The Right Way to Deal with Decluttering Guilt

Inside: There is a dark side to decluttering, and that dark side can lead to a serious case of decluttering guilt. But how you decide to deal with that guilt? It has the potential to change your life (and the world) far more than decluttering ever could.

Marie Kondo is revolutionizing the western world…again. Thanks to her new show on Netflix, it seems like every other photo on my Facebook and Instagram feed is of freshly decluttered spaces and before and after photos.

Oh yes. And all the bags of unwanted stuff.

Trunks full of them, probably bound for the local thrift store.

Yesterday, I came across this article, and this quote struck me to the core:

85% of clothing that is donated to second-hand stores ends up in landfills every year. -Emily Cline

Having just dropped off yet another load to the thrift store a few days ago, a large majority of the donations being clothes, I was more than a little convicted.

When I shared that same quote with my readers, the response was a mix of similar conviction, but also of frustration.

And I absolutely understand where that frustration is coming from!

In one breath, I seem to be telling you to ruthlessly declutter. In the next, I’m making me feel guilty for decluttering.

Frustration is a reasonable response. But underneath either response – frustration and conviction – is decluttering guilt.

So, what should we do with decluttering guilt?

Stop decluttering? Keep all our stuff? What, then?

If you’ve been a reader long, you know that’s not my answer.

Instead, here are two valid and productive responses to consider.

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8 Simple Ways to Save Money on Groceries (without making it your part-time job)

woman with calculator trying to save money on groceries

Inside: Exhausted from complicated and time-consuming systems that promise to help you save money on groceries? Try these simple tips instead, to save money on groceries without making it your part-time job!

I’ve tried just about every method to save money on groceries, from extreme couponing to planning meals around store’s weekly circulars to freezer cooking. While I’m sure these methods work for some people, they simply didn’t work for us long-term.

I have five kids, homeschool and work from home.

I simply don’t have time for the complicated and time-consuming methods for saving money on groceries anymore (and even when I did, my results weren’t as awesome as I wanted them to be).

If you’re a mom reading this, I know you’re busy with your own unique mix of responsibilities.

The reality is that saving extreme amounts of money on groceries takes a decent amount of time and energy, so if you’re looking for extreme ways to save, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

I can, however, offer you several simple tips to save money on groceries, most of which take very little time to implement.

I crave simplicity in pretty much everything. So naturally, when I looked for fresh ideas for how to save money on groceries, minimalism came to the rescue once again!

Minimalism is not just for your physical stuff. It can help you simplify pretty much every area of your life.

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How to Reduce Paper Clutter: 8 Simple Steps

Inside: Paper is one of the most difficult decluttering categories, and for good reason! It comes at us from every angle, so one of the best things you can do to maintain a decluttered home is to learn how to reduce paper clutter in the first place.

This is a guest post by Brooke from Happy Simple Mom.

Paper clutter is what can send my decluttering efforts over the edge some days! No matter how much I used to clean, it seemed paper clutter was the one mess I could never stay caught up on week after week.

It was driving me crazy, and I was determined to find a way to reduce paper clutter in my home once and for all.

You know the problem:  

Mail piles up on the kitchen counters.

Magazines piles start to take over coffee tables and bathroom baskets.

Junk mail consumes your mailbox, and a filing system seems laughable given the sheer amount of paper clutter you have to deal with on a regular basis.

There is only one guaranteed fix to reducing your paper clutter.  STOP THE INFLOW! 

OK, stopping the inflow of paper clutter is easily said.  How easy is it to actually do?

Can you really stop all that junk mail? Is there a way to really organize it all in a manageable way?  Yes!

Reducing all of your paper clutter doesn’t happen overnight.  However, I will walk you through how to reduce paper clutter and get yourself set up for success in a shorter period of time than you think.

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Simplify Life in 2019: 20+ Ways to Make Time for What Matters

Simple planner and desk layout

Inside: Craving a simpler, less stressful life? Here are 20+ ways to simplify life, so you can reduce stress and make 2019 a more joy-filled, intentional year. Make time for what matters most.

