“One can furnish a home very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.” —Francis Jourdain
Many people will miss the joys of minimalism because they are afraid to begin. Often, they fear if they “minimize” an item from their home, they will regret it in the future if they need it again.
While that rarely happens (you need so much less than you think), if this fear is preventing you from getting started, try this alternative method instead.
Begin by simply reducing the excess things in your home. For example, your family needs towels so you will never remove them completely—but you could simplify your life by reducing the number of towels you own. This approach removes all risk.
Once you take that first step, you will start to experience the benefits of minimalism. You will enjoy the refreshing feeling of a less-cluttered linen closet or bathroom drawer.
Soon, you will notice countless other things that can be reduced in your home. Before you know it, you will have made significant progress in your journey towards a more simplified life.
To better understand the potential of this simple, risk-free step, I compiled a list of 101 Things That Can Easily Be Reduced In Your Home.
Just below the written list in this post, you can also sign up to have a printable PDF of my Declutter Your Home Checklist. I’ll send you a
This minimalist list is not meant to overwhelm or frustrate you, it’s simply meant to give you an idea of how significant a step this can be–just choosing 10 things on this minimalist checklist to start with would result in a noticeable difference in your home.
The Declutter Your Home Checklist: 101 Things That Can Easily Be Reduced In Your Home
- Kitchen Glassware
- Kitchen gadgets
- Kitchen appliances
- Pots / pans
- Mixing bowls
- Water pitchers
- Coffee mugs
- Glass jars
- Magazines / Newspapers
- Over-the-counter medicine
- Hair accessories
- Personal beauty appliances
- Photography supplies
- Sewing supplies
- Other craft supplies
- DVDs / VHS tapes
- Wall Decorations
- Candle Holders
- Crystal / China
- Audio/visual components
- Audio/visual cables
- Computers equipment
- Computer peripherals
- Old cellphones
- Video game systems
- Video game accessories
- Video games
- Pants / Shorts
- Dresses / Skirts
- Clothes hangers
- Ties / belts / accessories
- Winter gear
- Socks / Underwear
- Linen sets
- Duvets / Comforters
- Items on your bulletin board
- Home office supplies
- Pens / pencils
- Rubber bands / Twist ties
- Cleaning supplies
- Old batteries
- Phone books
- Board games
- Decks of cards
- Unused gifts
- Baby clothes
- Baby supplies
- Old schoolbooks/papers
- Stuffed animals
- Kid’s artwork
- Pantry food
- Paper goods
- Wrapping supplies
- Pet supplies
- Plastic bags
- Party supplies
- Seasonal decorations
- Sporting goods
- Sports memorabilia
- Automotive supplies
- Scrap pieces of lumber
- Garden tools
- Plant containers / Pots
- Empty cardboard boxes
If you’d prefer a physical copy of the Declutter Your Home Checklist, fill out your email below for a high-quality, printable PDF:
If you are just beginning your personal journey towards simplicity, I recommend our book: Simplify. 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life.
In it, you will find principles of simplicity that are encouraging, uplifting, and entirely within your reach.
For more ideas on how to “minimalize” your life, visit this article on comprehensive decluttering tips.
Balon Menari says
Good post, thank you.
Very good list here. I also recommend using the sticker or filing dot approach, put one on everything and remove them as you use them. Should you doubt Joshua’s approach to your actual needs, you’ll be surprised to see how many dots are left 3,6,9, months later. Then you have a choice. Will I play this game again next year?
I know what you are thinking…you will need it the day after you donate it. While that’s happened, it’s usually been alleviated by replacing it with a similar item already in use, or borrowing an item of need, or it just doesn’t happen. Which is most of the time.
Els Ronsse says
I’m going to try!
Bonnie Yacko says
I did it in August of 2022. I spent a long time (several months) looking at things in my house and saying goodbye to them before I began. I called my 2 adult daughters to come help. They could have most anything they wanted, which they were happy to relieve me of. They were both new home and apartment owners. They boxed up my “treasures” and filled a few SUV loads to take to Goodwill, or the curb. It became fun, seeing how much I could unload. I did not need 2 sets of pots and pans, unmatched glasses, linens I never use, candles, dress work clothes since I am now retired. It became freeing. We had fun getting rid of Mom’s and Dad’s stuff. There were some good laughs and memories in the process. They inherited some valuable art and things they wanted for their new homes. Some we flipped a coin for. I’m glad they helped. It was not overwhelming then, but fun. I felt free. I’m traveling in Bali and Thailand for 4 months right now. Letting go of possessions was the first step. I still have to get rid of some holiday items when I return home, and need to learn to minimalize my travel wardrobe. I will get there! It’s worth the freedom and peace of mind. Do it! Work through letting go of each item emotionally first. It helps.
