Given that I have a minimalism video series on YouTube where I dissect reasons for letting go of my own items, one can correctly assume that a donations bag must be lurking somewhere. In this video I give you a peek inside a very typical donations bag.Read More
Want to know what it was that I bought that pushed these 4 mixing bowls out the door?
Ok, that tease wasn’t all that juicy. I wouldn’t care about my mixing bowls either if I were you.Read More
If you haven’t been on my YouTube channel in a few weeks, there’s a new crop of minimalism videos waiting for you! It’s hard to believe there are already 31 videos in this series alone. So many of my YouTube fans haven’t been to my site, and so many of my readers and clients haven’t seen my videos!Read More
I STILL am haunted by the number of paper shopping bags that creep into my foyer closet!
As I sort them every other month or so, I too struggle with keeping the “pretty” ones. There’s just something about paper bags. Try as you might to recycle them or avoid them all together, the ones that are too pretty to toss eventually take over.Read More
Got something sitting in your crawl space, attic, garage, or basement that was once useful but has been catching dust for months or years? I’ve got news for you: it’s now obsolete and you need to let it go.Read More
As the famous William Morris quote goes, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” In the office, both must apply. That is why I finally donated a beautiful, stainless steel, German-crafted notepad that had been largely unused for years.Read More
I’ve been accused of not being sentimental enough. I’m so sentimental that I kept my first yoga mat from the late 1990s up until very recently. Dingy, worn thin and replaced many times over, it served no purpose but to make me feel mostly bad every time I saw it in the various hidden places it landed. Moreover, my mom gave it to me and we had matching mats for years. It had been with me to Costa Rica and is the place I first learned to connect breath with movement...Read More
What is it about T-Shirts that makes them nearly impossible to donate? It’s almost like they’re woven of 100% pure emotional attachment. I break it down for you in my latest minimalism tutorial video where I tell the tales of the beloved T-shirts that I finally put in the donations bag. You’ll perhaps be pleased to know that I fell victim to a common decluttering pitfall:Read More
The minimalism video tutorial series is back! I just posted a lesson on getting rid of your old MRIs and X-rays. Yes, many of you have MRIs and X-rays that you cannot get rid of for various reasons, but many of you DO have MRIs and X-rays that are totally obsolete that you should get rid of, like I finally did. Watch the video below. Click here to watch the entire series.Read More
Joshua Millburn, half of the famous duo, "The Minimalists" guest posted A Day in the Life of a Minimalist on Leo Baubata's Zen Habits blog. You’ll agree that Joshua has absolutely earned the label “minimalist,” not just by buying less, but also scouring his days for superfluities, thus, finding true breathing space in his life. This is one of the most unique and inspiring “day in the life” posts I have ever read, stressing habits over routines.Read More
I don’t think I could either, but I’m incredibly humbled that any American can. Last week my client sent me home with the print edition of the Washington Post’s All My Trash For a Year Fit Into Two Plastic Bags: Here’s How I Did It. Author, and ultimate walker of the walk, Darshan Karwat, went to great social and consumer extremes to only fill two plastic bags of trash...Read More
Do you have any relics from your past hanging in your closet? I did. To me, it was absolutely more a relic than a garment. I loved the fabric more than the cut or style. I even used it to painstakingly craft a decoupaged gift for my best friend once. Was that reason for keep it for over a decade? Yes. Was that reason to keep it forever? No. This is one of the hardest things I've let go of in this video series. Watch the video below to see if you can relate. Have a similar item lurking in your home? Loved it, used it well, but ready to let it go? Please watch and share in the comments! Click here to watch the entire series!
Subscribe to my YouTube channel here to catch minimalism tutorials each week.
Have you ever gone on vacation and left all of your luggage behind? This is precisely what I did last weekend when I took a short getaway with my good friend Lauren Fritsch. Lauren lives in New York City. I drove up last Thursday with plans that we would spend Friday and Saturday night at her cottage upstate. In order to make this happen, we had to do some some pretty intricate juggling with the cars so I could park on the street all weekend.
Long story short, we somehow left the city without any of our bags.
An hour outside of the city we both looked at an empty trunk and then with puzzled faces looked at each other and said "did we not circle back to the apartment to pick up our bags?," followed by, "this is going to make a great blog post."
Sure enough, my toiletry and clothing bag, laptop, iPad, and Lauren's computer we're still sitting outside of her apartment door. (She immediately called a neighbor to safely tuck them away).
We had the essentials though: Lauren's beautiful baby, iPhones, the wine, the fresh chai ingredients, and a yoga mat. This wasn't exactly going to be a backcountry wilderness experience, but the whole point of my going to New York was for Lauren and I to work all weekend on my new website (Lauren's not just a friend but a talented business coach). Could we still pull this off without a suite of Apple products? We sure did. Here's whe I missed and what I didn't:
What I missed:
My kindle and "real" book - Without most of my technology, I had a lot of reading time on my hands. It would have been nice to catch up on the biz books on my Kindle and the first "real" book I've held in a while, "The Journals of Henry David Thoreau." Reading Elle Decor in the grass next to the babbling brook didn't kill me though - only made me stronger.