Last week, Joshua Becker released a new book called The Minimalist Home: A Room by Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life.

It sold out in five hours.

I think it’s safe to say that more people than ever before want to know how to live a decluttered, simplified life.

Since I first started my minimalist journey over three years ago, I’ve realized that while minimalism starts with decluttering your physical space and belongings, there is SO much more you can do to simplify life than just get rid of stuff (and stop buying more of it).

Once you start pursuing a simpler life, minimalism and simple living naturally extend to every part of your life: your food, your schedule, your money, your relationships. Simplifying and streamlining all of those areas has the potential to reduce stress in so many ways.

And once all of that unnecessary stress is gone? You have more time and energy for what matters.

For me, that’s my family and my work. What is it for you?

Whatever your answer, here are more than twenty ways to simplify life this year, so you can spend more time and energy on what matters most.

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Declutter Your Home Checklist: 110+ Items Anyone Can Declutter TODAY

kitchen decluttered

Inside: Get your free Declutter Your Home Checklist to jump start your decluttering process TODAY! The checklist includes over 110 items you should easily be able to get rid of, no matter what background you’re coming from.

When you’re overwhelmed by clutter in your home, deciding where to start decluttering can be the hardest part. It can be tempting to try to declutter the most difficult items first– gifts, photos, sentimental items.

Don’t do it!

Attempting to declutter the hard stuff before your decluttering “muscles” are up to the task will only make you feel defeated. They’ll stop your decluttering efforts before you even really begin.

No.

Decluttering your home needs to start with the easy stuff.

The broken stuff.

The stuff that anyone can agree needs to get out of your house, like, yesterday.

The stuff you haven’t used in years.

That’s where this handy checklist comes in. I brainstormed over 110 items that you can get out of your house RIGHT NOW and put them all on a free Declutter Your Home Checklist to make it ridiculously easy to get started.

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What is Minimalism? And What’s Really Stopping You From Giving It a Chance

Inside: What is minimalism? Defining minimalism and unpacking all the misconceptions that are stopping you from giving minimalism a chance. 

When you hear the word “minimalism” or “minimalist”, what comes to mind?

I’d bet money that single white guys with cold, very white, sparsely furnished apartments, owning less than 100 physical belongings come to mind.

Another image that may float to the top is a wealthier woman in her designer capsule wardrobe, sharing her thoughtfully (read: expensively) curated, beautifully decorated rooms all over Instagram – probably gushing about all the stuff she decluttered and how Marie Kondo completely changed her life?

Visions of t-shirts arranged accordion-style in drawers, walls with nothing on them, couches without throw pillows or blankets, extremely few gifts under the Christmas tree, never buying anything?

Depending on your background, what might also come to mind are financial and generational stereotypes/labels/adjectives:

  • Upper Class
  • Entitled
  • Millenial
  • No Kids

And because of those images, because of those stereotypes, because of those adjectives, you might have chosen until now to stay far, far away from minimalism.

But what if minimalism could completely change your life?

Because minimalism has given me so much, I wanted to tackle the biggest question most people have about minimalism, and the wrong answers that stop them from giving minimalism a chance in the first place.

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How to Transition to a Minimalist Christmas with Kids

Inside: How do you transition to a minimalist Christmas when you have kids? Especially when every other Christmas meant presents galore? Get actionable tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

The idea of a minimalist Christmas has rapidly gained popularity over the past few years. Parents around the world are realizing that more activities and more presents do not happier kids make.

In fact, more, more, more, especially during the holidays, tends to have the opposite effect.

I’ll never forget one Christmas spent with extended family six years ago. I have literally never seen so many presents under a Christmas tree in my entire life.

While I was very touched by their generosity, I simply couldn’t believe how many presents there were. I wasn’t a minimalist at the time, and even then, I was overwhelmed!

And my then three-year-old daughter?

She couldn’t even make it halfway through her presents before she started looking anxious. Relatives on all sides encouraged her to finish opening her presents, and all she wanted to do was play with the ones she already opened.

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