Thank you for the encouragement and guidance.
This is fantastic! So happy for you!
Nicole G says
awesome. this is my goal. thank you for sharing
Robyn Blue says
This is fantastic! I am an organizer/ declutterer in San Diego and your advice to spend time emotionally prior to moving items on is outstanding!
This is similar to Swedish death cleaning, which, in a brief nutshell is to remove your clutter and gift items to family or friends prior to passing so your family does not have to.
My father-in-law recently passed and my husband and his siblings had the laborious and emotional task of going through all his belongings and tossing, gifting, and donating items.
Balon Tepuk says
I love this! I’ve been trying to reduce my clutter and this is a great way to start.
Riya Sen says
I love this! I’ve been trying to reduce my clutter and this is a great way to start.
As much as i wish to declutter-what do i do with existing excess stuff. Its not easy to just throw them away. Many wouldnt buy shed things in India.
And many mentioned amongst 101 belong to my spouse’s territory and she is a staunch believer in maximism. And i dont have the appetite to get into a fight. Some time i have just thrown out things or left them in a hope some one picks up.
Diana Auerhammer says
Give each thing away.
I am all for decluttering, but are we supposed to go naked and starve? If I got rid of all this, I would have no clothes, no food, my house would be dirty with no cleaning supplies, etc. Really? who can live like this?
He meant reducing the amount you own, not get rid of everything. Instead of 20 pairs of shoes, possibly reduce the amount by 10 pairs. It’s a guide intended to increase our awareness of how much we really own and what we actually use.
Try Freecycle, Facebook, Craigslist etc online if you want to give way things along and along or all at once. just post a “Curb Alert” and a photo of your things or list what you have and set it by the curb. You can list your address or have them email you for the address. I did this with a large item and half a dozen people emailed me within minutes. I chose the one I wanted to get it and he picked it up within the hour. I also listed some rose bushes I no longer wanted with “free if you dig them up” in the listing. Had several replies on that one and wallah..the roses were gone and I didn’t have to do the work.
Paul James Lee says
Just start from zero and then decide what you need- You know what you really need- Neither Joshua nor anyone else does. The rest is then up for grabs…
Im pretty sure he is saying if you have an excessive amount of each of these items, to keep only what you actually use on a regular basis and get rid of the rest. Im sure he wasnt suggesting you get rid of everything.
Felicity Leith-Ross says
It doesn’t say EVERYTHING – it says what you have in excess, what you don’t need and what you don’t use. Not exactly down to starving and going naked !
Diana Auerhammer says
Don’t be silly. You know what this all mwans
Diana Auerhammer says
Ridiculous. That’s not what this means.
It’s good to start with items on the list that are duplicates. Of course you NEED cleaning items but do you have TWO brooms when you already have a favorite ONE that you use almost exclusively? Things like that, it’s about trimming the fat so that it’s easy to find and put away your necessities. You can take it as far as you’d like.
I want to get my life down to a backpack and become a nomad but I own a 2500 sq ft home and I shudder at tossing things in the landfill, like the little things in drawers. I also don’t want to list every single item for strangers to reply and come to pick up. Where do I start?
S. Jacques says
Hi RK, my biggest struggle with decluttering is the huge environmental guilt I feel when throwing things away.
I try and donate anything that others may be able to use.
But the things I really can’t donate, I have to learn to accept either my home will be the garbage tip, or the garbage tip will be the garbage tip. (I don’t mean literal garbage, my house is clean, just all those bits and pieces that accumulate and can’t be given to others or used practically)
Better to send the clutter there, than clutter my house and mind. And then be aware of the pain of getting rid of these things and try my best to minimise such things coming back into my house through purchases etc.
Hope that makes sense and is helpful.
Search facebook for your neighborhood ‘free to you’ page. Many people post unneeded things there and other look there for something then need/want instead of hoping to find it in a goodwill store.
Jan Long says
I did it. It was not easy but the trips we took were worth it. Just do a little bit everyday. One drawer or closet at a time.
Mari C Howard says
free to salvation army or amvets or lastly to goodwill.
