Long time no post!

I know I’ve been terrible about keeping up with posting each day, but life has happened and I was a little burned out from everything that was going on. A LOT has happened though on my journey, and I’m excited to share all of it, no matter how minimal (no pun intended) it may seem.

First off, I was actually able to get rid of a lot of stuff! I had a friend come over and go through my candle stash, she took probably half of it, if not more! She was so excited, she loves candles but can’t really afford to buy them all the time, and she was like a kid in a candy store. As she was going through them there was a couple of times where she asked me if I was sure, and I sometimes hesitated a little, but I told her I was sure, and I don’t regret any of it one bit. I also gave a couple of wall scrolls to a friend who I knew would love them and have room for them, she was also very excited.

At first I was conflicted about just passing off items I didn’t want to my friends, but I genuinely wanted to give them things that they would enjoy and use, and they’ve all been SO happy about what I gave them. My minimalism isn’t their minimalism, and that’s okay. I’m not here to try and spread the gospel of minimalism to everyone. I’ve definitely talked to people about my process, but I don’t want it to seem like I think it’s for everyone or that anyone is lesser for wanting to live one way or another. Everyone does what works for them.

As I’ve been clearing out my garage, I’ve noticed it’s actually started to make a difference. The amount of untouched, unopened boxes has definitely decreased, and I feel like progress is being made. Yes, the boxes that were in the garage are in my living room and kitchen, but they have been sorted through and put into designated sell/donate boxes. I’m really excited to get through the boxes in the garage and keep the momentum going for the rest of my house. I actually took the leap the other day and went through a box I had packed for my move. That was a bit different since the items in there weren’t things I hadn’t seen in years, but some of it was stuff I hadn’t seen since this past March. I was able to get rid of a lot more than I thought I could. Baby steps.

I also started going through my digital clutter and began working through my work email inbox, sorting and deleting everything in it. I hadn’t done that the entire time I’ve been at my job, which has been about a year and a half, and had over 6,000 emails to go through! I’ve gotten my inbox down to about 2,500, so I have a lot left to do, but I made a huge dent! My personal email will be a task later.

In order to give myself an idea of what living in a simplified atmosphere will be like, I cleaned my bedroom (minus the closets, those are their own project). I got rid of everything I didn’t want in it and organized my yarn stash that I keep in it. Being in my room now gives me such a sense of peace, and it’s been so much easier to keep it clean when I do little bits here and there. It makes me long for that feeling in the rest of my home and has been such an encouragement to keep working hard and parring down and keeping what I love and what’s important.

Over the weekend my boyfriend and I also went and looked at tiny house models, my ultimate goal! I was a little nervous that I would see them and hate the idea of it, but it made me fall in love with the thought of living in a tiny home eveen more! He and I were able to see what we liked and didn’t like and got a great look at how we would have to downsize to fit into such a small space. Something tells me he will have a much easier time doing that….

Granted, this dream is a dream that won’t happen anytime soon, I want to spend a bit more time in the house I’m currently in (I spent too long living in a construction mess and spent too much time picking the color scheme and personalizing it to move out soon), but this gives me plenty of time to cut out what isn’t necessary in my life!

I may not be able to post everyday with the holidays coming up, plus I’ll be traveling, but this blog has been such a great outlet for me to put my thoughts down and encourage myself. Plus I’ve met a couple of great people who live or want to live this kind of lifestyle.

As always, thank you so much for reading!


Day 7

Day 7 felt a little like two steps back, but I know that for the future it will be five steps forward, and I’ll definitely change my process as I keep going!

For day 7, I did get rid of some wall scroll I had bought and never hung. My friend has very much likes to hang things on her walls, and she has much much much more space than I do, and after having my wall scrolls and not doing anything with them for a year, I decided they needed to go to someone who could get use out of them. She was very excited!

That was only three items though, so what did I do for the rest of the advent?

Like I said in my last post, after I had started going through all of those boxes and packing things back up that I didn’t want, I realized how much more time it would take in the future to try and sell little items I didn’t think I would get much money for. Instead of going through “new” boxes, I went back through the ones I had already gone through and decided to figure out what I wanted to donate and what I wanted to try and sell. I was really surprised by the process, 90% of the items went in a donate box and only about 10% were things I wanted to try and get money for! My urge to not just figure out what I want to get rid of, but also HOW to get rid of it has grown so much in this process. I just don’t want things in my house anymore. This weekend I’m going to take whatever I can get through these next two days to local thrift shops that sell items for incredibly cheap prices (I’ve taken advantage of this occasionally) to benefit charities that speak to my heart. Even if it’s just one box that I get packed up, getting it out of my house will keep pushing me on my minimalism journey.

What did I gain?

I gained the freedom of knowing I won’t have to mess with items anymore that really aren’t worth anything, and I will spend less time worrying about them and spend more time propelling forward in this lifestyle.

Day 4

Today was a little bit harder, but I’m very proud of myself again. I gave away two things that I really did love, but I wasn’t getting any use from them. On top you see a red panda stuffed animal that I’ve had for a while. It was part of one of my “collections” (but really, hoarding) of round stuffed animals. I have TONS of them, but lately I’ve had them packed away and most haven’t seen any time outside of a closet in months. Although it was hard (and stupid) to say goodbye, I know my friend will enjoy it much more and it won’t be stuck in a closet anymore. The other thing I gave away was a wall scroll that I really liked, but when I had asked my friend if he would like it, he was so excited about it. It had just been rolled up in my guest room since I had moved, and I didn’t really want to (or have the space) to put it up. 

