Throw Pillows Be Gone

De-Cluttering, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

Recently Updated

It’s official.

I have had a seriously, unhealthy relationship with throw pillows over the years.

These pillows have multiplied. I’ve sewn some, bought some, and moved them to every house I’ve ever lived in.

And somehow, they always end up getting on my last nerve.

I mean, yes they are super adorable sometimes. But, we don’t actually use them.

Pretty much the only use for them is for ME to constantly pick up from the floor where they have been discarded several times a day.

To think, I have done this for years now.

I remember the last three times I have moved, I had to pack up several contractor garbage bags full of throw pillows alone. Why?

So, a last tribute to my throw pillows in the montage above.

I only have 4 now.

Two are on my couch and the other two serve as a “back” on my daughter’s rocking chair.

And these four are actually used and serve a purpose.

I’m excited to finally quit the title: The House Pillow Picker-Upper.

Now I can do something else worth while.

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Goodbye, Bookshelf & a Tribute

De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist

Goodbye, bookshelf. You have been a good one. I have moved you to three different homes. I have placed you in just about ever nook imaginable. I made you a closet. I filled you with baskets. You held my dusty trinkets so eloquently.

The thought of ever having to move you again really makes my head hurt. I’ve come to realize that it is time for us to break up.

I finally admit that I simply thought that I had to put stuff on you since you were there. But, in truth you were only housing unused items, and baskets holding unused items, and it never felt right to me.

So, let’s part shall we?

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As I was de-cluttering I realized that there was absolutely no reason to even have this bookshelf. Not even one thing made the cut from the shelf that I actually use…ever.

After about a week of sitting in the tiny hallway empty, it was time to say goodbye.

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We parted ways.

And I’m not sad about it.

Without further ado, one last tribute to the shelf that housed so many unused things for sake of having a bookshelf for no real reason.

Here’s a final look into the shelf’s past:

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You were a good closet — even though I already had a closet.

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You held books that I already read, and would never read again, along with other decor that I never really liked to begin with.

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The buckled and bent shelves from so much stuff made you squeal, but I still piled it on.

Then you became a danger with kids in the house. I was always terrified you would fall over. Thankfully you never did.

But now, you are gone. There is no need to house unused stuff.

You can go be free, and so can I.

With extra space for me.

I can let go an move on.

You will not be coming with me in the future.

We are done.

Goodbye.

T-Shirts: There’s 7 Days in a Week

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

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There are seven days in a week.

That fact is not going to change, so it makes me question why I have 14+ t-shirts in my closet. That would mean that I have to wear two or more t-shirts a day per week to wear them all. That really doesn’t make any sense considering I only wear a t-shirt right before bed and maybe on the weekend.

This discovery lets me know that I simply have too many t-shirts in my life.

So, it’s time to break-up.

Half of them are now gone and my closet thanks me.

What do you keep that doesn’t make any sense?

Things to Remember as You Change (for the better!)

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism

We all have a tendency to build emotional walls, develop coping mechanisms, and hone in on our fight or flight survival skills. I’ve learned that with time, all of these things defenses build up emotional plaque.

I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, and neither are you. Our experiences have changed us – either for the better or worse. Perhaps we have baggage and negative energy we have bottled up inside. It never gets dealt with because we don’t make or have the time for it.

As we shift and change through time, this bottling up can become a very stressful situation.

If we let it go long enough without dealing with it and changing our behaviors, issues will eventually surface. The daily grind can become overwhelming simply because our inner primal instincts tell us to run from the lion, even if there is no lion.

This is the effect of busyness, stress, frustration, clutter, and simply not taking care of ourselves.

Because my health is now suffering, it is time to do the work and deal with it.

I have attempted to de-clutter my possessions and simply for many, many years but I always end up stuck and giving in. I will donate, then binge trying to fill the void.

Life is full of lessons and I have learned a few things so I can adapt and change:

1. Take it slow. Although I am doing a panicked de-cluttering of my possessions, I am really feeling and experiencing the weight this has on me this time. Instead of just taking my unused possessions out of my living space and downstairs for later or labeling it ‘may use in the future’ it goes straight to the donation center.