Advertise a downsizing sale and get rid of most things by making them FREE. Put that most items are free in your listing and you shouldn’t have much trouble as it is all quickly taken off your hands.
You could always donate those items and let the employees of the donation place decide what to keep and what to toss. I have the same feeling and sometimes it’s easier to just give it to them even if I KNOW they’re just going to toss it.
Pitch a tent in your backyard and live as a nomad in there for a few weeks. You’ll discover what you need and miss having. It will help you letting go
As an Airbnb Superhost with several furnished properties that I solely own and manage, I possess many things! But last year, I began to “declutter” my properties and my home. It felt great to do this and it gave my long term Airbnb guests and me less to have to clean.
However, I am the exception to what I have read on this page as getting rid of some items, especially items used in repairs, has forced me to have to replace them. But still, baring a few walls, countertops, tables and shelves has not been as drastic as I first thought it would. And reducing items in my wardrobe was liberating!
And in my home there are now no TVs! And as I hate mall shopping and rarely go into one, “clutter” has not been an issue from malls. However, until last year, my “addiction” was resale shops. But with the requirement of mask wearing which I was physically unable to tolerate, I was forced to “detoxify” and in the process was “delivered” and amazingly have no desire now for resale shopping.
There is still more that I can get rid of and I will. It’s an-going process!
I have gone through this list twice now and absolutely value the experience. There is value in more than just reducing (the title says ‘reduce’ not eliminate!) For example, I bought and moved into my first home two years ago. Since then I’ve been adding to my pantry (one big corner cabinet) especially during covid lockdown.
With the list, I emptied out the whole thing, realized nothing was gross or outdated, so I made mental notes of what I have and then organized it while putting it back. It looks neater, it’s energized me to ‘shop my cupboard’ for meals for a week or two, and feels like it’s under control.
In general, I don’t have or enjoy having lots of stuff. I lived in Budapest for ten years and I think that’s when I realized that we really don’t need as much as we think. But this list has pushed me to go through everything and get rid of all that I don’t need/love/spark joy. And I know you look down on KonMarie but her writings have guided me too and added joy to living with less!
Caro Benedict says
I absolutely love this site and enjoy reading the articles and comments.
I have been massively decluttering for the last two years as I don’t want to burden my daughter with trying to sort everything out when I’ve gone. I am lucky in that I don’t own anything of any value and have found it very easy to let go of stuff. I had to clear my parents and my grandmother’s house and it was a NIGHTMARE. As we age we should be less selfish and not have the attitude that it’s not our problem, let those following behind deal with it. There are immediate benefits with minimalism. A clean, tidy and SAFER house, particularly if we are old is a massive benefit. Thank you so much.
True! Attaining the age of 60 has moved me to reflect upon what makes life truly enjoyable and what I can live without. I too had to deal with the collected items in my parents estate. They grew up poor and saved everything! It was a lot of work and mental anguish to sort it all out. As a result I have no desire to burden anyone else with cleaning out my things. I remind myself to keep only those items that serve me. It’s a challenge and I wish I had come to this realization years ago. The reward is clean space for myself and my precious pets to enjoy!
Michelle Mills says
ha ha candles – here in South Africa we have scheduled blackouts… candles get USED, even the fancy ‘wedding invitation’ candles
why are there scheduled black outs?
I suppose that could be looked at as funny. Maybe you dont need to declutter every single thing on the list. Its only a guide and meant for the people who need it. It wasnt created just for you.
Elizabeth J Knutson says
I’ve used Joshua’s methods for several years now. There were very few items in the 101 items to get rid of article that I haven’t already addressed. I love my house now. Just the right amount of personal possessions that I need to enjoy my life without the overwhelming clutter. It is nearly always clean now because things are easy to take care of. It’s the best feeling.
Deborah Hawkins says
I started minimalizing so my son won’t have too much to clean out when I am no longer here. I have felt a sense of relief. And I love the open spaces… shelves in the cupboard, drawers and the closets. We have a basement too! Getting there!! Thank you for the encouraging Facebook posts.
Erin Lennon says
Reducing my belongings made it faster and easier to keep my home clean, and made it more efficient because there is more room now for things I enjoy doing, like cooking and sewing. My guiding principle has been functionality. That said, I enjoy a visually rich environment and so I kept alot of art on the walls and alot of rich colored and textured fabrics.
joshua becker says
I use a lot of buttons in my craft projects. There are colors I was given that I passed on to Goodwill and Salvation Army. I filled plastic jars I was also given. After I filled 4 jars with buttons, I went through my beads and ribbon. Now I have a big carton full of craft supplies to give away. Then my friend gave me some more beautiful paper.
