I Want To Be A Minimalist – But It’s Hard

By Cheryl Ryan

After moving from our home of 28 years I told myself that I would never accumulate that much stuff again. We had so much crap. So I was a bit surprised that while searching for a potato peeler this holiday I found five. It seems that while many of you were decluttering I was busy cluttering.

From tiny houses to homesteading to Maria Kondo there is a real movement towards less is more.  And I love that idea and was actually doing a pretty good job until something changed.  Maybe it was the constant shortages. I don’t know but my pantry started to fill up and I guess I became increasingly worried about not being able to peel a potato.

I’ve never tried the Maria Kondo method of asking which items bring me joy. That’s too specific for me. Usually, I just get so frustrated as stuff accumulates in a location that when I can’t find what I’m looking for I finally act. Then I make three piles, save, throw, and maybe.  I’m not sure where I learned this, maybe Hoarders. But I can get stuck on the maybe pile so I’m hoping to step up my game as I tackle my closet this week. 

It’s really a mess right now.  Last month while my daughter was in my closet looking for something she decided to take action herself.  She threw half of my shoes onto the floor, because she thinks I have too many, then ran out of time and left. That is the present state of my closet.  Every time I go in I’m tripping all over a bunch of shoes while trying to find something. 

So this week I will be employing my inner minimalist. My goal is to easily access all comfortable work from home pants and grab a matching sweater.  Since most days I’m only wearing socks around the house then wearing simple shoes when going out those need to be easily accessed as well. That will leave a lot of items in my maybe pile. Fingers crossed that since the flow of holiday delivery trucks has now stopped (I’m sure my neighbors are happy about this) that I can really thin all unwanted items and give them to someone that may need them.

Early on last year I did some organizing but couldn’t find anywhere to take stuff. But now many places are accepting donations again. Here are a few:

Habitat For Humanity, Women’s shelters by area, Hope Thrift

I would love to hear about your methods for decluttering.

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  • Reply Rebecca Ann O'Connor January 3, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    I did the same! My daughter was here over the holidays and said, “You need a re-org.” I gave 4 bags to Savers, and threw away 5 bags of items not necessary. My kitchen, pantry, closets, dresser, and book shelves are now super organized. There is no need to buy another thing, but wait to spend disposable income on experiences with friends and family as soon as we can safely do so.

    • Reply zestandplomb January 3, 2021 at 5:22 pm

      You are inspiring!! Thanks for the Savers tip. I’ve never heard of them. And I love the idea of saving money from buying things and using it for experiences! I love this.

  • Reply Lorraine Gabbert January 5, 2021 at 9:15 am

    I make three piles: keep, throw away, give away. No maybes. It helps. If Goodwill or other places are open for donations, it helps to put the give away items in bags into the trunk of your car, ready to go and out of the way. Hardest for me is giving away my kid’s childhood books, trophies, drawings, etc.

    • Reply zestandplomb January 11, 2021 at 10:23 am

      You are so right. The idea of giving something to someone else really makes it easier!

  • Reply Wanda January 5, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    Helps me to put them into categories- 10 sweaters keep 8, 7 towels keep 4, 5 potato peelers….maybe Keep 2?

    • Reply zestandplomb January 11, 2021 at 10:26 am

      I’ve taken your advice. It turns out that I buy many things that look the same. I only need 2 black sweaters not 5!

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