I feel like I'm a hoarder with minimalist tendencies or maybe a minimalist with hoarder tendencies. My space is relatively clear of clutter, but don't look in the kitchen pantry, the closets or the spare room downstairs. I grew up in a family that appreciates vintage goods and so they seem to follow me home and I'm a Cancer, which means I'm a homebody. Then I became an interior decorator because I want people's homes to be their haven, except a home can't be a haven when you can't open the closets!
As I see it, there are two main problems with 'too much stuff'. One it costs money to buy stuff. Usually when I am looking for something to buy it is to suit a general need, but occasionally I find myself shopping to fill some sort of emotional void. That's just not healthy. The other problem with having too much stuff is that you find the stuff starts to control your life.
The first thing I do when I'm helping someone design their space is ask them what's working about the space. One of the most common complaints is that there is stuff in the room that doesn't work, doesn't belong there, or was a gift they don't like and so they tucked it in the corner. We chose the items that are functional and that evoke an positive emotional response to keep in the room and we clear out the rest. Something I needed to apply to my own life.
When I saw that The Minimalists were playing the Minimalism Game this month I was so ready to play. You take one item out of the house on day one, two items on day two and so on until on October 31st you are removing thirty-one things from your house.
Day One- Blousey shirt that I never wear because it is not my style and it needs to be ironed. I hate ironing.
Day Two- A tie that I wore once ten years ago and an earring. Yup, one earring that I held onto for over a year in hopes that it's mate would show up. Yeah, that's not happening.
Day Three- I started cleaning out my dresser drawers. Two necklaces and a ring that I no longer wear.
Day Four-A yellow cap (to what I don't know), a set of curtain hangers, a store rewards card (these are all saved on my phone) and another necklace I no longer wear. Why is this stuff in my dresser?
Day Five- Vintage jewelry.
Day Six- More vintage jeweler and another tie.
Day Seven- Yet more jewelry.
What am I doing with all of this stuff I'm getting rid of? A couple of things will go in the trash like the random yellow cap and the rewards card. Other items will be donated (mainly clothes). I'll be posting things I am giving away (if you are in Chicago it is free, if you are not in Chicago I just ask that you pay postage) to my Instagram account. Some things I will be selling.
Week one was relatively easy and I'm still cleaning out my bedroom. I'm getting a little nervous about the final week though. Wish me luck!
Originally published 10/3/14