BETH HILDEBRAND says
The Checklist would be Ideal if sorted Alphabetically OR by Category such as Closet, Kitchen, etc. Otherwise great. Thanks.
Stefne Walton says
Some of these categories are sacred like sewing, crafts, sports equipment & winter clothes, boots, shoes & books and clothes in general.
Guess that just shows how bad I need to get involved in MINIMALISM
Anna Moran says
Not necessarily, Stefne. Let your minimizing process be your own. You may have legitimate use for your “sacred” items that
allow you to express yourself or serve others. I have most of the items on Josh’s 101 list and am very much a minimalist. I believe it is more important to follow the spirit of the “law,” so to speak,
than literally following rigid guidelines. Without any of the items on the 101-list, one could have a very austere existence.
I try to regard books as if they were like fish, “catch and release.” Once I’ve read a book, unless it is exceptionally special, I donate it to put it back out in the world for others to enjoy.
That’s a really cool perspective on books. That thought reframe may help me let go of some more that I’ve been unnecessarily clinging to/storing in boxes. Time to take them to the little free libraries to allow others to enjoy them.
Amy Lynn says
I’ve started the “catch and release” on books, too.
True story – I walked in the church office one Sunday to drop of some religious books that I thought my minister might be able to use. Just as I am walking in he is trying to find the keys to the church bookstore to get a visitor an intro-to-our-denomination book. I realized that I had a copy in the bag I was about to give him! Everybody left happy.
That’s perfect! We never know how our used items will be able to bless someone else!
Helpful Hannah says
So, do that yourself (30″ work in a spreadsheet for alphabetical sort), and then offer a copy to the author! Note, too, that not everyone is conventional in where they store things.
I enjoyed this blog. I have worked from home this year due to Covid and i find i appreciate home and living much more. Some of these minimalist principals to me need to be a compromise. However, one thing I have done is to buy clothes on vinted a uk website where people sell there unwanted items. I don’t like being dictated to by designers and fashion but I like clothes. This way purchasing on here it satisfy an itch while making me feel less manipulated and fleeced by the fashion industries. Knowing that it has had 2 homes and use works for me. Other things I have started to work on are textiles. Towels linen etc. I no longer have curtains and this saved space and light and work. I don’t agree entirely with minimalism but in this age I think moderation is vital to many people. Regarding others appreciating your cast offs. What I find is that often they don’t want seconds. This makes me sad. Most of my cast offs would be perfectly fine I just tired of it them whatever it is. The chance that no one else wouldn’t use them is whatmakes me reluctant to just bin them. Charity shops are themselves very picky nowadays this makes me sad,
AMY FORTUNE says
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through the checklist, as well as the comments.
One such comment hit me on such a personal level, the young lady trying to de-clutter so her son would not have to deal with it when she isn’t here anymore. My parents did not do that, at all. Three years ago, they moved across the states to Vegas. It was at that time that I was introduced to all of my things that they had stored; artwork from preschool and up, my baby teeth I had lost, my old swing (used when an infant), and so on.
I looked around at my home, which was starting to resemble that of what my folks just surprised me with.
That was my wake up call. That was when I started trying to go through things, and make a difference. However, this article has re-ignited that fire and provided great motivation.
Catherine Brown says
The Air Ambulance clothes bins take clothes and textiles. Any thing that cannot be sold as is, is sold for its “material” value so it does not go to waste and still raises money for yhe charity.
Deborah Evans says
Are you or your house a garbage can? If others would toss it, why do you feel like its ok to keep? You don’t need or want it… I felt the same way, seemed a horrid thing, to toss out ‘perfectly good’ stuff. Its depression era thinking we got from our parents. Let go- Give it to Goodwill, they know what is good and what will not fly.
Margaret Smith says
I live in a low income building with five floors. My closets are full of stuff and what we do here is bring to other floors what we don’t want. I’ve been hauling stuff out of my apartment and getting rid of stuff I never use. It’s a lot of work but I just love getting rid of clutter. My anxiety goes why down when I clear something out and I don’t miss any of it once it’s gone. I must say closets are the worst, mine are full but getting better every day.
