About 4 months ago, I posted the three main reasons why I wanted to try minimalism and I wanted to give you an update on the amazing impact it is having in my life so far.
Moving several times over the past few years and finally owning a home has brought to light just how much stuff I actually have.
A surplus of supplies, trinkets, doo-dads, clothes, books, furniture, dishes, toiletries, etc. etc. etc!
Most of the homes of my friends and family seem to be in similar situations.
Living the American-Cluttered-Dream!
Now, if you have no problem with the amount of stuff you own, this post is probably not for you.
But, since you obviously clicked on it, I think you’re probably in the same boat as me (which is sinking because there’s too much in it!).
For me, especially after packing, moving, and unpacking all of it multiple times, it got absolutely overwhelming.
Because you see…having that much stuff means it all has to go somewhere. Crammed in closets, shelves, corners, or piled up on any flat surface. Not to mention, you have to clean it or around it.
This, I find to be quite stressful. Home is supposed to be where you go to de-stress.
So it really doesn’t make sense to continue this cycle of clutter doom.
So, I took care of all the stuff.
First I got a match and some lighter fluid…………just kidding!
How to de-clutter your home (& your life!)
My love of reading and absorbing information that interests me led to a small obsession with figuring out how to deal with this all of this stuff.
I have read several books, listened to the minimalists’ podcast, and watched countless YouTube videos on different perspectives relating to our possessions and how to deal with them.
My goal here is to combine the best parts of all of this information that I have devoured and present them to you in the simplest ways that helped me the most so maybe they will help you too!
(without you having to spend hours reading, listening, and watching before beginning)
Of all the information I have come across so far, the following are what I have found most useful and what I have taken bits from here and there to concoct a method that works for me (links can be found at the end of this post if you’d like further information).
- Marie Kondo’s Kon Mari Method (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Spark Joy)
- Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are The Minimalists (theminimalists.com podcast, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things)
- Rachel Hoffman (Unf*ck your Habitat)
All of these authors’ methods have had a positive impact in my life, while also having some bits that don’t necessarily work for me, and that’s okay!
My Joyful Method to De-Clutter your Home (& your life!)
by Heather Corinne
Step 1- Vision
What kind of lifestyle do you want to live?
Which values are most important to you?
What kind of person are you/who do you want to be?
Which pieces of your life are you passionate about?
How do you imagine your home reflecting that?
Write this stuff down! Go into as much detail as possible with your vision. It will be an excellent reference for motivation.
Eliminate all of the things you have that do not reflect this person you are becoming and the home that person lives in.
Pick up each item and ask yourself if it brings you joy and/or adds real value to your life.
The goal is to have a home that supports who you are/who you are becoming and makes you happy to be in it.
For me that has turned into selling/giving away/trashing at least 3/4 of my stuff.
I sold tons of clothes, shoes, bags, decor, jewelry, electronics, furniture, books, cookware, and more.
- We had a yard sale.
- I take full advantage of Facebook marketplace.
- I donated boxes of stuff to a donations center in my community.
- Everything that couldn’t be sold or donated was trashed.
Do this in a time frame that works for you. Rachel Hoffman (Unf*ck Your Habitat) recommends what she calls ’20/10’s’ which are 20 minutes intervals of clearing out or cleaning with 10 minute breaks. She says that tidying marathons are an easy way to burn out with no end in sight. Use whatever time ratios work for you. For me, I like to clear out/clean for about an hour and chill for about 30 minutes in between.
This process has taken me months. I’m still not completely done, BUT I’m going at a pace that works for me. Some weeks, I’ll clean out an entire room. Some weeks, I do nothing related to de-cluttering.
Do what works for you and your family and/or roommates.
After clearing out what I am estimating to be at least 3/4 of our stuff, I can tell you how absolutely freeing it is to know where everything is located.
To be able to see the entire floor and flat surfaces of tables and counters.
To open a closet and be able to see everything in there.
To open a drawer and know there are only things you actually need and value in it.
(The Kon Mari folding method is absolutely magical and probably the most ‘life changing’ aspect of her method! I’ll link an example video at the end for you.)
You know that feeling when you’ve just cleaned and organized something. It’s almost as if you can actually breathe better when you see it.
It is completely refreshing.
Fun Benefit: This process has also led to me questioning other areas of my life and in what ways they are adding value and joy to who I am/want to be.
Step 3-Be the person you wrote about in Step 1
After you’ve cleansed your life of all the stuff that wasn’t adding anything important, joyful, or valuable to you, you get the opportunity to clarify what things you’d like to bring into your life. Things that will add value and joy.
Unf*ck Your Habitat brings up the importance of mental health in relation to your environment.
“Whether it is cleaning, organizing, or even just displaying something that makes you happy, aim for getting one thing done every day that makes you feel better about where you live.”
Just because you’ve cleared out clutter you don’t need, doesn’t mean you’re done.
Set up maintenance cleaning practices that work for you (laundry, dishes, dusting, etc.)
For example, I do laundry on the weekends but I always leave some hanging to dry. On Mondays when I get home, before I do anything else, I make myself fold them (most of the time). It only takes about 10 minutes. I hate doing it, but I never regret it.
Once the clearing out is complete, you’ll still come back and find an item that is no longer adding value to your life and at that point it’s okay to remove it.
I think this is an ever-evolving process but that’s the beauty of it! Your home supports you and your family members as you change and grow.
You may never have the ‘perfect magazine-ready’ home, but you can have a home you absolutely love to live in that supports the best version of you.
Step 4-Be intentional about what comes into your home (& your life!)
After you have spent weeks or months progressing through eliminating tons of unnecessary clutter (which is a LOT of work), you will most likely think twice or three times about what you bring back into your home.
I have worked so hard to pare down my possessions that are not adding value to my life that I freak out when something new comes into our home that isn’t needed. It’s almost like a race to see how fast I can sell it, donate it, or trash it.
As a result, I have become much more mindful of the things I choose to purchase which not only prevents clutter from piling up again, but also saves a ton of money that would otherwise have been wasted.
Another beneficial side effect of polishing your criteria of what stays and what goes is knowing more confidently how you want to spend your time and who you want to spend it with. Beginning this journey with my material things washed over into my finances, my mentality, and even my life goals.
I really hope my experience with de-cluttering my home has brought inspiration and joy to you! Have you completed a similar process? Are you in the middle and seeing some progress? Are you thinking about beginning this adventure? Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear your story!
As promised, here are the links to additional materials that you may be interested in researching further. Please note if you purchase any of these books through my link, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you (thank you for supporting this blog!) However, I encourage you to first look through the free resources listed and ask yourself if the purchase will truly add value to your life before you follow through. If you do purchase a book, I recommend clicking on ‘used’ to reuse someone else’s clutter and reduce the cost.
- Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are The Minimalists
- theminimalists.com podcast
- Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things is available on Netflix
- Rachel Hoffman’s Unf*ck your Habitat is incredibly witty and straightforward.
Thank you for visiting my creations!
I hope you find inspiration and value here with me!
Let’s live intentional lives with less of the things that don’t matter and more of the things that do!