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Why Minimalism is Easy, Even When You’re Tired

  June 17

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Minimalism is sometimes viewed as a hard thing to practice, but it's actually very easy. Especially if you're overly tired or stressed!There has been a lot of talk about minimalism and decluttering lately in the blogosphere, and I want to throw my two cents in because I’ve long been a fan of minimalism but I feel my house creeping towards chaos again.

There was a time in my life when I gave away 2,011 things in the year 2011 and I’ve been very firm about not buying my children a ton of toys and being minimalist parents. It’s time for me to reevaluate and re-embrace this again though. We have so many things that we need to sell and give away.

We recently sold about 30 books and made $100 because some of them were old textbooks from college, but the effort to do all that was probably not worth our very limited time. So, I’m starting to think of the best way to declutter without all the time involvement.

Here are some ideas I had:

1. Only sell big ticket items.

I have some big ticket items that are definitely expensive, like the monitors we used in our babies cribs and even their cloth diapers which we stopped using when they turned 1 (I need to post an update on that soon!) If I just focus on these and donate the rest, I still think I will be happy with the money I made. The big ticket items in my house could easily fetch $400 or $500 if only I take the time to sit down and sell them.

2. Skip the garage sale.

I love the idea of making $300 at a garage sale. Really I do. But I relish my weekends and the time I have to myself to work and catch up while my hubby spends time with the kids. I think we could make bank in a garage sale given the amount of stuff in our basement, but truly the idea of it is overwhelming.

3. Remember the end goal.

Really the end goal for me is to have clean surfaces in my house. I hate stuff. Like really hate it. I’m tired of my crazy toddlers pulling things off shelves and taking clothes out of the drawers and just in general causing chaos. The end goal for me is to have a house that is clean and tidy, one that doesn’t take a lot of time to keep up at night. Right now I feel like I have things on every surface when once it was empty and clean.

I really believe the key is not to go out and buy organizing products to corral what you have but to eliminate the things you own and create space that way. People in the 1950’s and before all had small homes, rooms, and closets and they never refused to buy a home because of the lack of storage space. It’s all just gotten ridiculous, and it’s up to us to be different from everyone else in our society.

So, even if you’re stressed or seriously crazy busy right now, remember minimalism is easy. You don’t have to sell everything or organize everything or buy a ton of products you don’t need to corral everything. Just give everything away, sell the big ticket items, and donate the rest. Rest, relax, and repeat until your house is void of all that stuff!

Minimalism is sometimes viewed as a hard thing to practice, but it's actually very easy. Especially if you're overly tired or stressed!

Do you think minimalism and de-cluttering is easy?

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24 responses to “Why Minimalism is Easy, Even When You’re Tired

  1. Great reminders here! I did an extreme de-cluttering two years ago, but everything is creeping up on me again. Funny, how you don’t really miss anything of it when it’s gone! Thanks Cat!

  2. Great article Catherine. I would add that you can sell small ticket items if you have a bunch of stuff in one category.

    In my family our oldest child is a boy followed by two girls. So we have been bundling boy clothes of the same sizes and selling them locally as a lot. This has really worked well for us.

    Skipping the yard sale you can use Craigslist or a local “yard sale” facebook group to sell those items directly and meet people.

  3. I think once you get in the zone and like you said, keep your end goal in mind, it can be pretty easy! For me, decluttering is always a ball in motion stays in motion kind of thing!

  4. A woman I sort of work with came by my place to pick up a drive from me but stuff wasn’t ready so she had to hang out for a bit, and she brought her 4-year-old twins. I even ended up having to watch them for about 30 minutes myself, and can I just say, I don’t know how you moms do it. I seriously don’t. They had my place messy in about 5 seconds and wanted to eat everything in site. And one peed on my bathroom floor. OMG! So just saying, kudos to you! 🙂

  5. Minimalism can definitely help you save money. I think decluttering your space can help the area look better and help you feel better. Purchasing unnecessary things can only cause clutter. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I hate clutter so much that we made our new year’s resolution to be getting rid of half of our things by the end of the year. We are making great progress, but I still have so much to go through. I am actually thinking about having a yard sale to try to raise money for going to FinCon.

  7. I have about six more months before I move back to the states from Japan and I am planning on using this time to get rid of clutter and pair down big time. I’m so looking forward to be free of too much stuff and start living in a home of just enough stuff. Good luck!

  8. Yeah, we really need to do a garage sell with all the life changes we have coming up. But honestly, I do not have the time. I am going to list things on sites like Craigslist and Facebook “yard sell” groups – the bigger ticket items. I might package some things like “a bunch of kitchen items for $XXX” and see if they sell, but other than that… I’m going to be donating a lot of stuff.

  9. I used a three pronged approach when I decluttered a few years ago. I sold the big ticket items as you mentioned, donated anything useful through a website called freecycle.org but made sure to say no resellers allowed, and threw away anything that was broken or not really useable anymore. I enjoyed giving away items to other people who really had a need for them and the philosophy of freecycle is if you can’t end up using something you got, put it back up on freecylcle for the next person.

  10. It was hard for me at first to accept that I needed to just donate all the stuff rather than have a huge yard sale, but once it’s gone, it’s so refreshing that I don’t care where it goes, as long as it’s out of my house!
    Thanks for the link up!

  11. Great post! We majorly decluttered when we moved last year, but it’s probably time for another one (at least in my girls’ playroom). We’re renting now, so I know I’ll be forced to declutter when we buy a home which is always nice!

    My way for keeping clutter to a minimum is just not buying stuff. The only “stuff” I genuinely like is a candle or something that you can throw away once you’re done, haha!

  12. I am very lucky because it drives me crazy to have any clutter – I’d say I’m an extreme minimalist my nature. This makes it so easy for me to sell or donate my things. I’m not attached to much. I also think having the neat, organized, simple space is helpful and conducive to a more productive, meaningful life. So, I encourage anyone who isn’t on this path to join in – it’s worth it.

  13. I am in exactly the same headspace. As a young adult I could pretty much live out of my car and could name everything I owned. Since buying a house with my partner and having two children I am totally overwhelmed by stuff and look around my house on a daily basis asking myself where it all came from. I had enough a couple of weeks ago and when my partner flew home we bagged up all the baby clothes for donation because I was just too impatient to sell them and wanted them gone. We put aside one plastic tub for all the “special” clothing items or perfect condition in case we choose to have another down the track but going from about 5 tubs to one was very uplifting. The other thing is people give us so much stuff from children’s clothes hand me downs and toys to trinkets and the MIL recently sent my other half all his school certificates trophies etc which now in possession he can’t bear to part with even though they are sitting in a box in the shed. Sometimes I wish i could just get all living things and photos out and light a match and start again! My fear is if we start “sorting” OH starts reminiscing and then can’t let it go even though he didn’t know it existed five minutes beforehand! very frustrating. Any tips?

  14. I’m trying to get rid of things one box at a time. We missed the neighborhood garage sale, but I’m planning to do one by the end of summer, before my maternity leave ends. We are paying off a lot of debt right now, so it’s hard donating things. I’m trying to make something with, or get something for, everything we have.

    1. I get that. I keep telling my husband I know there is money sitting in our house but I’m so exhausted at this point I don’t know how to pep myself up to sell every single thing!

  15. Minimalism is what I practice. Seeing its results makes me happy because it gives me less or even no stress at all and have less things to deal with. Quality versus quantity is a big factor to consider in minimalism.

  16. I try to sell the more valuable stuff, but donate the smaller stuff. We tried the garage sale once and it wasn’t for me 🙂

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