Maria Pinto says
It is good to look for plastic alternatives as well. Only a small percentage of plastic gets recycled and the rest goes into a land fill.
Much of the plastic ends up in the ocean too.
I do this now, soap bars instead of shampoo and shower gel. I use refills for my cleaning products too. Lots more room in my cupboards and more environmentally friendly.
Hi. I live in Norway, where accumulation of things and the materialistic mindset is viewed as being successful. I used to get jealous of others enjoying a luxury that was greater than my own. But that changed when I watched the Netflix documentary on Minimalism, and I started to follow the minimalisms principles. I am content with myself. I feel happier, lighter even. For the past year I have been selling or disposing of my belongings, many of which had affectionate value. My personal belongings almost fully limit to clothes for the four seasons, a laptop with necessary accessories, a mobile phone with necessary accessories. My home includes the necessity of a comfortable bed, a kitchen, a bathroom and an almost empty living room. Freeing myself of the comfort of wanting to stay inside, has driven me into seeking out social human contact and activities. For me, this is happiness.
Ret Simp says
My neighbor’s house looks like a sample home. She commented that she doesnt have “stuff”. But there are no family pictures, no books, no magazines… nothing personal. I’m looking for a happy medium.
I agree that’s why after reading Joshua’s 7 principles it made sense and I was open to the idea.
In the past I’d only thought of minimalism as getting rid of everything.
Had the same problem with newspapers. We are subscribed to the Post (planning to cancel it) when we often can go through them all frequently. I see you have on your list coupons- those have been so handy even more now from the drugstore. I came up with this new way to have a box where I put in all small pieces I collect , then turn it into a fancy organizer you can find anywhere else, or may be not.
Kelly H says
I found that during this time of economic crisis, working from home has challenged me to do better with my clutters. Computers filing system has been very helpful for this arrangement , whereas many can manage more in a smaller square foot office I really want to find my way to do the same. For me , it is to keep up to the task to fit all in. It is important to feel more familiar with my new work/system . I rely on your great posting to find some good advise for this. So far, your entire list describes well my clutters and with more creativity I might as well do better, has anyone gone through this kind of issue?
Debbie L. says
Some of the items make no sense and actually got me angry, pantry food? With so many people starving how we can throw away the excess.
Plastic bags? We are in times of recycling, how we can just dismiss them like that without giving them as much as use as possible.
Everything that is plastic on that list should be given another use instead of getting rid of them.
I’ve actually chosen to get rid of many of these useful items by donating them to people who can really use them.
They will get far more use in the hands of someone who is in need than sitting in the back of one of my closets.
Right now so many people are hurting financially and can use I nexpensive or free gently-used items.
Judith Johnson says
The title of the article is “things you can reduce” You can reduce pantry goods by giving them away or not replacing as fast as you are using them. Similarly with plastic bags etc. They can be reduced, recycled, reused or refused
Decluttering the pantry doesn’t mean you have to throw the food out (unless it’s expired, in which case no food bank will take it.)
I just filled two big Aldi bags with surplus food that wasn’t being eaten, and it will be donated to our local food bank in the morning. The food will serve its purpose now and feed someone, as opposed to sitting in my pantry taking up space until it expires.
I grew up poor. Hoarding food was an unpleasant habit I picked up along the way, which is why my pantry was stuffed with beans and rice and tuna fish. It’s a relief to be at a point where I can be choosy about my diet now. It’s also really nice to be in a position to help feed someone else in my community. :)
JoAnne H says
I don’t think “decluttering” necessitates “throwing away”. For instance, I just cleared out my pantry. Half the stuff was expired and old, just taking up space, so yes I had to throw those items away. But I also realized because it was so cluttered, I would overbuy items I already had. So I donated many duplicate items to a community food pantry. I also decluttered my Tupperware and gave great pieces to a local thrift store. Someone else could use them, and I just kept the ones that were useful to me. (PS: we don’t ever throw out plastic bags since we have a rather large dog who poops at least 3x/day! At least they get repurposed.) :)
Karin Kryski says
I wash zip lock bags and reuse until they have small holes or don’t seal…. I too use every plastic bag I end up with for the contents of my cats litter box…I fill them too…sealing off each litter box cleaning by twisting the bag, then adding more later. I am physically incapable of throwing away a plastic bag and am constantly reminding friends I catch in the act not to do so. I use them to line small waste baskets around my home, I keep them in my car for waste bags which I simply empty out when full and continue using. I’ve gotten so much better about remembering to bring my reusable grocery bags into the store-last week I forgot and instead of buying bags…I asked them to set aside my items while I retrieved them from the car. In other instances I’ve asked them nicely to literally place my groceries loose into the basket which I then take to the car and load into my reusable bags. It feels good to know I’m taking a positive step toward sustainability. If we’re at least willing to work toward trying to attain these small goals then I believe there’s a bright future ahead. I think the most memorable grocery shopping encounter was recently when a woman behind me could see I needed one more reusable grocery bag and gave me one.
