Minimalist What? Part Three. Every Nook & Cranny
Well that was fun, wasn’t it?! In my last post we talked about doing a basic sweep of your house to see what items popped out at you that you could get rid of. Were you able to find lots of goodies that were just laying around? Did you sell any of your not needed items? I sure hope so! Now that you hopefully have a little momentum under your belt, and some cash in your pockets, now we get to dive into the fun part: the room by room comb over. Also known as every nook and cranny.
If you felt overwhelmed while you did the basic sweep of your house, this part is going to feel exponentially overwhelming. But don’t worry! You will feel so much better when it is all done. So pour yourself a nice cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or maybe even a shot of tequila. Whatever you need to mentally prepare yourself for the next big step. I should also mention that yoga is definitely encouraged.
Remember, I am not an expert in this at all. Spilling my coffee all over myself, yeah I am an expert at that (hence the blog title). But this I am just learning about and am sharing with you as I go. You could probably go find much better advice from people like Allie Casazza who actually know what they are doing & have been doing this for a long time!
Okay, are you ready? You know I like lists so lets break it down like this…
- Make a list. Oh, come on. Did you really think you were going to get out of this part without another list? Write out all of the rooms in your house. This part is for the sole purpose of being able to cross off rooms as you go. It’s the little things.
- Go through each room and declutter from top to bottom. Here are some areas in your house that you shouldn’t forget about:
- Cupboards – Do you have 84 coffee mugs? Downsize to maybe 4. Do you have a bunch of straws and lids to your kids cups that you don’t even have the cup for anymore? Get rid of it. In fact, go through all of your kids cups and put them all together. Keep a few and donate the rest.
- Drawers – Do you really need that many kitchen towels? Paper plates and napkins that have been siting there since your kids 6th birthday (and they are now 11)?
- Under the stove – Really need four cookie sheets?
- On top of the fridge – Depending on your space a lot can accumulate up here! Get rid of it all so nothing is up there anymore.
- Baking cabinet – Get rid of spices that you bought for a recipe that you made once five years ago. It’ll be interesting to see what is expired in there!
- Tupperware cabinet – Pull out all of your containers and lids. If you have extras of either get rid of them. Also see what containers you could go without.
- Medicine cabinet – Isn’t this one going to be fun? Go through and throw out expired meds. Do you have four cans of bug spray and five things of sunscreen? Downsize.
- Cupbards – Broken jewelry or make up? Random stuff just hiding in there?
- Under the sink – I bet you will find more towels hiding in here. You all know how I feel about towels by now…
- Kids toys – Do they really need an entire army of toys taking up the bathtub? Could they use only a few?
- Shampoo/Conditioner bottles – Preaching to the choir here. I am notorious for leaving empty, or almost empty, bottles of shampoo in the shower even after I replaced it with a new bottle. Why? I have no idea. Do you have any extra empty bottles laying around?
- Closets – For real you guys. Take out your clothes one by one. Have you worn it in a year? Nope? Then get rid of it. I know that you are thinking that one day you will be able to wear it again. Me too, honey. But the truth of the matter is that by then you will want to go out and have fun buying new, smaller, clothes anyway! So get rid of it. What about your sock collection? Or underwear? Touchy subject for any guys reading this but what about lingerie? If you haven’t worn it since the wedding ten years ago – time to go.
- Under the bed – It always amazes me what is under here. My kids toys always somehow manage to find there way under here. Get them all out so nothing is under the bed.
- Bookshelves – Books you haven’t read since college. Anything else just sitting there collecting dust? Random collectibles?
- Nightstands – Go through each drawer and toss what you don’t need.
- Living Room:
- Media Center – Do you really need that many DVD’s or movies?
- On the walls – This one applies to all around the house and not just in the living room. What things on your walls could you get rid of? Old pieces of artwork? Floating shelves that sit there with nothing on them?
- Throw pillows – I love throw pillows, too, but if you can’t even sit down on the couch without having to move one I think it is time to downsize.
- Blankets – This also applies to around the house. My girls have a little cubby stuffed full of blankets. Do they really need thirty two blankets for their baby dolls? Nope.
- Storage Area: Are there things that you tucked away in here just to get them out of sight?
- Entry Way: What is hanging up in your closet that can be donated? Coats you haven’t worn in years? Multiple pairs of boots or shoes that you don’t need anymore? Hats/mittens/scarves that don’t match?
- Garage: I have learned not to touch the garage as this is my man’s territory. You should leave this area up to him unless you are feeling really, really ambitious!
Two things to keep in mind as you go through all of your rooms. 1) Always ask yourself if you have worn that item or used it in the past year. If your answer is no, get rid of it. Because although you don’t want to hear it, if you haven’t used it in a year you probably don’t really need it. 2) But it was a gift! I feel bad. Oh, this one is the hardest for me. I am so ridiculously sentimental. I think that I have kept every single card that was ever given to me since I was twelve years old. Not even kidding. And when it comes to things that people have gifted me I am even worse. While some things are going to hold real sentimental value and you don’t want to get rid of it because of that (think grandmas ring or jewelry) there are going to be things that you can part with. That is up to you to decide, but I encourage you to get rid of some of those sentimental things if you can and keep around the ones that really mean a lot to you. It will be okay. Your family and friends will still love you even if you got rid of something that they bought you in the past. I promise. And if not, well, that is a topic for another day.
Remember to relax and take it one day at a time. Please don’t tackle all of your house in one day or weekend. Spread it out so that you can really do a thorough job with each room before you move to the next. Let me know how it goes!