Do you want to be a minimalist, or just DECLUTTER?

Do you want to be a minimalist? (Maybe?)

Have you been inundated with the minimalist idea on social media, at a church gathering, in class, from your mother or best friend? Yes! Let’s jump on that bandwagon because it’s fun ride, and healthy! But first…

That’s a HUGE undertaking. How much time do you have to Change Your Lifestyle? How far do we have to go be called a minimalist? Um, now it’s sounding like … a LOT of time and effort. Who really has the time to take Every Single Item, hold it, and get in touch with their deepest feelings to see if it speaks to them?? Not this girl.

What if we just declutter?

That can still mean investing a bit of time, depending on how far you go, but so much less time than trying to shed 75% of all you own. Having less visual clutter will help you THINK MORE CLEARLY. It will be easier to think about what to make for dinner. It will be easier to prioritize your To Do list so that at the end of the day you actually feel good about your effort. Seriously!

All those things we feel inadequate about, or always a bit behind on, could just be the result of too much distraction in our environment.

The chirpy 4-year-old, teenagers in and out, the spouse – those distractions are OK. I’m talking about the counter with a pile (or 3) of papers, boxes of food, plant experiments, “reminders” like vitamins, 37 slips of paper with awesome quotes, borrowed items we mean to return, little trinkets needing fixed … sound familiar? If those reminders are hidden away, they’ll never get done, right? Well, maybe not.

Maybe you could set reminders in your phone to sound off at the appropriate times to remind you, on your way out the door, to grab that book you’ve borrowed for a couple months and tried hard to read. (Where did the time go?)

Maybe you ask your older child, or husband, to help mend trinkets to free another few minutes for other tasks. Maybe you could set your alarm just 10 minutes earlier -just one time-?  I can already hear my daughter’s perplexed retort to that one! Use the time to sort through just one stack of papers with your first cup of coffee.

For our house, it is time.

Here is how I am tackling the declutter job at our place.

First stop: my own bedroom. Choosing to start with myself sets an example for the rest of the crew, and gives them a little time to get on board with the idea. Since I’m not going all in, I’ll focus on shoes, clothing, and jewelry. The furniture and TV can stay.

Example: the contents of one small under-the-bed drawer.

messy clothing pile dumped from drawer

Confession: That drawer usually stays closed because there are too many things I don’t want to sort through to find what I might wear.


Tank tops, running shorts, and swim suits. Since I can’t wear 3 swim suits at one time, the obvious answer is to get rid of 2 suits. However, since I’m just here to declutter and not become a stringent minimalist … I like them all.

It was still a great exercise to gear up the momentum, assess my inventory, and select a few items to give away. Jewelry, closet clothing and shoes followed! So choose a small area and give it ten minutes. At the very least, you’ll have a tidier spot and be more aware of your belongings

Today’s declutter total: 13 pieces of jewelry, 3 tanks, 4 shirts, 1 dress, 1 pair of shorts, and 1 pair of shoes.

Where will you start??

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