Decluttering one’s life.

I’m preparing for another quarantine. I don’t want to cause fear and mayhem, but it looks like it’s happening in some states. For some this is not good for many, for some it is just everyday life. I, personally, grew fond of it in some ways. I could avoid socials and playdates and immerse myself in being a real home body.

Hopefully, my children will have the co op for the school year and I would love to get them back into their forest school. They need the social life. I don’t so much. I am loving being at home with my thoughts and garden. I write and clean, I make bread, I putz about.

I’m in a simplifying phase again. My house feels too crowded and I detest my furnishings. I refuse to buy any new or thrift items. The issue is too much stuff. I spend my days moving, rearranging, cleaning and organizing stuff! I remember reading in one of Joshua Becker’s books about people working all week and then spending all weekend cleaning out garages or cleaning houses full of things instead of enjoying life.

Then I read a comment about a lady visiting a relative and there were no closets in the farm house and it was explained that there was no need for any more than a few pegs because people only had two outfits; work clothes and church clothes. Wow, that is simple living.

I went through a phase of reading Marie Kondo and Joshua Becker, watching Minimalism on Netflix and pondering life with less things. I even stripped my house down at one point because it was on the market and the realtor said less was more. I put everything in the garage but the basics. It sure was easy to clean but sort of ugly with plainness.

Today I have a vision. I image my house simplified and having a nice flow. A few pieces of nice furniture and then mostly plants and nice area rugs to liven it up. The window sills are filled with finds from the forest that the boys bring home.

The other night I was feeling moody and detesting things. I began dragging furnishings outside and pulling paintings off the wall. Then I stopped and let rational thinking take over. The should nots and “this is not prudent” or “you paid for this” or “this was your mothers” ran through my mind. I paused and was about to turn back but this feeling of stagnation began to settle in my soul and I knew that feeling. It means that I WAS on the right path and now I’m going backwards. Stuck will follow the stagnant feeling.

I renewed my initial idea and began dragging things to the street, posted a FREE sign and within minutes things were gone. My old stuff I detested now has new homes were it is appreciated and loved and I am here enjoying the space and feeling lighter.

Objects hold energy and even the lovely antique chair that was probably worth something had bad energy that bothered me every time I passed it. The large recliner was comfy but the air kept being broken down by children sitting on it and it took up so much space, I was bothered. It now has a home were the new owners fixed the arm and love it. I know this because the neighbor that I helped drag it across the street for has reported to me it’s new life.

There were large paintings taking up space on my wall and I didn’t enjoy looking at them. I have gone through clothes that made me feel ugly, toys no longer used, lamps that were broken or large and bulky in the worst way. My living room is now down to a couch (which I intend to switch out one day as well, but baby steps now) and a chest for a coffee table. On the other side is the TV on a little table. I have removed and rid the walls of at least 7 paintings that did nothing for me. I have removed a huge bag of clothing that were unattractive. The huge recliner is gone, three ugly lamps, a velvet chair of my mothers. The next day I went through the kitchen and rid it of ugly cups, aprons and bottles.

I have plans to do more but I seem stumped right now. I have to wait for another cleaning day to move more stuff out. That ottoman will be next.

As most of you know, I love watching How To Cook Your Life about Zenism and cooking, food and life. It inspires me to make life more peaceful and less busy and cluttered.

Our diet has become very simple too and since we got rid of the main sugars (we still do maple syrup on pancakes), we are loving things like brown rice, pinto beans, squash and greens from the garden, and snacks made of bowls of carrots, celery, and apples. I make eggs and oat, peanut butter and honey bars. Tortillas are the most exciting thing at times.

Simple foods, simple gardening, simple home.

My next thing I’ll be doing is giving up more media over time. How much and how long or if it becomes permanent is all up in the air. I have already deleted FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr. I still have YouTube, Patreon. My blog will go on through time as it’s my peaceful, happy place. YouTube and Patreon are questionable as to how sustainable those to shows are in the long term. Let’s face it, everyone and there grandmother has a channel on budgeting, frugality, homesteading, housecleaning and on and on.

