Alright, so if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I am expecting and we are currently 6 months in the baking of our newest little. I’ve been gradually picking up the bug to do more and more cleaning and organizing but this week it hit me FULL FORCE – I am ready to organize the CRAP out of my house!
Now, not only did I decide to organize and clean everything but I also decided it was time to go MINIMAL which is exciting and terrifying if I’m being totally honest.
Minimalism for ME is about using MORE of what I have, consuming LESS, and having clean OPEN spaces that allow for calm energy and less cluttered thoughts. As someone who lives with ADHD clutter is a huge perpetrator in my distractibility and it’s also really hard for me to handle for the same reason – I start cleaning/organizing and just get off track almost instantly. Having LESS to manage means MORE time to focus on the important things like family, work, and leisure.
So – MINIMAL NESTING BEGINS!
Now, if you’ve NEVER attempted something like this – where do you even start? Trust me, I get that. As excited as I was to start I could already feel the anxiety rising inside of me about having to let go of so many items and rearrange how everything in my house looked, so here are some tips to help you start.
#1 Start with clothes.
Clothes are much easier to really begin this process with because we typically go thru them often and get rid of stuff ANYWAY so it won’t feel like such a challenge.
Separate ADULT and KIDS clothes (if you have children). So two different boxes or bags.
The first thing is to decide how many items of clothing you are each going to keep. Our family has decided to keep no more than 30 items of clothing (underwear and bras to be included HOWEVER, you might need more than 3 pair of underwear and that’s fine, too). Decide on a number that feels good to you.
Then ask each member of the family to pick out their 30 items. Help kids decide their FAVORITE things. For example, you don’t need 20 sweaters. Trust me, I also believed I did once, but in actuality you don’t. You can do well with 1 or 2 awesome coats (each) and 1 or 2 awesome sweaters each. Apply the same process goes with pants, skirts, shorts, dresses and shirts. Keep the ones you LOVE and that aren’t torn up. Set aside the rest.
Now if you’re going for more of a capsule wardrobe type of thing (where you want ALL your clothes to match with each other thereby maximizing your wardrobe) you MIGHT have to consider investing in some staple new items to make that happen. Most people don’t have unifying clothes like that, so you’ll be eliminating a lot and then also picking up certain specific items to complete your wardrobe.
Now, when it comes to FINDING those extra specific items approach it as follows: go to consignment shops and or thrift stores FIRST. This is a sustainable way of finding clothes that are often in EXCELLENT condition (some still with tags on) and not consuming NEW clothes. After you’ve looked there, if you still cannot find the items you want, THEN you can make your way to a preferred retailer and look there. Just make sure you go with the intention of getting that SPECIFIC thing, make sure it’s GOOD quality, and that you love it.
The clothes process alone might take a while. But by the end of this all the closets should look spacious, airy, and full of beautiful items every family member loves. Make sure to include shoes, accessories (hats/belts/jewelry) in this as well.
Now, once you have your ADULT and KIDS pile you are going to first see if you can sell any of it on consignment. Look for a local shop that buys gently used clothes and take it in. You’ll make some cash and get rid of some stuff. Then with what’s left, host a yard sale and price each item for easy purchase (this includes posting on places like FB marketplace as well). You’ll get some more cash and get rid of some more stuff. FINALLY, you’ll take the rest and donate it. I prefer looking for a specific local shelter, but places like Salvation Army and Goodwill are options as well.
Now, celebrate – CLOTHES ARE DONE!
#2 Look for under utilized spaces in your home.
For example, our front entrance had a closet that was just one big open hole. We added a show rack and a coat hanging rack but to the right of that and the left of that was just…open. We quickly realized we could add shelves and TOTALLY make that space more usable. That is the image featured for this blog post.
Make a list of the spaces in your house that are needing things like shelves, bookcases, wire racks, etc. Any space that you could potentially add some small tweaks to to get the most out of. Go room by room with a notebook and look around slowly. This includes your yard space – could you add a shed and store stuff there? How is your garage put together? ALL of it. Take stock of the spaces that could be better used and HOW you could improve it’s use.
#3 Pick a room and start there.
For us it was our front closet and the linen closet which is back to back with that in our hallway. Our linen closet was CRAMMED with shit. I mean those tiny shelves were about to burst out that closet with towels, and blankets, and medicine, and back stock (meaning replacement items like toilet paper, toothpaste, soap etc.) and literally ANYTHING else I didn’t have a place for. I didn’t even know what was in my linen closet.
I took out EVERYTHING in the linen closet and sifted through ALL the items. Anything old, broken, expired etc got tossed. Anything that COULD be sold or donated and in good use, got set aside and everything else I wanted to keep I put together. Then I organized each shelf by purpose. I keep ALL my nail polish/cleaning liquids/ medications HIGH where my kids can’t get it. Then I continue down by order of “do I care if they found this and pulled it out”. So things like toilet paper, bags, etc are on the lower shelf because it isn’t dangerous and I don’t care as much.
Make sure every thing is EASY to see the on the shelf and nothing is crammed. Use clear bins to organize and label so you can easily looking in the closet and KNOW where what is. You can find them in IKEA, Walmart, or Target etc.
#4 Consumption is emotional for MANY of us, get ready to deal with that.
Shopping is not just about acquiring stuff, its about NEEDING to feel a certain way about who we are. We consume things often to generate a feeling we are struggling to feel. It’s the same reason people OVER eat and drink etc. So just keep in mind that you may find this emotionally draining so it might take time for you to go through your whole space with mindfulness. It’s okay. There is no rush. Take your time. If you need help consider hiring a coach to support you emotionally and mentally or an organizer if you can afford one.
#5 It’s okay if the whole family is NOT ready to do this – start with you.
You might very well find some pushback from your family, that’s okay.
Start with what you can control. Your closets, dressers, bathroom space, cabinets etc. Don’t force kids or spouses to do as you do.
The exception to this would be if YOU are somehow responsible for THEIR maintenance. If you are expected to clean up after them and do laundry for them etc, then you have a right to ask for an easier time doing so. At this point it’s imperative you have an open conversation with your family about the help you need to be able to stay on task more efficiently.
If that is NOT the case, you will find that other members of the household will become increasingly more curious about the way that you organize and live as time goes on.
#6 Give yourself 24 hours before you buy ANYTHING.
When it comes to helping people who over eat, I have a 24 hour rule. Wait 24 hours and if you still want to have that cookie/donut or whatever, then have it. But this time window allows people to realize if they are having a genuine craving or are responding to an emotional need. The same goes for shopping and consuming materials. Even if you find the PERFECT staple item to go in your wardrobe. Still give yourself 24 hours. If after that you genuinely still want it – go get that.
This will make a HUGE difference in your budget and in your brain.
If you need assistance with food, weight etc you can check out my fitness page.
Alright my sovereign babes, these are my first 6 tips for getting on with your minimalism mission and getting your house into a clean, open, airy space that feels amazing and makes it SO MUCH MORE easy to manage. Any other questions just drop them in the comments!
PS. February is HERE! Now offering (2 ) 4 week charting/coaching packages, (3) 90 minute intensives, and (4) charting sessions! Anyone who books an intensive or a charting session will receive my digital Monthly Moon Map Calendar as a download for FREE! And 4 week clients will be sent my signature SOVEREIGN AF mug as a gift! You can check out those two merch items in my shop!