I think everyone wanting to declutter is right and yet I find myself holding onto excess items. Ask for help!!! Worst case scenario is that the answer is “no”. I’m sure there are plenty of high school kids willing to help you post things online if the thought of that is too much (my feelings). Offer them half or all of the income from such postings and you both benefit. Having an objective individual to hold you accountable, ideally whose judgment you trust makes all the difference.
If it’s broken and you know you’re not going to fix it…pass it along.
sylvia durrant says
You cannot just throw away food, plastic bags etc.
To someone there is value.
Refuse is the Mantra, Reuse is the second and we can all reuse until the item has (died)
Recycle comes way down on the list as it has energy implications.
Bea Johnson book.
“get rid of” doesn’t necessarily mean throw away. Our Kroger’s in the next town has a recycle bin for old plastic grocery bags. We use the plastic grocery bags for small garbage cans. For grocery shopping, we take our own reusable grocery bags. There are plenty of food pantries and homeless shelters around here that we can take food to. My point is, there are many ways to get rid of clutter. There are many places to donate stuff too. And there are many ways to recycle items that cannot be donated.
I checked out your list, with an open mind and a smile on my face. It became obvious to me about halfway through the list you don’t live in the country. By that, I mean way outside of any big city. As a country dweller, your list at times gave me chuckle and at times a gasp! How could you think of ridding yourself of parts of a tractor or a truck? Or extra anything living in a rural area. Now I’ll admit there is too much fabric and yarn in my possession. That’s something I grew up with. Making clothes and knitting and crocheting was a must. And having to move for work 3 times can make one want to pare down. Nah! I’ll keep it all. My pig collection, my clothing patterns, my fabric and all my Christmas decorations…. Gonna keep it all. I have a plastic tote filled with cook books. Craft magazines are at home with me. Even issues from the 60’s.
I’m a lost cause. My children will have fun donating and trashing when I’m gone. But until then….
joshua becker says
I do not live in the country. But spent most summers growing up on my grandparent’s farm in South Dakota: picking rocks, spraying weeds, and feeding pigs. Good memories.
Gabrielle Contino says
My elderly mom, age 103, listens to your grandfather every Sunday morning!
I think this list is for people who want to live with less and need help on how to accomplish this overwhelming task. Good for you for wanting to keep all your stuff and enjoying it. Move along now.
I had to smile when I read your post❤️?❤️ I so relate to what you said. My Dad felt the same way and now here I am 13 years since he passed struggling letting go of his belongings. I am single and have no children so I am trying to free up my space. I am artsy and keep everything. I am bulging at the seems so trying to get a good perspective. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I certainly believe if you like your things and have no need to declutter- then don’t. My Dad always said, “If it works…don’t fix it!” Enjoy your treasures Amy❤️
Been There says
Believe me, Amy, your children will not “have fun” donating and trashing your mess. It’s mentally exhausting and very expensive to haul away the trash. The last thing a child needs to do in the midst of grieving the loss of a parent and settling an estate is to clear a hoard. It’s just lazy and unkind to leave a bunch of crap behind.
I had to do that after my parents were gone. I did it by myself and believe me, it’s not fun. Be considerate of your children and do it now.
Can I enroll in the 12 week class? I really need it! Thanks.
Rumana Pervin says
Thanks, Joshua for your creative idea. It is such an amazing blog! Before I wanted to remove the excess things of my home but I got scared it could regret in the future. Now I am really inspired to do that. Your overly skilled writing is highly appreciated. I love it so much.
Thank you for this. It isn’t rocket science in any way, but having the list just makes it a bit easier to process!
It really was a great list until you got to books. That hurt! LOL
Amy Lynn says
A few months ago I did the full Marie Kondo and went through my books – yes, I took them all out of my book case and went through them one by one. It wasn’t as hard as I expected. I was able to get rid of about half of them and now that I can actually see what I have I will probably get rid of a few more. (But probably not put them all on the floor again – yeesh.)
