Friday, June 28, 2013

Minimalism continued...

This is now past the point of ridiculousness.
Why do I have so much stuff that I never use, wear, or or even like!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Hoping this isn't just one month of simplifying, but a lifelong shift to minimalism!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ten more items out the door!

Sometimes an unexpected item in the back of a drawer can bring back a flood of memories. The emotions can be intense when letting go of items that symbolize so much more. The momentum of ten items a day is keeping me moving forward, thankfully!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Minimalist Project

In additon to these boxes, and a lot of the contents within, I also (finally) let go of my compost bins (I set the worms free!), two giant pieces of plywood, and everything else that was cluttering my side patio.

Clean. Done. Simple. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

The process continues...

It is hard to part with some of these items. They are beautiful and sentimental! But I never use them. So I saved parts of each collection (one wood bowl and one olive dish) rather than the whole set that I never use.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The unexpected bonus

Every month I embark on a new challenge, there is always an unexpected discovery. I should have guessed this would happen, but being that I love to shop (clearly), I just didn't see it coming. With all this purging (10 items a day!), I have no desire whatsoever to shop or buy anything new this month. We had our charity ball last Saturday and rather than buy a new dress, I just wore a gown from a few years back. Instead of feeling like I was missing out, I felt good making the right minimalist decision. And, I'm saving so much money by not making any new purchases!

Walking gently on this Earth. Ignoring the lure of conspicuous consumption. Living simply 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ten items from the wine drawer

I'm so thankful I set-up this challenge to be ten items per day. I found ten items (more if you count each item separately) by just going through one small drawer. Letting go, ten items at a time! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Letting go of sentimental things...

Letting of sentimental things is one of the most difficult parts of this 30 day challenge. I want to hold on to things that remind me of family, friends, trips, and experiences. But I have to remind myself that I carry these memories in my heart and in my digital photos, not in dusty boxes in my closet.

A few blogs that consider this same dilemma:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

150 items and counting

I am at the halfway point. I've gathered 150 items. Most of them will be donated to Goodwill this week and a few were just tossed or recycled.

The challenge is becoming more difficult. The first 15 days were relatively easy. I made a first pass at my closets and a few cabinets to find things I knew I didn't need. But now I'm taking a second look and it's becoming harder to let go.

I've read a few blogs that talk about owning 100 items - and they mean owning 100 items total. It seems impossible! While I'm not striving for such extreme minimalism, I still admire the simplicity.

What does owning less mean to me?
  • Simplicity. 
  • Consuming less which is good for the environment and lessens my carbon footprint.
  • Consuming less which allows me to save more, and spend more on experiences rather than things. 
  • Consuming fewer goods that hurt developing countries and enslave a powerless workforce.
 In my home, it means...
  • Living with less clutter.
  • Having closets that are organized and simple.
  • Simple wardrobe choices - paring down to only things I love and that I feel good in.
I'm still embarrassed that I own this much. I live in small place and it's unbelievable how many things are tucked away in boxes, cabinets and drawers. Wish me luck in the days to come!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Too many clothes

As I get further into this month, I'm facing the reality that I have way too many clothes. What exactly does that mean? On the surface, it means that I have closets full of clothes that I never wear. The quantity is overwhelming and only adds to the clutter. On a deeper level, I'm embarassed by the waste of spending too much money for things that end up unused and buried in a closet. Imagine what I could have done with that money? A trip? A donation to a noble charity? Life experiences rather than belongings.

This is, sadly, a lifelong habit. But one that I would love to turn around. I don't think I recognized how much this issue has weighed me down. My goal is to truly take a minimalist approach to my clothes.
  • Keep significantly fewer clothes.
  • Keep only one of any one type and wear it until it's time to replace it.
  • Buy only clothes that I absolutely love.
  • Buy less often.
The principles are simple, but I've yet to achieve them so far. Perhaps this month will trigger the radical change I need to transform.

By the way, I feel awfully petty even talking about clothes. First World Problems. But it's part of daily life that just needs my attention... then I'll return to contemplating the meaning of life. Ridiculous, I know!

Another set of 10 items to sell/donate:

Inspirational closets:


Monday, June 10, 2013

How to get rid of "just in case things"

Excerpt from the Minimalists: 20/20 Theory

"Anything we get rid of that we truly need, we can replace for less than $20, in less than 20 minutes from our current location. Thus far, this theory has held true 100% of the time. Although we’ve rarely had to replace a just in case item (less than five times this year for the two of us combined), we’ve never had to pay more than $20 or go more than 20 minutes out of our way to replace the item. This theory likely works 99% of the time for 99% of all items and 99% of all people. Including you.

More importantly, we haven’t missed the hundreds of just in case items we got rid of, and we didn’t need to replace most of them at all.

Getting rid of these items clears one’s mind, frees up their space, and takes the weight off their shoulders.

What are you holding on to just in case?"

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Reminders of simplicity

wrapping dumplings in
bamboo leaves, with one finger
she tidies her hair

(Bash ō 1644 - 1694) 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Letting go...

Accepting change and knowing that which I held before, no longer serves me. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

So much stuff!

I've kept so many things thinking I might use or wear them someday. This process is helping me shift away from someday and focus more on today. Simplify, my mantra this month. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


A pattering of rain
on the new eaves
brings me awake.

50 items cleared, 250 to go. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

31 Days to an Uncluttered Home!

This month's challenge (to recycle or donate 10 items every day) will unclutter my closets, but I'm hoping it will also simplify my home and create more detachment to personal belongings. I am inspired by Leo's blog at but my minimalism ambitions are not quite as extreme as Leo's.

As with most of my other monthly challenges, there is often an unexpected result that comes into being but only time will tell on this one...

During the first few days, the decison about what to let go of are quite simple, but I know that as the month progresses, I'm going to have to reach a bit further. In preparation, the following principles that I've read over the years may help:
  • If I haven't worn it/used it in a year, let it go.
  • If it doesn't work, let it go.
  • If it is worn, let it go.
  • If it isn't beautiful, let it go.
  • If I'm saving it "just in case I'll need it someday", let it go. Live in the now.
  • Everything I own should have value because I need it or I love it.
  • Do not keep gifts I've received out of guilt. Better to let it go and give it a more noble purpose in the world by someone who will use it.
  • I'm trying not to buy anything this month, but if I do, I need to let go of something in it's place (above and beyond the 300 items I'm already striving for)
Just like every word in a Haiku is necessary, beautiful, and meaningful, so should all my personal belongings follow that same guideline. And with that, another batch of ten is assembled for departure.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Liberation from clutter

Over the wintry 
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.

- Natsume Soseki 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dishes be gone

I'm embarrassed to admit I have dishes that are still in their original boxes. 
Wasted space, wasted money, wasted resources.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Live like a Haiku in June

I love poetry, in all its marvelous forms. The haiku is remarkable  - in just 17 syllables, a good haiku can convey beauty, meaning, and transformation. Despite the limiting constraint of just three short lines (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables), poets can express profound meaning. Every word of a haiku is conscious, deliberate, and necessary - and results in a simplistic, beautiful, inspiring expression. 

And so begins my month of transforming my home using the same principles of the haiku. Every belonging is conscious, deliberate, and necessary - and results in a simplistic, beautiful, inspiring expression. 

The idea - Donate or recycle 10 items every single day during the month of June. 

To liberate.  To transform. To simplify.