My flip flops - I was wearing my fancy leather ankle strap sandles. They were a bit fussy. I also could have used better shoes on our long walk.
A tank top - You guessed it - I only had the clothes on my back. Honestly, when I'm relaxing at home or on an escape to nature, I dress for comfort and rarely find the need to change. Luckily I was wearing stretchy cozy, but not terribly frompy pieces. 48 hours in exactly the same outfit was bearable, but 50 hours would have grossed me out. One more tank top and I would have been golden for another few days.
What I didn't miss:
My iPad or laptop - Lauren had a desktop PC in the country, so we could do the bare minimum when we needed tech to work on the site. Without having Apple gadgets wherever we turned, we were forced to focus and execute an effective, thorough brainstorm on Lauren's big art pad. Had we had our gadgets, we would have wasted too much precious time on fonts and colors when the real work to be done was the thinking and discussing.
Hairbrush - I have a full head of heavy, thick hair. My hairbrush is my lifeline to public presentability. Why then had my hair never looked better with 2 showers and 2 days without a brush?
Toiletries - I get really into finding and packing just the right itty bitty toiletry bottles for my trips. Thankfully Lauren had more than I needed, but I absolutely could have gotten by with a bar of soap and a jar of coconut oil.
I am absolutely one of the lightest packers I know. Still, the 80/20 rule applies when I travel: I only wear 20% of what I bring. This experience will forever change the way I pack. Sure there were little details that would have been nice, such as tweezers, a nail file, and my Sonicare. Turns out they're just nice, not necessary.
Have you ever suddenly found yourself without a bag on an entire trip? Have you been in a situation where you unexpectedly didn't have something you thought you needed and it was impossible to get? What did you miss? What didn't you miss? Did if change the way you thought about your things? Please share in the comments!
A few years ago I got rid of my only bookshelf after realizing that I never re-read books, and I only have about a dozen books that I could justify keeping. Always digging deeper to open up more space, I turned to my already very small book collection. In this video I share the books that didn't make the cut this time around. I am still an avid reader, I just read everything on a Kindle! Many of you are still "book people," so this isn't so much a pitch to go digital as it is to focus on the books you hold dear and to let go of the rest. Watch the video below. Click here to watch the entire minimalism series!
This is a question I answer more than any these days. I give the same answer every time, no matter who is asking, so it made sense to post to my site. Watch the video below & see if you're ready to go paperless. Click here to watch other FAQs about working with me.
Have you ever bought something based on a "I'm going to take this ____ and _______ with it?" Yeah, me too. In an eternal effort to reach my minimalism nirvana, I'm getting rid of the hard stuff. In this Minimalism tutorial, the 6th in a series, I explain why it was so hard to let go of these cool hanging vases, but did it anyway. Watch the video below.
Click here to watch the entire minimalism series!
The Story of Stuff video made its rounds on the internet back when it came out in 2007. I recently came across it again and it's as relevant as ever: a manifesto of sorts against clutter and consumerism, revealing the social and environmental reasons why it's crucial that we all begin to live with less. It's just brilliant. Watch the video below.
Visit storyofstuff.org to learn more
A lot of minimalism articles are just fluff, explaining its popularity without teaching the execution, which is why I liked Why Tidying Up Could Change Your Life in The Guardian. It offers 5 applicable steps for lightening your load and becoming a minimalist. Step #2 challenges readers to play the 30 day minimalism game.Here's how it works: on day one, donate/toss/recycle/trash one item. On day two, get rid of two items. Repeat with three items on day three. Repeat daily and by the end of the month you will have 564 less items! This technique has you anticipating, planning and earmarking items for tomorrow. It even has built-in accountability with #minsgame so you can share your wins with others and see pics of what your fellow challengers are chucking!
Read the article here. Up for the challenge? What would you donate/trash on day 1? Day 15? Day 30?? Please share in the comments!
Admit it: you still have workout clothes from a sport you haven't done in years, thinking you might get back into in someday maybe…. I did too. In this minimalism series video, I get rid of my spinning shoes that I wore about 3x/week for a decade, but haven't worn in 3 years now (I'm strictly yoga these days). I had to admit that this part of my life is over - at least for now. No biggie. Moving on. Watch the video below and please leave a comment if you too will donate a sporty something from your past!
Watch the entire minimalism video series here.
Do you feel like a total jerk when contemplating something that was gifted to you? I used to (and still do sometimes) but just like everything else that entered our lives, gifts don't have to hang around forever. Click play to watch my reasons for donating a very beautiful gift that just outwore its welcome:
Watch the rest of the series here:
Subscribe to my YouTube channel here to catch minimalism tutorials each week.