What may be a lot of stuff for one person may be just fine for another. I don’t think there are any rules, as long as it’s not bothering the owner and not a danger to them, they are fine I think, but then, consider the source. I have different collections and love having them around me. I also have things that I don’t need and can sell or donate and plan do work on it asap, that stuff IS bothering me.
God Bless and Good Luck
joshua becker says
We rarely feel the weight of our possessions until we begin to remove them.
Thomas Calvert says
For some time I have favoured a system of storing boxes. When a box is stored somewhere (a basement) it should be dated. One year later if the box has not been opened trash it…or something. PS We have not unfortunately done this.
I am interested in signing up for the October Uncluttered Course. I have signed up (several times) to receive an email with the course preview, but have not received it. Can this be sent to me, please? Thanks!
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In my minimalist try, when we moved in Jan of 2017, I no longer have a dishwasher or a microwave. Dont miss them. Trinkets are my big downfall but we have been going through everything and boxing up what we dont need for a yard sale in May!
I dont have much plastic of any kind for food storage, I have glass bowls.
Amy Lynn says
Don’t have a dishwasher in my current apartment and don’t really miss it. I have no illusions that a dishwasher will make me better at doing the dishes regularly.
I did recently replace my microwave (after a repair shop confirmed that the old one would cost more to repair than to replace), but I thought about. As a single adult that basically lives on leftovers it seemed like a worthwhile purchase, but I recognize that I can live without it a lot more easily than I thought I could.
Hi, I have a request that has nothing to do with the articles’ contents. In fact, they’ve all been terrifically helpful and I’ve been quite in line with most of it most of my life. You’ve helped me by filling in my oversights and gaps. And for that I’m very grateful.
I have a favor to ask. Would it be possible for you to change the color of your typeset? This pale grey is extremely difficult for me to read. I often can’t get through an article/post because my eyes will have tired long before I’m done. And I tried increasing the type size and that didn’t help. Unfortunately.
Thanks for all your wonderful ideas.
Pam Kline says
Ditto on the gray fonts, as well as other lightly pigmented colors. For a decade I have been pleading with Amazon, google, Apple etc. to stop using this light gray that I am now writing this out with. I cannot get it big enough to see because not only is size an issue for me, but the strength of the color. If it is pale, I will not see it. Many times I have had to call Tech Support because I couldn’t get an app to work correctly, only to have the person tell me to hit a button or a phrase that I cannot see. They have to take over my screen and use their curser to guide me to the spot where the hidden-to-me message is written. It is so frustrating. Apple prides themselves on being so helpful to people with disabilities. I have logically presented my case to them at least 20 different times. The last time If asked if they would give us (people with visual difficulties) an alternate font set up for ANYTHING that appears on my computer. I asked them WHY it is SO IMPORTANT for them to use light gray. Their response was almost cruel. The reply was that it took too much work to change the font color from their end. Well, so much for helping the visually impaired.
I’m viewing this on a Samsung tablet and it’s like a dark purple, almost black, on white background. Very high contrast. I wonder if your device is set in some way that makes it lower contrast? Or if something’s wrong with the blog that makes it appear differently on different devices.
Cheryl Zaneta Moore says
Try using the Read aloud feature so you don’t have to look at the screen.
I’ve downsized to about half of what I owned. Still have a ways to go though! My life has been drastically easier even at half though. I find it easier to travel the world now because I have more time and money-who’d have thought!
Ever been to a minimalist’s house? It’s bat crap boring and always looks the same. Empty.
They look like a Scrooge because they don’t want to buy anything and are afraid to purchase a vase.
Minimalism is boring and can be just as OCD as collecting too much junk. Why should I get rid of things I like?
Leslie H. says
Who says you have to? In fact you could infinately fill your home to the ceiling with cast outs, from those who are interested in reducing the over stimulating quantity of belongings they have that re-direct our attention from passions previously resolved unattainable.
Maybe you hit the jackpot, or maybe you have other reasons your belongings bring you comfort and security.
I will end on this thought, however…. I hardly find your comment more defensive, and purposely provoking, than simply an open, genuine statement, as the undertones come across defensive.
Just because one reduces their belongings hardly means they aren’t stylish, intentionally authentic nor without aesthetic appreciation.