What would it be like to let go and clear out every single thing that doesn’t work for us or lift us up, enhance our days and lives?

44 thoughts on “Decluttering one’s life.

  1. Oh my. I’d very much miss your YouTube and Patreon if you let those go, but I also really completely understand the thought of the need to do it. I loved that Minimalism documentary and will now watch How to Cook Your Life, because it also sounds super helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. To everything there is a season and when we are going through changes like you are with the little girl, you need time to adjust, adapt and not do everything. Eventually you will want to do things again and can figure out what to “add back” or restart.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It is so freeing to get rid of things we no longer find happiness or purpose for. It is also a great feeling to know you have helped others especially during this difficult time by giving. I feel as if how much is there to learn that we haven’t already. How many more tricks or tips are there. I am starting to find some of my regular youtube channels to be boring containing the same content. I would truly miss not watching your youtube channel. I enjoy watching the changes you do and the growth in your garden. I just had carpal tunnel and trigger finger reduction and can not wait to get my stitches out so I can go play in my garden. I’m not sure what the future holds with all that is going on. All I do know is please don’t quit all your social media as some of us need you. Hope all is well. Stay safe and healthy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amen sista! I just read a book you might enjoy if you haven’t already. It’s by Robin Mather “The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week)”. Super long title but great book!

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  4. Hey Kate,
    I so enjoy reading your posts.
    It reminds me of a simpler time.
    And it keeps me moviated.
    Please keep doing what your doing, it helps me so much.
    It’s the best medicine!
    I will turn 62 in a couple months.
    Life has changed as we all know it.
    What the future holds, I don’t know.
    But I know I could live with less.
    And you have helped me see that.
    It does not depress me in giving up stuff, it actually makes me happy.
    Thank you for all you do
    Sherry

    Liked by 3 people

  5. We definitely could never be minimalist but I think holding on to stuff that we don’t love or use is unnecessary. When it comes to clothes, it has to fit well, be modest and it has to have something to wear with it. For everything else it’s do I use it? Do I love it? Would I buy it again? Decluttering at our house is on hold due to the pandemic and I agree, something is coming. Whether it’s a second wave, economic or civil unrest, we need to be prepared for at least a few months.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Our middle daughter in law is pregnant and they were very worried about being around others until her OB doc, who is also pg in these uncertain times, told her to just get together with their closest friends for backyard visits. This was a huge help to them and our grandson is so much happier now that he can see his favorite playmate. We have also done this with our closest couple friends and it has made a lot of difference for us all.

    My oldest daughter and I decided many years ago that we consider thrift store finds to just be renting. We pay a bit to take it home for a awhile and when we are tired of it we just re-donate it and feel no guilt. It really changed how we felt about buying things and cut way down on bring home stuff that we really did not want. I have a velvet love seat that goes back in the family that I pretty much hate but finally decided that no one else wanted it either but the grandchildren always want to sit on it so I put it in their room and am not going to worry about it getting stained or damaged. It is finally where it belongs!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kate,
    I discovered you on YouTube recently. You just resonate with me. I’m 62 and learned about frugality from the Tightwad Gazette. I’ve watched every one of your videos and read your blog from start to today. I’ve fallen in love with your way of life and your sweet personality. I love how fiercely you adore your family Please don’t stop your videos. It’s like having coffee with a friend. We need your wisdom.

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  8. Your blog is my favorite way to keep up with you. I prefer reading to watching anyday and have read many of your books. Thank you for all you share. You encourage so many people.

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  9. I am trying to declutter my home but right now is hard and Im stuck, since My Mom died I have brought a lot of her things here Things I loved as did she, I also donated a ton before leaving her house . Now I have all my things and a lot of hers in my house, I guess day by day it will get done and organized.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kate, have you read the Cozy Minimalist? It helped me so much! I think it would help with that middle ground that you seek. I know, we have 3 kids and a dog. I want cozy but not cluttered. I listened to it on Hoopla from Sac library. Best!

