my "how to" on simplifying

since the beginning of the year, i've been doing my best to simplify.

simplify, simplify, simplify.

simplifying is not only getting rid of things that you don't use or don't need or just sort of shake your head at because you still have that momento from college that really means nothing to you now...

simplifying is also extremely mental.

i am proud to say, i have bought no more than 5 clothing articles since the year started.
this is a big step for me. first, i learned to avoid the shops that i love to buy things. i also learned to not just to buy because it's on sale. and also to give myself more time to think about the purchase. do i really need this? why do i want to buy this?

i've also made a mental list of specific items, not just clothing, but also household items i would like to have around that i feel like i need.
and i've done very well to not stray from that list.

so when i was in vermont in may, i found a rad "vintage" navy linen blazer and bought it, because blazers are on my list.

the more complicated things are handwritten notes and letters. or sentimental items... that do seem to drag you down a little because you don't always necessarily want them, but you feel bad getting rid of them.
for the notes and letters: scan them, save them, email them to yourself, whatever--- so you can have a digital copy.
for the sentimental items--- take a photo of them or a video of them--- also, a digital copy.
(both these ideas are from my sister, shayna)

i have sold multiple things this way
and have made a nice amount of cash selling the things we didn't use, because i knew they had value. score!
it also makes me feel like i was getting rewarded for simplifying!

food in the cupboards has even been a challenge.

be more efficient with what you keep in the cupboards. i do highly support a food storage, big or small, depending on your means, in case of an emergency. water storage is important too.
but as far as the food that is in your rotating menu, be sure you are buying things you are using in the next week or two. if not, you're left with a bunch of stuff that has either expired or that you have too many of.

simplify over a period of time.

since this project has been going for a few months, i've had time to make sure i want to be rid of certain things. take your time to simplify because i think you will regret less and perhaps rid yourself of more excess.

please donate items in good repair.
goodwill. salvation army. deseret industries (yeah utah!)

and finally,
think about the long term.
are you really going to use this in a year? two years? when was the last time you wore that?
i am a little crazy because i feel bad for certain things that don't get used so i'll go out of my way to use them.
yes, i feel bad for inanimate objects (for example, with the plates at the bottom of the stack, sometimes i'll rotate the plates so the bottom ones get a turn).

don't feel bad for inanimate objects. unless it's plates, because you'll probably use those. but don't feel bad for clothes if you don't wear them. you don't wear them because you don't like how they fit or you just don't like them.

those are my thoughts for now.

simplify. simplify. simplify.

*photo taken with diana mini (35mm film)


communikate. said...

this has been my motto for the last two years, and it's amazing how much more free i free!

good work lady!

Cassie said...

I'm working on this too.

It's amazing all of the little hidden items I've cleaned out of closets, from underneath beds, drawers, cupboards, etc...

Autumn said...

I counted it up...and in the last five years of college I have moved TWELVE times. This has definitely become a motto. Good tips!

shayna said...

Really good post. I learned a couple of things. You have that planning thing down. I can't wait to just start going through all my stuff. I love that crap.

robin said...

yay! i love getting rid of stuff!

Little Gray Pixel said...

I've been thinking about tackling our apartment. There are way too many hidden storage areas, and they've all slowly filled up. This weekend I'm going to empty the hall linen closet (there are no linens in there!) and purge until I can leave half of the closet empty.

Jennifer M. said...

These are some great tips. I've been TRYING to simplify but it seems so hard some days. I do feel bad getting rid of stuff I've had for years - even if I no longer use them. It's silly, I know, but true.

I know ultimately that simplifying my life will promote health and peace in my mind and my home, though, so I do need to keep at it! Every little bit helps, right?

Tony said...

yay! one of my new favorite topics. between our selling stuff on craigslist, selling text books on amazon, and selling clothes, books, appliances at our garage sale, I'm getting that much closer to my goals of simplicity. now if i can just get better at not buying it in the first place. great post!