I’m under the impression that you wouldn’t be on a minimalist site, much less commenting if a bit of curiosity just might be growing within yourself.
Best wishes, my friend.
Gloria Mcmillian says
I too am curious as to what kind of individual lives in an empty room. I know people who have beautiful homes decorated beautifully with many things and they travel and enjoy life. Not sure why some think having a home beautifully filled is a detriment. I think only if you spend money you don’t have is an issue. I know a person who has two homes full, one a vacation home. I learned years ago that a person can live in a two room apartment and own basics and only one. One towel, one plate, one pan and so on. There is pleasure in owning. There is enjoyment.
I believe the people who live in homes with minimal possessions are people who choose to. Thank you to the people who provide helpful information for those who are interested. Fortunately we all get to decide for ourselves.
The older I get, the more I realize that I need to minimize so my children aren’t someday left with an overwhelming task. And to make it easier to care for myself as I age. I’m sure there are a variety of other valid reasons, just as many have valid reasons for accumulating and living with many things.
I agree with you. This advice is for accumulators and people that have really packed messy homes. If ypu are not one of them you just need to organize your things nicely but why to get rid of useful things? That list is crap
“Why get rid of useful things?”
To give to others who do not have these useful things… many of us have far more than we actually use.
I think this advice can be useful or applicable to anyone! Not just “accumulators” or “people who have really packed messy homes.” It also takes a lot of time, money, and energy to “organize your things nicely.” By owning less, you won’t have to so much of this. Minimalism is not getting rid of “useful things.” It’s being intentional with what you own. It’s spending less money on things and spending more time enjoying life or experiences. As someone who grew up in a working class household, I worried about not having enough. I now know that I, myself, am enough. And that I have a family and relationship that make me happy. I may not be rich, but I have what I need. The list is not “crap.” The list is a starting point for to consider how much we own and what we can let go. There is always someone out there who is grateful to have what we cannot use.
Example: for years, my grandparents saved various collectibles for myself and my brothers, thinking that they were going to be worth something some day. Antique furniture, lunar landing glasses, old Time magazines commemorating special events, etc.. when my grandmother found out these items were worth mere pennies on the dollar, it spurred her to start minimizing and decluttering and de-owning.
Minimalism will look different for everyone, but I find it’s a journey worth undertaking. Letting go feels so satisfying and seeing empty spaces is exhilarating. We have so much more than we realize.
What are you even talking about? This sounds like an argument from a 13-year-old. Shifting one’s focus from unnecessary possessions to more important goals in life, according to you, is a misguided effort because it makes one’s home “bat crap boring” to guests?
If my guests found their time spent in my home to be bat crap boring, it would be because I’m terrible company, and not because I dont have knick knacks on display.
Ann Houston Griffin says
100% accurate. It’s not about stuff it’s about people and more for enjoying doing something more than cleaning. The list is wonderful.
To me, minimalism doesn’t mean getting rid of the things you like. It means keeping only what makes you happy, functional, and focused on what you most care about.
Catherine Black says
I am preparing to move out of state so my Stuff Purge is rapidly serious. I pictured the pioneer women reduced to such few items on the Conestoga wagons going west. Plus I have received so many blessings from other people when I give them Stuff!
Geri kaperak says
I have been slowly restarting decluttering since I had surgery a month ago. Got a couple areas downsized yesterday. Since xmas is near, getting rid of our way too many ornaments. There r some other great ideas here. Plus, yesterday, I found something I was looking for, imagine that!!!
Karen Ford says
I printed the list and will try to get rid of one thing in each category every day. That should be pretty painless.
I agree with almost all the items–except photos. After my parents passed away, and my brother died suddenly years after, I have found photos to be comforting. Immensely so. Ergo, the photos stay (along with my stash of comfort-drinking-cocoa.)
To those who disagree strongly with the list–you came to this site to read. You were treated well, with relatively good writing and a friendly attitude (the author’s, and most of the commenters’). No one is forcing you to do everything on the list. They were meant to be suggestions. Reply, if you must–but remain relaxed, eager to learn and eager to share.
Oh, and yes–one thing we can never have too much of is good will and a healthy sense of humor :-)
I looked at the list. I have many books in a pile and one by one I am reading. But when I’m done they go in a box the the spring tag sale that takes place every year at my house. I have a real problem throwing things away when maybe someone can use them. The money I make goes toward a home improvement project that happens in the spring as well.