My other HUGE accomplishment today was narrowing down another hoarding situation: candles. I have SO many candles. I had 6 boxes in my Ikea cubicle shelves and I was able to narrow it down to 2. To put it into perspective, I selected over 50 candles to give away. 50. I think I kept about 20, and I’m hoping I can use the up faster or get rid of them again. I also threw out a few that didn’t smell good anymore. I’m going to let my friends go through the collection and pick out what they want, and then pack the rest up for the swap meet. 

Today I was also going through the boxes my parents brought me when I moved into my house to try and find some winter decorations I have (and still haven’t found) and I told my dad I was amazed at how much utter junk I have that I don’t want or need. I just need to take it one step at a time though and keep at it, and eventually I will have the beautiful clutter free home I long for! 

What did I gain? 

I gained a little sadness at letting things I love go, but I also gained the knowledge that I can do it, and it will be better in the long run. 

Thanks for reading! 

(Bonus story: I found a squirrel tail while I was looking for the decorations in my garage. Gotta love having an outdoor cat….)

Days 2 and 3

Christmas time. Such a wonderfully busy time of the year, hence the lack of posting Friday. My boyfriend’s office had their Christmas party, so I left work early and didn’t even get to go home until Saturday, which was also quite busy! But, both days I was able to get rid of stuff (or at least prep it for future selling/donating). Friday I woke up and got rid of a poor, unfortunate succulent plant that I had been trying to keep alive, but it was too far gone. I’m not having the best luck with them right now, it’s going to be a good whole before I try again with anymore….. 

At work, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to go home and get rid of anything, I went through my drawers and purse at lunch and got rid of a LOT of trash in them. I didn’t keep count of what was in them, but they were so much more organized! 

Yesterday (Saturday) has been my favorite so far though. My boyfriend and I were at my place waiting to go to a friend’s play, and all of a sudden I was inspired to quickly go through my closet. Clothes are the first thing Marie Kondo says to go through since usually there isn’t emotional attachment. She recommends laying everything out so you can see it, but I didn’t quite have time for that, but I knew there were definitely pieces I wanted to get rid of, so I figured I would start with those and see how much it got to be. 

What a liberating experience. There were things I hadn’t worn in a while, things that didn’t fit, and some things that I knew I probably shouldn’t wear anymore. I threw them all on my bed and packed them up in trash bags to take to the sweep meet or donate (I promise I will not throw away things that are actually useful!). My count in the end was 35 items! Definitely met the goal yesterday and made up for Friday! And I’m going to revisit my closet at the beginning of the year and follow the Konmari method, I’m sure I’ll get rid of even more! 
What did I  gain? 

Friday I gained the peace of mind that I had FINALLY gotten rid of an old dying succulent plant and I felt so much more at ease at work with my drawers organized and decluttered. 

Saturday I gained a lot of closet space and learned I am able to emotionally detach myself from a couple of items that I THOUGHT I would never want to get rid of, and it was so easy!

I’m sure there will be rough patches on my journey, but for right now, I’m incredibly optimistic and ready for punches thrown my way! 

Thanks for reading!  

The Start of my Journey

Hi, my name is Jen, and I’m a self diagnosed compulsive shopper and beginner hoarder. As soon as I started paying for things with my own money I would have certain “phases” of purchasing specific items excessively. It started with CDs, then briefly went to records, to everything from candles, nail polish, plants, art, stuffed animals, makeup, it was out of hand. I’m talking tens, hundreds of these things. For a while I was proud of my 500+ nail polish collection and probably 50+ candles, but after all of these years I realize how sad I am that I could have saved so much money had I not compulsively bought things and if I wasn’t so fixated on owning EVERYTHING. My biggest wake-up call has been my recent move in March. My parents brought a lot of boxes to me of things from my room at their house and put them in the garage. A lot of these boxes haven’t been touched in months. I even have unpacked boxes in my guest bedroom and guinea pig room. Why do I hang onto all of these things I don’t need? I’ll get into that in another blog post.

Recently I really got inspired by the idea of living minimally and possibly even living in a tiny house someday. I’m so stressed by all of my stuff, I want to be able to know where everything goes in my home, only keep things I need and love, and know that if I needed to pack up and move at the drop of a hat, I could. Sitting on my shelf, partially read, for months was “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Inspired, I picked it up again this week, and I’m determined to read through it multiple times before the year is up. That’s goal number one. For the month of December, I have a goal to get rid of at least 2 things everyday, whether it be throwing them out, packing them up to sell/donate them, or giving them to a friend. Then, by the end of December, I’ll have a manageable start into this process.

Surprisingly though, I’ve had a great head start already. Earlier today I figured out some items that I have not been using that I asked friends if they would like, and even though I won’t get money for the items, I’m ecstatic that they’re going to people I love and that they will get so much joy for the items. I had made a post on my Facebook about trying to get rid of things, and literally as I was typing this post I got a message asking if I had any bookshelves I would want to sell!

One of my biggest obstacles will be getting past my “What if” mentality that my mother raised me on. “What if I need this shelf later? What if I need this shirt for a specific occasion? What if I miss it later?” Granted, I’m sure there are things that will be way too hard to let go of at first, and if I can’t just convince myself that it will be okay, I’ll wait, and once I work through the KonMari method (the methodology of the Marie Kondo’s book), I might surprise myself at how easy it is to let go of those items since that’s exactly what her method teaches you to do.

So, why start a blog? I want to document this journey and write out my reasoning for getting rid of certain things, and to hold myself accountable for getting rid of things. Throughout December I’ll log what I get rid of each day, how I got rid of it, why I got rid of it, and what it felt like. I’ll be able to see my progress, and I’m excited to look back and see where I started.

If you’re reading this, thank you for taking the time to read it, and I hope you continue on this journey with me!