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  11. I love where you’re at right now Kate. Isolation has helped us realise what is important and kind of stripped everything back, so to speak.

    The thing I found helpful about Marie Kondo was that I could get rid of those gifts without the guilt, just thank the item and the memory associated. I also found that my house started to speak to me too.

    I can’t wait to hear about more of all of this. I hope your new home is blessing you. It feels like it’s providing all of the things you have been asking for xx

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  12. I am always amazed at how much you get done. Needing a break is totally understandable. Selfishly, I hope it’s not too long. 🙂 I agree that there’s another change in the air in our world. My (over)response? I bought enough rice to feed our family for five years. xo

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  13. Hi Kate!
    Wow! I can imagine how good it felt,to get all the items you didn’t love anymore, kicked to the curb!
    I have done this too and I know it feels good and ya feel lighter getting the stuff out that you don’t love!
    Minimalism is different for everyone. For me, I live with the stuff I absolutely love
    I love color, so I live with color. There are “No Rules” to be a minimalist. It’s not wearing only black & white clothes or having your walls white with black furnishings.
    It’s what you make it to be!
    I stll have craft stuff to go through, like I haven’t touched it in over a year or so. It just needs to go find a new home to make someone happy and blessed!
    Hey your peanut butter honey bar looks really yummy! Is there a recipe for it somewhere, You Tube?
    I want to eat more simply like you.
    I would be sad if you gave up You Tube and Patron, I just joined the party on Patron, and I haven’t watched all you videos yet. But I understand why you are thinking about canning both. And like I always say and the end of any comment, I make to you or my other favorite people, “Take Care Of You”!
    You have to do what is best for you and your lovely family!
    I enjoyed this blog so much!
    I truly can relate to kicking stuff to the curb that I don’t love anymore!
    Take Care Of You!
    💜🌻💜🌻💜🌻
    Maureenie

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    1. Kate & Kelly Jensen!
      That book you mentioned, Kelly,

      The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week)”

      I looked the book up thought it would be a good book to read! Well when I saw the cover, and it looked familiar to me. So I went to my library, which is my book case in my room, and searched the shelves!
      Ha! I have that book! I must read it again! It has been years and years since I first read it!
      I am getting old when I don’t remember I already have the book!
      This was my laugh for the day!😂

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  14. Take all the breaks you need, kiddo, you’ve earned them. I understand your feeling lighter after getting rid of a bunch of stuff–I dee it on the faces of my declutter/downsize clients all the time. People ask me if I keep all the stuff I haul away for them. I tell them if I kept only 1% of 1% of what I haul off for my clients–I couldn’t walk through my house! I will hang on to many things for a while, until I find out if they are going to work for certain projects, Like right now, I have a patio filled with stuff, but once I start cleaning and setting up the space, a lot of it will be given away. That way I can ‘shop’ for furniture and decor without spending any money. Seriously, it takes less time for me to point out the things in my house that I have paid full price for, than it does to show all the free and frugal items. I would miss you on YouTube, but I would understand completely.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. When I was growing up I didn’t feel we had any major lack. We had food to eat, books to read, toys to play with. But we too had school clothes, home clothes and Sunday clothes. We owned maybe a pair of runners and a pair of dress shoes. We also had to have boots for winter and snow clothes. It was enough for our needs. I don’t know how I ever became a person that has so many clothes I couldn’t possibly wear everything in one year and so many shoes yet none that I really like. So I began a huge decluttering project. I have made progress and still have a long way to go before I am more or less done. After that it will be maintenance. I don’t shop anymore unless it is an essential and that includes foodstuffs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. p.s. The decluttering includes everything in the house not just clothing and shoes. Once I’m done I will still have more than many but it will be more functional and less stuff to maintain. The maintenance of things really does take away from the joy of living.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m very much a minimalist, and I think the why is beautifully answered by Joshua Becker, “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” You are on a journey, and it is exciting. Last time we moved (in November last year) my daughter packed one backpack and one suitcase, I did the same. That was it. We sold/gave away the rest to charity. It wasn’t that hard. As life goes on I do acquire more things when we need, but only then. Everything has a purpose and that feels good.

