Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Habits & Clutter

I have been, okay I still am, very much a "flat surface" kind of person. You know, the kind of person who sets things on every flat surface until you come home with something and can't find anywhere to set it because all of the flat surfaces are full!

I still do this. I tend to stack mail next to my keyboard or on the end of the kitchen counter to get to later. This is a habit I really, really still need to improve! I feel as though I have tackled reducing our belongings as well as saying no to new/unnecessary purchases, but I am still only in the middle of my journey. I still have more junk to clear and habits to change. I don't feel like I've reached a standstill, but I do feel I've slowed down a lot.

I am pleased with our smaller living space, but still bothered by how much stuff fills it. The #1 culprit: baby toys... everywhere. I had 2 kitchen garbage bags full of stuffed toys packed away during our 2½ month lice battle. I did donate some items from those bags, but I also gave a lot of it back to our daughter. The toys are really nagging at me, more and more. You have to step over baby toys and books everywhere in our tiny apartment.

My biggest achievements this week were taking 1½ bags of donations to the Goodwill so they weren't just sitting here waiting for more stuff. It isn't far out of my way and the bags tend to sit on my daughter's bed. It was our weekend to have her, so I needed them out of the way. I also moved the 4 pair of my shoes and 3 pair of Sasha's shoes from a large-ish box to a smaller box. (I've gotten rid of a lot of shoes.) I keep 2-3 pair by the front door and a few in the box. I do get them out of the box to wear, I just don't have a better place chosen for storage at this point. There are 2 pairs of shoes I'm considering losing, too.

GoodwillPhoto Credit

Your donation of used goods can make a difference for people in your community, and help make a healthier planet as well. The Donate Movement, powered by Goodwill®, challenges all of us to donate conscientiously and responsibly.

This week the Goodwill received stuffed animals, plastic bowls with lids, sippy cups, and a few t-shirts. It always feels good to get more stuff out of our home. Perhaps if I list each week what I got out, I'll be more motivated to get stuff out so I can brag here!

Here are a couple links to help motivate:


  1. My flat surfaces fill up, too. And sometimes the floor counts as a flat surface... I try to keep my piles to a minimum in the common areas of the house, but this means my own bedroom sometimes turns into a gigantic pile right inside the door.

    If you're going to get rid of some stuff every week, I think posting a list is a great idea. Maybe you could count the individual items or weigh them, too. So each week you could tell what you gave away, how many things, how much it weighed and give a running total. That'll probably add up really nicely and be very motivational!

  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Issa! I think I used to be worse about the floor before I had another little one. Keeping papers out of her reach limits the spaces I can use. I'm even having to inch papers further and further back on my desk so she doesn't get them!

    I have seen someone else post regularly the amount of stuff she donates / gets out of her home, but I started back in October. I feel like I couldn't provide a true representation as far as tracking.

    However, I did recently post a photo from January of my junk pile. I'm thinking of doing a photo update soon... which may serve as a motivational boost before I do that!

  3. It's the dropping off that trips me up. I get bags and boxes ready to donate, but actually carrying them to the car and making that trip — ah, there's the problem. I like putting them on a bed you need to use. :) I might have to steal that idea.

  4. Previously I did have a little issue with getting to the donation center. We have these red boxes around town, too, though. I'm not sure the organization, but you can drop stuff off into and around them. I used those a few times.

    Conveniently, I now work very close to a Goodwill location so it is pretty convenient to go right after work.

    When I really need to take it on a certain day (I will forget), I often place the bag in front or right next to the door. Occasionally I put stuff outside in the little cubby next to our door. And I'll admit, sometimes I drive around with donations in the back of the truck for a few days. I even had to move some stuff into the cab because we were expecting rain!


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