2. Be patient with yourself. When we face reality, it can be tough. Especially if you are like me and have just pushed issues inside without the time to deal with it. All of it will eventually surface. It’s worth noting, looking into, and letting go.

3. Celebrate. Yes, de-cluttering and simplifying can be daunting. You will come to realize a lot more about yourself than you may even be ready for. But, this is time to celebrate! You are facing your demons and changing for the better. It’s a celebration!

4. Grace. You and I have made a lot of mistakes. We are human after all. But, everyone has and everyone has to own up to it. By hiding behind the curtain of denial, nothing is accomplished. We can not change unless we bring it all to the table. I’m learning with time, that I forgive myself. Not everything is my fault; whether it was someone else’s doings or my own: what happened has happened. There, I said it. Now, let’s do something else.

5. Live for now. What happened yesterday doesn’t matter anymore. You learn from it. You have permission to let go and be your best today. Tomorrow hasn’t happened; and quite frankly, may not ever happen, so let’s not worry. Let us live our lives for today in this moment. We better make dang sure we live the life we want because we only have 1 shot at this.

You will know when it’s time to make a drastic change. You may be lurking here for some inspiration or someone to relate to. That’s what I do. Know that you can’t change until you are ready to do the work. Start now. Be the person you want to be. Don’t focus on the end result, focus on what you do right now and what your next decision will be. All the littles make the bigs in the end. It takes daily tries and choices – not just one big bang! Get that momentum and do it.

That’s where I’m headed; imperfectly perfect.

5 Questions I Ask When De-Cluttering

De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Letting Go

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I dropped off another 2 car loads of clutter yesterday. It feels so amazing having all of this stuff gone and out of my life.

My de-cluttering process is simple:

1. If it hasn’t been used in 1 year, it’s gone.

2. If it doesn’t spark any joy, it’s gone.

3. If it is a duplicate, it’s gone.

4. If it brings me negative energy, it’s gone.

5. If I was to pack up and move and wouldn’t take the item with me, it’s gone.

Using this 5 step process has been a major success. I am coming to find out that the vast majority of my stuff is useless. The more I donate and get rid of, the happier I feel. My home is opening up and getting clean. It’s a new slate for my home to be a place of peace and calm.

My home is going to be a place that fits our needs for today. Not a place to store items of the past or items ‘we hope to get around to using.’ It will only house things that are useful or beautiful or both. It’s a lot of work, but it is well worth it!

A De-Cluttering Past

De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism

I stumbled across the idea of minimalism when I found the website zenhabits.net in 2007. That’s a long time ago. It was prior to Pinterest and prior to the big ‘buzz’ of the unconventional lifestyle mainstream. I remember being intrigued by the notion of how small habit changes daily, can change your life! From there, I attempted to make changes. I was young, fresh out of college, unmarried, and pretty dang hopeful.

From there, I spent years on and off of the simple life. I would declutter and be excited, then feel lost and go on a shopping binge. Just like any other addiction, really.

Then there was marriage and combining stuff and moving a few times and major life shifts.

You know, the usual.

This binging and purging of stuff and debt over the years has left me mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.

Partly because in my heart I am a simple girl. I want the simple life. I don’t want the excess and mess – but somehow society creeps in and tells me that I just have to have it to be successful.

So, I try that and in the end feel worse than I did before.

I’ve done massive, MASSIVE decluttering stunts in the past. And, I always feel better afterward. But then, I want to do DIY Pinterest crafts…so I go to the thrift store, load up, repaint and refurb, and then store the junk. Then I feel guilty.

Endless!

My last major declutter was last year after I was laid off from work. I was able to stay home for a while and thought it was a good time to get rid of some stuff.

Well…I did.

But, then I just kept it ALL down in the garage in case I needed it.

Somewhere, between then and now ALL of that junk made it’s way back upstairs and in my living space.

Now, I am decluttering the same stuff and then some again!

I don’t know about you, but it sounds pretty insane to me.

This time, I have a serious, serious rule.

