My room is not this minimal! (via minimalisthousedesign.com)

I’m moving in less than a month. I’m not sure how often I actually mention it, but I feel like I talk about it all the time to anyone who will listen.

Packing tends to be easy for me at first, but it gets progressively more difficult once the easy things (books, clothes, knick knacks, etc) are out of the way. I’m don’t know exactly what I struggle with, but I tend to keep everything. The past several years have been better, but I still have way too much Stuff.

#3 on my 12 for 2012 is minimalize. Between the move into a MUCH smaller place and some news I received several weeks ago, I felt prompted to start taking action instead of theorizing.

Exhibit 1:

I told myself I was going to pack my t-shirts into a clear box under my bed, but while doing so would get rid of just three more. Three out of twenty shouldn’t be that difficult, but as I flipped through the stack I hit a mental block and thought I couldn’t get rid of any of them.

Instead of just keeping all the shirts, I changed my mindset. Do I really need to keep those t-shirts from when I ran Warrior Dash and the Tower Run? What does it prove? How does it improve my life? I already have photos, do I need the physical clutter too?

The answer was no.

The next ten minutes were energizing as I moved through my room. Picking different categories of items and telling myself to get rid of two things here, four here, one there. The questions I asked myself have been collected over the past few months from a variety of sources (I didn’t save any of the posts or articles, so I’m sorry I can’t point you all to them!).

Questions I asked myself to declutter:

  1. Is this item still in good condition?
  2. How many of this item do I already have?
  3. What does this particular item mean to me?
  4. Do I have something else that means the same or similar?
  5. Does it cost less than $10 to replace? (Courtesy of this great Expat Yourself post on how to “Keep or Lose.”)
  6. Do I use it every day? Once a week? Once a month? Ever?
  7. What is at the heart of my reluctance to get rid of this item?

It’s not a perfect system obviously, but it definitely helped me put all my Stuff into perspective and clear some of it out of my life!

Do you have any tips for getting rid of the extra clutter and Stuff in your life?


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  1. First, I gotta say — I LOVE your bedroom picture. It’s not only minimal, but a great combo of both form and function. Some minimalist critics cry foul that losing clutter means losing “personality.” That bedroom is so clean and refreshing, it’s very personable, very likeable.

    Second, thanks for the ref to Expat Yourself. I found you through the ping back from the link. And I’m happy I did. 🙂

    I’ll be watching you and your travels through life.

    Wishing you the best,

  2. 🙂 I need to do this. I noticed that the bigger the place I have, the more space I have to clutter up. I don’t think I could ever get my room to look like the photo, but we’re working on making it a little less cluttered and way more comfy. happy moving day!

    • lora | kathleen says:

      Hopefully I get a little better before everything goes into boxes… My living space increased by about 800 sq ft the last move, I completely understand cluttering up the extra space!

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