelmed by everything that’s left; it’s tempting to just take a day off, but I think forward-motion is really important when you’re trying to establish new patterns of living.  If you want to be a runner, you’ve got to run; if you want to simplify your life, you’ve got to clear out the clutter. So, even on those days when I feel like the whole minimalism thing is senseless and never-ending, I pick one area to declutter and just do it.  I might gather up magazines for recycling or zip through our shop out back to fill up a box for Goodwill.  I pick something easy, something that doesn’t require complex decision-making (or even more than 10 minutes!) and I just get it done.  

By choosing to do something every day, I’m continually making progress toward my goal, but I’m also creating a pretty sweet groove – decluttering will eventually be something I can do easily and naturally, all because I’m building the habit now.  

 

 

Sometimes you just have to start.

For the last two months, I’ve been restless.

As a stay-at-home mom to a small fry who still naps, I spend a lot of time in my house. And lately, I’ve been finding myself frustrated and overwhelmed by how we live.

There’s just so much stuff. Toys and books and magazines and clothes and dishes and cookware and enough towels for a family of 17. There are extras of everything. We could stock a department store with what’s contained in the four walls of our small home.

It’s too much.

I’m desperate for a solution. I want to feel less trapped by all the things we own; I’m tired of spending my days as the curator of our clutter. To that end, I’ve been reading a lot of minimalist blogs and books about simplifying, and they all pretty much agree:

Get rid of what you don’t need.

Stop consuming for the sake of consumption.

Make spaces in your home and in your life.

So, I’ve started. I’ve been working on the easy(-ish) stuff: decluttering. I’ve lost count of how many boxes and bags I’ve taken to Goodwill (or tossed – that’s a shocker, how much literal trash we’ve been living with); I try to do some kind of decluttering every day. But I’ll be honest: it’s easy to lose motivation.

In order to keep myself excited about simplifying our lives, I’m going to use this space to chronicle what project I’m tackling or what concepts I’m working on, beginning on September 1. I won’t catalog every piece of paper I throw into the recycling bin or anything, but I hope that by giving myself a record of my progress, I’ll stay motivated to stay on this path!

See you on Monday!