What I donate and do not need gets loaded into my car and taken to the donation center right then.

It’s been working like a charm.

I’m different this time. I am focused this time. My life is slowly changing for the better.

This is where I want to be.

Let Go of Who You are Not

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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Sometimes when we dig through our stuff, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional – we find out a lot about our true selves.

I came to a major revelation when doing another de-cluttering haul this weekend:

I have a LOT of stuff that I’ve bought in hopes to be a person I’d like to be; not the person I actually am.

For instance: the necklaces pictured above. I think they are adorbs on some people. I thought that I would love them on me too. A great way to accessorize and mix up an outfit. The truth is though, I hate necklaces and I always have. They make me hot and sticky and they just bug during the day. But, I bought them anyways knowing that I hate necklaces.

So, they have been hanging on display in my bedroom never worn. Not even once because I lothe them but secretly hope that one day I will love them.

Well…nope. I don’t. I’m not going to wear them because I just don’t want to.

Now they have been donated and I don’t have to look at them every day wondering when I will actually wear them and dress like someone I am not.

There are a lot of things I have purchased and held on to for that reason. Also, there are a lot of crafty things I have in ‘hopes’ that I will be a Pinterest Queen. But, I’ve tried that and it didn’t work out, so…

Another carload went to the donation center this weekend. My home is finally…FINALLY becoming a little more manageable. There may just be light at the end of the tunnel afterall.

Next thing to leave my house…

My sewing machine.

Because I hate sewing.

I want to live to my true self. I want to have the things around me that I actually like to do. And if I try something and don’t like it – I will let it go too.

Currently, I need space, cleanliness, an uncluttered view in my home. And a huge space smack dab in the center of my living room to do my yoga and roll around with my daughter.

THAT IS WHO I AM. THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO DO.

Create Space for New Possibilities

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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This bookshelf has been bothering me for years now. I purchased it when I moved to an apartment with my bestie. It housed books and knicknacks. Then, I moved in with my fiance. The bookshelf and all the stuff from the shelves moved with me. We marry, I get pregnant and then we move again into the home where we currently reside. The shelf and everything it displayed came with us.

As of yesterday, the shelf housed baskets full of random stuff and craft supplies. It also housed my daughters books. In my past, I had an obsession with collecting cute baskets to store my stuff. Well, I recently realized that the only purpose this shelf serves is to display stuff I really don’t even need or use. Also, it’s terrible quality and rickety due to the amount of moves it’s been through. My daughter likes to dig into stuff on the shelf and I am always on edge it will tip over. Not to mention that little hallway is tiny in real life and it’s hard to shoulder-through to the bathroom. I have spent numerous brain cells trying to come up with the best look of shelving design, plus I have moved it from room to room to find the best place for it for years.

The simple fact: Nothing that has ever been on this shelf mattered.

DVDs: My family does not watch DVDs because we have Dish on Demand and Netflix.

Craft Supplies: I am no longer into Pinteresty crafty ventures. It does not bring me joy, only frustration these days. I am working on other ventures now so it’s time to let go. I am keeping a needle and thread, hot glue gun, scissors, and some jute string; I’m just not going to display it on a shelf. It is neatly stored in a closet now should I need it.

Books: I have an e-reader for most of the books I read and the books that I buy physically are given away because I never read a book twice. My daughters books are now downsized and in her bedroom.

Odds and Ends: Schoolwork, misc. pictures, paper, etc. do not need to be housed on a bookshelf. I am going to come up with a better way to keep the necessities – just not on display.

That’s pretty much what was being displayed in my cramped hallway. The baskets that were on the shelves took up so much room themselves. They are gone now. I don’t need baskets to store the unnecessary because that’s silly.

I will be glad when this dangerous bookshelf is gone and I no longer have to worry that it will collapse on top of my daughter and also give us a little more room as we pass by in the hallway.

Also, should we ever move again (hopefully!) I don’t have the concern or worry on what I will put on the shelf and where this bookshelf will go at a new location. Just thinking about loading it up, unloading it, and placing all the unnecessary stuff back on it exhausts me.