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  17. It is fun to read this , this morning with my coffee. Yesterday I started my declutter phase again. I have started in my craft/office room and now have a kitchen table full of books for give away or donation. I will ask my son and friends on the street if they want some of them first. The donate place in town is not open yet however we have a used book store that may take them. I have still got alot to go through and determine if I will keep or not. About 30 years of collecting craft supplies etc needs to be gone through next in there. . Anyway today our street celebrates Canada Day early with socially distanced BBQ and fireworks.So OUr son will join us with his family tonight. I need to get in my garden and pick some greens. Hubby will prep the burgers. Thanks for the share and take care.
    Shawne (Nova Scotia)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My family and I lost everything we own in the big fire almost 3 years ago now. I can tell you that having absolutely nothing was liberating! It was a difficult time of course but in balance it was also a huge realization that you can live and be emensely happy with so very little. I remember saying to people “I don’t have to deal with all our stuff anymore!” My 3 kids would play outside with things found and with the dogs and we foudn so much happiness with the simplicity of living without a home and posessions. Now that we are back in our new rebuilt house i have acquired less and I am careful about what I bring in. I tell those who are working on getting rid of stuff, trust me you can do without it, or if you do end up needing it you can definitely find it again, which I have been amazed at the random things I have refound at thrift stores. Nothing can compare to the weight of your shoulders of having less stuff, or nothing.

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  19. I like to keep my home cozy and colorful. Color brings me happiness. This past weekend we cleaned out out 2 big closets and got rid of 6 bags of stuff to donate. Most everything we have comes from thrift shops by choice, I hate paying full price for anything! Ha! I get about the furniture, we have two chairs in our living room that are “used”, and they are starting to wear out and my back hurts from sitting in the one I use. So…I did break down and ordered 2 new recliners. I’m calling them our “gifts” for the year to each other. When you are in your 60’s its so important to have comfortable firm seating. Slowing down is a good thing. You have lots on your plate right now. As I get older, I find I’m perfectly content having just a few friends and mostly nesting in. Home is where my heart truly is. Peace and hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I agree wholeheartedly with all the compliments and comments posted by your faithful subs. I ALWAYS look forward to morning coffee with you but, since the move, you are really on a ROLL! I know just what you mean about longing for a simple life. I look around my home now and, even years after decluttering and purging, I still feel as though I have too much stuff. So, I’m once again in the process of photographing and listing small kitchen appliances and other household items in FaceBook’s Marketplace, Craigslist and NextDoor. On the subject of books, I JUST came across a FREE Kindle-ebook on Amazon. Hygge: Introduction to The Danish Art of Cozy Living (Hygge Series Book 1). I hope you and other have a chance to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It is interesting how we change over time. Over the past few years I have gone through my stuff and really cleaned everything out. My closet is probably 20% full, lots of emptiness. My husband keeps everything and complains he has too much stuff but can’t bring himself to change. So he is stuck and I don’t worry about that anymore. My fantasy is to move and load up my car with critical items, and a few treasures and hand the front door key to a person and say, sell it all and send me a check! Oh how that idea makes me smile 😉

    Happy simplifying!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’ve just found your blog – what a lovely, constructive and supportive space! I’m enjoying all your posts, particularly this one as I too have been releasing many items which had become clutter in my home. How good it feels 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I have come to your blog from youtube, I read the post from yesterday 7/6/2020, 1st. I commented how I felt lighter after my declutter, now I’m reading this and other past posts I see you feel/felt the same way. Funny how stuff even items we aren’t physically carrying weigh us down.

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