Tag Archives: organizing

Minimalizing vs. De-cluttering

I wrote a couple of posts about de-cluttering and minimalizing now, so I thought I’d explain what the difference is to me between those two.

To me minimalizing is quite a bit different to de-cluttering and organizing. Of curz, in the beginning they may look kind of similar, you’re getting rid of stuff and tidying your shit. I think the attitude is very different though.

To me de-cluttering is about a temporary state, it’s about getting rid off shit, but if you don’t change your attitudes towards stuff and consumption, soon enough you will have to do the same process again. And often it involves buying all sorts of storage containers and systems and all this shit just adds to the stuff you already got.

Minimalzing on the other hand , even if it means different things to different people, questions consumption fundamentally. Some people do it for political reasons, like for the environment, sustainability and avoiding mass produced items made by slave labour. Some people just want to live a life away from the mall and be more in the now.

I think minimizing is a huge process. That depends of curz on how extreme you want to go. For example, people who live in tiny or tree houses, house boats or sustainable communities are to societies standards quite extreme, but not to everyone’s standards of curz.

I’m trying to minimalize all sorts of things, spending is the obvious one. But when I buy stuff, even more then ever I’ll ask myself, “Where am I going to put this?! It’s just gonna clutter up my space!” I like having a clear space. It doesn’t need to be huge, but I like it simple and organized.

But minimalizing is even much more then that. It’s about simplifying your life. Stop doing all these time-sucking activities that are not really rewarding or relevant, like wasting hours on facebook, ..that would be a big one for me. Hanging out with negative people, that drain all your energy out of you, as I’m quite anti-social in general that isn’t really a problem for me and stop wasting time with whatever bad habit it is you do. You may even find the time to study and learn something new or make something you’ve never made before! Now how exciting would that be!!

To me minimalizing is about quality over quantity. To get something of great quality that lasts many, many years, instead of several items of it that are cheap crap. To spend time with quality people. By the way I hate the phrase ‘spending quality time’, people use it for all sorts of shit, like when they spend time with just one of their kids, it’s automatically quality time. No, it’s not, you’re just spending time, if you call any time quality time, you might as well just call it time, coz it’s nothing special. Even every day activities can be “quality time”..it’s not so much what you do, it’s how you do it!

To eat quality foods, instead of a lot of junk food crap is another point some people integrate into their minimalist lifestyle, to eat more consciously. To spend time doing the things you love instead of just doing the things you are used to. Yeah, think about the things you normally do for a minute and decide which ones are the activities you like doing and which are the ones you might have neglected and would like to do more of.

In our society it’s all about more, faster, quicker and keeping up with the Joneses.

It’s no wonder the Slow Food, Slow Living, Slow Parenting Movements catching up in popularity. Most people can’t and don’t want to keep up with it anymore. And are sick of just being patronisingly told very narrow definitions of how to do things, to worship consumerism and have products sold to them to fill the voids that are left in their lives.

So yeah, I love minimizing, it’s a long process, but so far it’s fun!!
Are you thinking of minimizing parts of your life or your whole life? Which parts? What makes you excited about it?

Work In Progress

I always go on about my house and how i tidy up some of the cupboards and stuff, so i thought i’d show you how it looks like, just so you don’t get the idea i’m a hoarder or like really messy or something..

I would say our house is pretty tidy and clean. But i can still see some clutter around and to me it isn’t just about clutter anyways, it is about simplifying my life, but more about that in a later post.

So, that’s our lounge,

Pretty nice, right?!

I love our lounge, but for some reason we always hang out in the kitchen, which looks like this,

Simple.

I like the kitchen too. LOVE the cupboards. We cleared out a lot of space, so they are at least half empty now.

One of the shelves,

Could you live with less? I don't think i want to live with much less.

The pantry is an ongoing project. I hate using top shelves, coz i can’t reach them, so i try not to use them. This one is empty..

Our pantry, i'm aiming for more organic, unprocessed food..

Food is still a massive project. Every weekend we go to the organic shop and the Farmer’s Market. Logistically that is quite an effort as they are quite far away.