Give Up What Disturbs Peace: Wall Art

De-Cluttering, Simplicity

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Yesterday was a major – and I mean MAJOR – decluttering day for me. It felt amazing, but left me exhausted.

I am on an intense mission to get rid of the bad energy in my life, no matter what that energy may be. It’s a task, I tell you.

Short of saging every nook in my home to clear the suffocating vibes, I went on a ‘getting rid of clutter’ spree.

The task at hand was wall art.

This doesn’t sound like a mountain to climb, but it was like Mt. Everest. I took two car loads to the donation drop-off. TWO CAR LOADS of wall art.

How is that even possible to have 2 car loads of wall art? I don’t know. But it is.

My living space is small and the dark, cluttered walls keep feeling like they are closing in on me. Not to mention a lot of the art was over-sized picture frames that I re-did as a Pinterest project. But, they never felt right. I always felt like I was falling short and all those frames have been a daily reminder. I mean, not lumponthefloor feeling like a failure…just stagnant energy.

So, it was easy to decide what to keep. I was only going to keep what I love and my mission was to have pieces that compliment my room and the energy I want to feel when I walk in there.

My living room started out with 17 pieces of art/pictures/mirrors. Now I have 6. Six carefully selected pieces.

My bathroom had 8 pieces of art, now it has 2 selected pieces.

My daughters room had 8 pieces, now it has 2.

It feels so amazing to have so much clutter off my walls. And what is sad is that it took 2 full car trips to the donation bin. Imagine moving that to a new location. That is only for art. Whew.

Make Room For What Matters

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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Over time, our possessions and negligence to our priorities begin to pile up. The mile-high to-do list keeps growing. You never feel fulfilled or caught up. You burn out, become resentful, and think that you are stuck.

It’s human nature to want our homes to be organized, clean, and a complete haven from our busy lives. We want to come home to a refreshing environment where we can relax and enjoy ourselves and our family. If we use consumerism to battle anxiety, or go shopping as a hobby, we end up in debt: which makes us feel guilty. Not only that, we become self-appointed Stuff Managers. We have to organize, store, move, clean, and up-keep our belongings.

Just writing that last paragraph made me out of breath. Whew.

I am giving up being a Stuff Manager.

I want my home to be tidy, minimal, useful, and relaxing. My past spending habits and acquiring nature has taken it’s toll. My home is no longer my haven; it’s a never-ending to do list that exhausts me before I even walk in my door.

My goal is to keep and use what is beautiful and useful. Everything else must go. 

A few minutes ago I dropped off about 5 construction sized garbage bags and several 13 gallon garbage bags full of unused junk to a local donation center.

I left feeling lighter, clearer, and more positive.

Once we realize that what we buy and keep actually owns us, not the other way around, we can begin to carve out, remove, and make room for what really matters in life.

Don’t you just salivate thinking about a clean slate? What would you do with bare walls and clean cabinets?

I certainly wouldn’t go back to the thrift store and just buy something because it was cheap to fill up my walls again: I would display my favorite photos of my family with pride. I wouldn’t buy clothing just because it’s trendy or on sale trying to look like everyone else: I would buy only what fits and what I love. I wouldn’t use shopping to pass the time or to fulfill a void. I wouldn’t keep things just because I felt obligated to.

We don’t live in the past or future, we live in the here and now.

I am not the same person I was 5 years ago, so why am I keeping clothing and things that no longer suit my needs and wants?

Well, I am not anymore. I am living for today and am going to keep and use the things that represent who I am today.

In another 5 years, I am sure I will have to repeat the cycle. And that’s OK. I don’t want to be who I was last year. I want to be who I am today. That’s who I live for.

And, I’m not stocking up for the future, either. I do not need 5,000 paper plates just because they are on sale. I need 1 pack. If I need another pack in the future, I will just go get another pack then.

Living in the moment and for who you are today means letting go of guilt, fear, and worry. We can live lighter and more carefree enjoying what we have an who we are in this moment by keeping and doing the most important things.

That’s the way I will live.