So, you want to be a Minimalist this year?


{Image Courtesy of Shutterstock}

Maybe it’s just a coincidence because it’s January and we are in that whole “out with the old” adage but I am feeling like, as I am sure many of you are, 2016 will be the year of minimalism. It seems to be sinking in that experiences, memories and a few treasured items are superior to mass quantities of material stuff/things/clutter/JUNK. This has never become more apparent to me as it has now that I am a parent. I have gone from being an undergrad university student who could basically fit everything I owned into my little 2 door Pontiac Sunfire, save a few boxes sitting at my parents, to a suburban mom with a family of 3 who has not only 2 large floors packed with stuff but also an undeveloped basement that’s becoming full along with that damn cluttered garage. How did this happen? I get that this is a major ‘1st world problem’ and I am not complaining that I have been fortunate enough to purchase material items when wanted/needed, mainly wanted. Perhaps, sometimes we just get so caught up in being an adult who finally has money and the ability to make spending decisions that we don’t even know we are doing it? Or, maybe we grew up in homes where there wasn’t a ton of “stuff” and we want to make sure that our home is different? Maybe we just like be surrounded by all the pretty things. Things can be great- until you realize you can’t find the important and necessary things because the other things are in the way and you no longer even notice the pretty things. Maybe it’s because I am a busy, multitasking, works best under pressure and chaos, nearing the mid-30’s (maybe even a crisis) kinda gal, but I am beginning to feel suffocated by all the things. So, I am declaring this my year of minimalism- and here is how I plan to start….

Step One: Take Advice from Others

I love hearing what other people have done to successfully achieve something! The best tips and suggestions seem to come, for me, from Facebook. I am lucky enough to have lots of people in my life who are authentic and will tell it like it is. Here’s what’s worked for some of them:

Tackle it one drawer, cupboard, shelf at a time/day. (Chelsey)

Have a donation service pick up once a month. I have a personal goal of one bag or one box a month going out the door. With someone else picking up, it makes it one less thing for a mom of 4 to remember to drop off. (Angele)

Read and follow Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. (various friends) Sadly, I have this book. You guessed it, it’s sitting under a stack of other unread books. However, judging by the number of people who have mentioned it I just might have to carve out the time to give it a read.

Turn your hangers all backwards at the start of a season and if you haven’t worn it by the end get rid of it. (Vanessa)

Hire a junk removal service and get it away from you! (Kara)

Have a “donate” and a “garbage” bag out. Every day put 5-10 items in each bag. (Deanne)

Realize that it’s an ongoing thing. Never a one time thing. It’s about changing perspective on possessions. (Leah)

Do a progressive purge or challenge. (Maria) More on this one later!

Changing the way we think about our things and why we are holding onto them. (Christen)

Get a garbage bag and throw it all out. (Ashley)

Garbage and donate. (Lindsay)


{Image Courtesy of Shutterstock}

Step Two: Listen to Myself

I love the perspectives and tips that I get from other people, it always opens my brain into a new way of thinking about things. But, at the end of the day it usually won’t work unless you listen to yourself and what your gut is telling you to do about it. Personally, I know that I can easily abandon projects and thus need to be held accountable. I also don’t think that I have a major emotional attachment to all of the clutter (at least not yet) I think I’m just tired, a wee bit lazy and overwhelmed! These insights have made me see that I need to 1) suck it up and do it and 2) find a way to be accountable and stick with the process.


{Image Courtesy of Shutterstock}

Step Three: Challenge Thy Self

There is nothing better to motivate me than a challenge! Well, except maybe a public challenge. A friend of mine did the Minimalist Game along with some other Edmontonians in December. You can read all about it here and look up the hashtag #yegminimal. I’ve decided to motivate myself and kick off this ‘year of minimalism’ I’m doing it, I’m all in. So, starting February 1st I will get rid of (donate, sell, throw out, give to a friend) 1 item, on February 2 I will do this with 2 items, February 3 it will be 3 items and so on. By the end of February (which has 29 days this year) I will have cleared my life of 435 items! That’s the goal at least. Follow along with me and lets see if we can become minimalists this year!

I’ll report back on my progress, along with what I am sure will be embarrassing photographic evidence. Until next time.




*This post was sponsored by Junk Junk, but as always, all opinions stated are my own! Just Junk is a junk removal service that will come to your house/office/renovation site and take it all away, so that you don’t have to. They will take all items except hazardous waste. PLUS they go through your junk and determine what can be recycled, what needs to be pitched and what can go to a local charity and do all of that for you.


  1. 1

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like