Results!

I have already started to see the results of minimizing. In fact, it was especially clear when my minimalist friends (whose apartment truly surprised me at how tidy and clean it was!) came over last weekend for a visit. I spent about 5 minutes before they came putting some random toys and other items back in their spots, but I didn’t have to do any other cleaning or tidying AND I felt proud of my home for the first time! I always felt embarrassed whenever they came over because of my piles and piles of stuff everywhere. 

I still have a ways to go to make it as good as I desire, but I can already see the results of my hard work decluttering. It’s amazing. It’s such a great feeling having a clean, presentable apartment. And not just before guests come over, but most of the time!

I will take some updated pictures soon so I can show you what I mean. 

I still have major work to do in the kitchen and in the kids’ room. Then there’s the hall closet and the attic to do. The more progress I see, though, the more motivated I feel. Because it’s working, you guys! And it’s so worth it!

Keeping on keeping on

Week 4. This week’s task is to declutter the bedroom. I haven’t accomplished all that much yet, although I’ve managed to fill another IKEA bag full of things to donate.

I’ve gotten up to 350 items decluttered! I must say I love the visual that crossing off spaces on the Nourishing Minimalism checklist gives me.  350/1000 on the first page is quite a big chunk! I haven’t yet made it to the donation drop-off point yet, but the bags are ready to go, and that stuff is as good as gone! (I’m actually really good at not taking things back out of the donation bag. No second thoughts here!)

I’m definitely starting to notice a big difference. There are still a lot of problem areas, as well as areas that start cluttering up again soon after I’ve cleared them off (like my nightstand and the kitchen table) but of course this is a process. The fact that I’ve already been able to keep the living room and hallway pretty tidy with only minimal effort is encouraging and motivating me to keep up with it.

I also had to make a trip up to the attic to bring some chairs up that we need for when guests come — but don’t need sitting around the kitchen! — and I brought down a box of fall/winter clothes to sort through. At least half of it went into the donation bag. It’s always amazing what we store thinking we might need again, but actually do not! And if I were to be honest with myself, I probably won’t use all of those pieces that I kept, but I want to see if I do during the fall/winter season here before I make that decision. I may try the backwards hanger trick – and any of those items that I haven’t used by Christmas will be gone!

Before (and during):

 

After – I didn’t take as many photos and it’s totally only a work in progress, but it is good to see at least a little progress! Also, it is helpful to see it in pictures because then you have an even better idea of what else can go!

 

Again for comparison:

Better but not quite there yet!

It’s totally humbling to see these pictures. There’s SO much clutter! I am not in any way proud of these photos!

I need to find a better place to put my printer. I may also need a better place to hang up our bathrobes because that’s also a lot of visual clutter when the door is closed.

Additionally…the more I see these pictures, the more I want to do something about our crazy unfinished wall behind our bed. We thought it was cool for a couple years (we purposefully took the wallpaper down!) but now I really want a change! Something to think about…

Some more inspiration

Here are some links I loved reading through in the past week:

Simple Living Manifesto – Zen habits

Declutter your fantasy self – Miss Minimalist