The Thing About Minimalism that You Just Don’t Get

Inside: So many people are curious about the minimalist lifestyle, but often they choose not to jump in to something that could benefit them so much. Why? They’re missing this very important concept.

“I mean, he’s o.k. with the kitchen counters being clear and stuff, but he is NOT o.k. with us giving all this stuff away. Some of it we only use once a year, but we really need it when we need it, you know?”

I nodded with understanding as my friend shared her recent struggles with decluttering. She’s not the first to struggle with getting rid of items that her family only uses occasionally.

I wrestled with the same questions for a long time:

What about the things we only use occasionally?

Should I get rid of them?

What if we end up needing them later?

Thankfully, a book I read this summer gave me the clarity I needed to answer my friend’s question with confidence.

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How to Stop Shopping: 10 Steps to Finally Break the Habit

how to stop shopping, how to stop buying stuff

Inside: Have you tried to stop shopping in the past and always returned to your bad shopping habits within a few short weeks or months? Learn how you can break the habit for good, so that you can eventually start shopping again, but this time, with intention. 

Christmas is over. You would think we’d all be shopped out by now, but no, oh no.

We can’t stop shopping. Not yet!

Because after the pre-Christmas sales come the after-Christmas clearance sales…

Consumerism Makes It Oh, So Difficult to Stop Shopping

I went to Target for groceries the day after Christmas, and oh.my.goodness. The sales were so tempting!

Even as a minimalist, I peeked at the marked-down LEGO sets in the toy aisles and seriously contemplated buying them (as if my kids need more LEGOs when they just got sets for Christmas!). It took some serious self-control to put them back on the shelf.

The marked down Christmas décor caught my eye, too. We had to give away Christmas décor when we moved long-distance years ago, and with that décor went our stocking hangers. And we need stocking hangers, right?

No, no we don’t need them.

And what about after the “after Christmas sales”? Now all the stores have started advertising their sales on organization products: bins, baskets, and tubs, galore to organize all that stuff you bought before and after Christmas.

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Where to Start Decluttering (When You’re Too Overwhelmed to Start)

how to start decluttering

Inside: Are you wondering where to start decluttering? Learn why this room is the BEST place to start decluttering, and exactly how to declutter it with super simple steps.

You finally turn the last page of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. You slam that cover shut and jump up off the couch. Look out, House: you are about to get a complete and total makeover!

…but then you get up off the couch.

You look around at your real, live, so NOT-Marie-Kondo house – the one with a husband and kids and SO MUCH STUFF, so much clutter! You immediately shut down.

Marie made it sound so simple, but she didn’t have to declutter this house, with these people. She was single when she wrote the book for heaven’s sake!

You’re so overwhelmed that all that information you just read goes straight out of your head.

You want to give up before you even start decluttering a single thing. Just forget it.

If that’s you, stop. Breathe. Block out the rest of your crazy house, and make a beeline to the bathroom.

Why? Because the bathroom is hands-down the best place to start decluttering, especially when you’re too overwhelmed to start.

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How to Declutter Kitchen Countertops (and why you need to)

clear kitchen countertop

Inside: Clear kitchen counters might seem impossible – I sure thought so. But then I discovered, yes, you can declutter kitchen countertops! Once you do, you won’t ever want to go back. Learn 4 ways they will change your life and tips to put in into action yourself.

I looked skeptically at the kitchen countertops in the pictures (a favorite minimalist blogger shared photos of her home). Even as a minimalist, I just couldn’t ever picture my kitchen counters looking that way, being that clear.

We rent our small, single-family home. And the kitchen? It’s pretty much the worst kitchen we’ve ever had, and we have lived in some pretty awful city apartments.

The cabinets are literally one huge connected piece of wood with doors – long shelves with dead space between the dividers. The counters aren’t horrible, but they stain easily and are poorly mounted. And of course, the actual amount of counter space is the biggest problem.

I tried to make the best of it, but the lack of clear kitchen counter space started to drive me crazy!

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The Best Way to Declutter Toys

Inside: Decluttering toys can feel overwhelming, especially when you have a bigger family. After a lot of trial and error, I’ve come up with eight questions that will make getting rid of toy clutter SO much easier.

When you take the plunge into minimalism, many books recommend starting with toys if you have kids. You’ll see a huge difference which will give you the momentum to continue. But when you have multiple kids (especially of different genders), decluttering toys can get complicated fast.

I started with toys after reading the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and it was an oh-so-painful process. I debated a long time over things like dolls and Little People and wooden blocks. Hopefully sharing my experience will save you some of the decision fatigue I experienced.

I’ll give you the simple questions that I eventually (after much debate) came up with in order to decide what to toss and what to keep. I’ll also show you exactly what remained after we decluttered. Your toy collection will probably look different, but I always find it really helpful to see what other families end up keeping when they finish decluttering toys.

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How to Help Your Sentimental Child Declutter (when they want to keep everything)

how to help your sentimental child with minimalism, minimalism and the sentimental child, sentimental children and minimalism

Inside: Are you trying so hard to declutter, but you have a child who won’t let go of anything? Minimalism with a sentimental child can be tricky. Try these tips to make it easier!

“Mama, what happened to my bear puzzle?”

Crap. What on earth made her think about that puzzle?! And 10 minutes before bedtime!

I panicked slightly. During our hectic move, the mod-podged puzzle definitely did not make the “must keep” list.

It was tossed in the trash without a second thought (we had no choice, promise).

I paused, choosing my words carefully. “Well, we had to leave it behind…remember? We couldn’t fit in when we moved, honey.”

That’s when the sobs started. They continued for thirty whole minutes.

All I could do was rub her shaking back gently.

How on earth did this minimalist, very unsentimental mom got stuck with a child this sentimental?

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