I’ve been into minimalism for the past half year, and I have enjoyed learning a lot about cleaning out my things and how we really don’t need as much as we think we do. I hopped aboard the Marie Kondo train a couple of years ago (love that lady! She’s such a joyful spirit!), and I personally adore both of her simple, easy-to-follow books on organization and tidying. (If you want to look into it, it’ll be totally worth it! Her website is here.)
Today I just wanted to share some really basic steps on how to just minimize your life and organize it a little better. Life can be so messy, and I am here to admit I am totally a type one and an organizing queen. This is my happy place. 🙃 You can laugh, but it’s so true!
01: PUT THINGS AWAY AS SOON AS YOU’RE DONE WITH THEM
I know, I know; I sound like a parent. But it makes for tidying up much easier! I sometimes pile up books and things on top of my vanity, and then come back later to be annoyed at myself. Take a few seconds to stash the pen away in the right box or put the book back on the shelf. It will bring down your stress levels to have everything where it’s supposed to be!
02: GO THROUGH THE STUFF YOU NEVER USE
The “I will get to it” or “I’ll use it one of these days…” Yes, if you haven’t used it in the past year or so, chances are you might never use it. Donate it or give it to someone who will love it. I find that if I know someone will love an object more than I did, I have no guilt getting rid of the thing.
Clean up old knickknacks on your dresser and take down old posters or things that just scream “clutter!!” to you. If you tend to gravitate towards simplistic colors or neutrals, maybe your overall theme is simple. Keep it as basic as it needs to be, and minimize on the little random things that don’t ‘spark joy’ as Marie Kondo loves to say.
04: CLEAN & TIDY UP TO MUSIC
In our house with nine kids (17-1 years) things can get so messy so fast. The beginning of Monday is just a clean-up-from-Sunday time, where we pick up shoes and jackets and put away toys and books and anything left out from our rest day. On regular school days, we have a cleanup time from 5:30-6pm, where we just go through our house and put away all the homeschool stuff, things we left out, toys, books- you get the gist. We love doing this to music as it makes it so much more fun! The next morning we start out with a pretty clean house- – and I feel much more inspired getting out of bed!
05: MAKE IT FUN
I love making work fun, as then it doesn’t seem like work! I know people who like to set timers and see how fast they can unload a dishwasher or mop the floor. For the past few months, I’ve been going over scenes in my head from a musical I’m in (I have a lead, which is such a blessing but a lot of prep!) and sometimes I go over what the next chapter is going to look like in a book I’m writing. Or I get lost daydreaming like Anne Shirley. 😉
It helps not to focus on the work part and think, “Oh ugh, anything but this! Why do I have to do THIS? Can’t I do something else?” Busy your mind while you work with your hands.
And whatever it is, make it fun! Like I said, music is awesome, so cleaning out the microwave while listening to Lauren Daigle or Tori Kelly makes the job better! (Though… I may be a tad biased.)
06: AVOID STORAGE BOXES
Okay, I know this does sound crazy. I was reading a book about Japanese minimalism, and the author was saying to avoid storage boxes. Why? Because we always feel like we need to fill them up.
So, unless it is grandma’s wedding dress or your hope chest or something valuable/off season, try not to store too much away. Keep the stuff you love out in the open where you’ll enjoy it. Plus, trying to get your summer clothes out from your wardrobe and having a pile of books, sheets, and who knows what fall on your face… yeah, let’s go with the first option!
07: BULLET JOURNAL & TO-DO LISTS ARE THE WAY TO GO
It’s no secret I adore to-do lists and Trello and everything to do with bullet journaling! 🙈 I find I am so much more organized with a bullet journal (here’s mine on Amazon) and a to-do list. Claire gave me an awesome little clipboard with a notepad on it for a Christmas gift, and it sits on my dresser and continues to be my brain dump and to-do list spot. If you’re more of a techie person, Trello is an amazing tool! We authors sometimes use it for organizing blog post ideas as well as collaborating on other thoughts.
Recently, this method has helped me when going through things, to think: “When I need this (whether it be an old photograph or a pair of shoes, etc.), will I… remember that I own it? Go searching for it? Be sad that I couldn’t find it? Or… simply make do with something else? Does it make me smile and bring happy memories?”
As always, Pinterest is loaded with tons of blog posts and photos on minimalism, organizing, sparking joy, and the place that I get so
hyped happied up about! I’d encourage you to go look some up if you’re looking for ways to add those elements to your life.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU… MAKE CLEANING FUN? GET RID OF THINGS EASILY? EMBRACE THE ‘SPARK JOY’ METHOD?
(And as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!)