I also want to get rid off all plastics in the kitchen. Plastics are gross! I’m going to replace plastic with water bottles, i don’t use plastic containers for food storage, and i’m trying to only use glass containers for work lunches. The ones with the rubber lids are pretty cool and sturdy.

I cut down drastically on my msg, refined sugar and salt intake. I don’t eat anything with msg anymore, but i know they put flavour enhancers in foods under different names and numbers and i haven’t really figured that one out yet, so i can’t say i’m off that shit completely.

Going off most things with processed sugar and salt was easier then i thought. Of curz it gets easier the more you cut out the processed food.

But these crackers are my absolute weekeness.

OMG, THEY TASTE SOOO GOOD!!

Unfortunately they got sugar AND salt in them, no msg though, but they are just sooo tasty!!

Now here is a little tidbit about me. According to some people i’m quite sensitive to smells. People eating or cooking certain foods, makes me nearly vomit sometimes. You know people smelling of garlic, OMG, so gross!! I love the taste, but i can’t cope with the smell!

And you know when you eat chips your fingers smell even hours after, even after you washed them like three times. I HATE THAT!! So normally what i do is, put the crackers in a bowl and eat them with a spoon. Or if they are chips, i eat them with chopsticks. Yeah, this is how i roll!

Ok, back to the subject, i want to reduce all my personal items, items like markers, drawings, photo negatives and my upholstery tools so everything fits in this cupboard.

Good size, what you think?!

I have always been quite practical and i normally just get items that serve a practical purpose, i hate knick knacks. I’m also quite creative and like to make things so, yeah, as i said the items in the cupboard are gonna be all artsy, crafty stuff. I got some items that i just find cute or pretty, but not that many.

Have you got any suggestions for minimizing your stuff? Are you minimizing and struggling with something, a certain area or something? What is your most important reason to reduce stuff?

Get Rid Off The Clutter

Rule Number 1, DON’T BUY ANY MORE CRAP!

I think if you just stick to that rule, depending on your buying habits, you should half your shit in no time. If you’re having problems sticking to that rule maybe start a spending diary.

Secondly, go through your shit. Do it by room, by drawer, whatever, find your own pace. This is an ongoing project, remember. Pile shit into,

•throw

•sell

•give away

•use

•keep

Put the shit you throw in the designated bin.

If you wanna sell shit, put it in a spare corner somewhere and then put a couple of items each week on Ebay or something. Or hold a garage sale, if that’s what you’re into.

Decide who you can give your shit to. If charities are not for you, maybe you know other organizations or you might wanna give it directly to people who need it. Post it on websites like freecycle. Please keep in mind that the things that are worthless to you might be what other people need. Don’t give broken, useless, dirty items aka rubbish away, that’s just gross!

If you have three of the same items and you only really wanna keep one in the long run, but you don’t wanna part with the rest, use them! Just DON’T buy any more.
Swap them around, put them on the counter, the front of your wardrobe, so you’ll see them.

Clean out your drawers, wardrobe, whatever and put the shit you wanna keep, that’s in good condition and you’re happy with back in place.

Personally, i find it useful to leave some of the things i wanna use more/use up lying outside(not too many or it’s chaos). That may look a bit messier for a while but if you stick to it(and don’t buy any more, remember) then it should start looking better very soon.

Coz you might find that, either you can go without the stuff that is lying about and give it away or you can’t go without it and find a place for it. Or just use it up and DON’T buy any more spare!

Change things around every week, play with them, even if you just rearrange the pantry, it will make a difference. Some projects like cleaning out the garage you might do in one day, other take a lot longer.

Getting rid of stuff, getting things freshly organized can be very liberating and a breath of fresh air.
But even if it doesn’t involve things of sentimental value,  just like any other change, purging can be painful. Letting things go, changing your lifestyle, can be scary.

It’s a bit like loosing weight, you don’t wanna go on a crash diet and throw out all your shit and then go a shopping binge. It can be a slow transition.

Just stick to it, make some plans and have some fun!
And you should have more space and more peace of mind in no time!