Honest Simplicity

my winding road to a simpler life

Category: Declutter

Wardrobe Under 100!

As part of my journey of simplicity, I have been chipping away at my wardrobe…slowly but surely.   Participating in Project 333 has helped me tremendously.  Each season, I count up all of my clothing and accessory items to be sure the overall total hasn’t increased.  The tally had been hovering above 100 for months.  I kept whittling away, focusing on the goal of a simpler, tidier, more streamlined wardrobe filled with the clothes I actually love wearing.  Gone is the habit of stashing an unadored shirt or Read the rest of this entry »

Controlling the Garage Clutter

Garages are meant to store vehicles, right?  It also makes sense to store other items there such as tools, bicycles, folding chairs, and trash cans.  I get that, but when did we decide to designate the garage as a permanent storage space for household stuff?  I’ve seen plenty of garages that can no longer accommodate the cars they were meant to store.  Rather, the cars are parked on the street, rain or shine.  Does this describe your situation?  If so, you are not alone.  Do you want your Read the rest of this entry »

Keepsakes

At our house, each of us has a plastic bin labeled “keepsakes” which we keep on a shelf in our basement.  Periodically, I revisit my stash of old birthday cards, letters, and other mementos so that I can weed out the items which no longer pull at my heartstrings.  This takes time.  Once I open the bin, I get lost reading old letters (yes, actual snail mail) and reminiscing.  It is interesting to spend time getting reacquainted with my 15-year-old or 21-year-old self.  I enjoy having letters to reread, but I don’t feel that I have to keep them all.  Letting go of letters and newspaper articles won’t magically erase those events from having happened to me, right?  Of course not!  After about an hour of sorting through my sentimental papers, I was able to toss a great pile into the recycling bin.

goodbye pile of keepsakes

goodbye pile of keepsakes

I even threw out a journal (big step for me).  Oh, did I forget to mention that I have an entire separate bin of journals?  What I was able to do was downsize my two boxes into one keepsake/journal bin. Read the rest of this entry »

Young Minimalist in the Making

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I think I have a young minimalist on my hands (at least, one in the making).  I’m speaking of my creative, energetic, chatterbox 8-year old daughter.  One morning this week, I stumbled into the kitchen, half-awake, to make myself some coffee.  Before I could reach the teapot, this sprightly daughter of mine bounced into the room announcing she had a pile of stuffed animals she’d like to part with.  “Uh….ok…that is great!” I mumbled, caught off guard by her radiating energy so early in the morning.  I Read the rest of this entry »

Photo Album Purge

I enjoy flipping through photo albums.  I like having tangible photos around when I feel like reminiscing.  That said, I had too many.  Every time I glanced at the shelf of albums, I thought to myself I should really get rid of some photos.  Then, I’d distract myself with an unrelated task.  Logically, I know that delaying a task will only add stress.  Well, I decided to roll up my sleeves and take on the photo challenge.

pile of albums to deal with

pile of albums to deal with

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Owner’s Manuals…Goodbye!

Today, I opened a box labeled “owner’s manuals and parts” which was tucked away in our basement closet.  What is even in here and do we need all of it? I wondered.  My husband and I started going through it and quickly found manuals to items we no longer owned.  Those papers went directly into the recycling bin.  Then there were the manuals to items we do still own.  But, do we need a manual telling us how to install a ceiling fan, which we’ve already installed?  Do we still need to hold on to a manual showing us how to operate our toaster?  Life will probably go on without those.  We noticed that many manuals can be found online for appliances and electronics such as our washing machine, t.v., microwave, etc.  Realizing this, we tossed the contents of the entire box.  Goodbye box of owner’s manuals, and good riddance!

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Home as a Sanctuary

I’ve been clearing away clutter and simplifying over the years, but still have plenty of work to do in that department. It has been a slow, but purposeful process.  Is your home a sanctuary or a stressor?   So often, we vacation to escape our busy complicated lives only to return back to the chaos.  When did vacationing become a need rather than a want?   Simplifying my life helps me to create spaces of comfort and peace within my own home.  I look forward to the day when returning home from vacation means returning to a place of rest and relaxation instead of returning home to a long list of to-dos and visual clutter demanding my attention.  It pleases me that I am on that path.  What could you do today to make your home a sanctuary?  What distractions could you part with to make room for peace?  Courtney Carver, who I find to be a wonderful inspiration, speaks on this topic in her blog Be More With Less.

Here are a couple of spots in my home which bring me peace of mind:

I find my kitchen to be a peaceful place in my home (when there are no dirty dishes)

I find my kitchen to be a peaceful place in my home (when there are no dirty dishes)

I love a clutter-free countertop

I love a clutter-free countertop

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The Coat Closet….Eeeek!

At the back of our house, we have a closet.  It looks nice enough on the outside, right?

outside of our coat/broom closet

outside of our coat/broom closet

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