Simplify Sunday- Minimizing the Apartment 

gorgeous kuma For some reason, I’ve been feeling a little more anxiety lately. When I saw this picture of Kuma the Shiba, I instantly felt more calm. He’s just so fluffy, happy, and relaxed. He’s literally laying in a field! What’s more relaxing than that?

A weird thing that calms me down is purging my stuff. I read a post this week by Anne this week that really resonated with me. She touched on how getting rid of physical things can help clear emotional space. That is so true for me. I think some of it probably is based on my anxiety, because I get over the top and sit around thinking about things like “there are too many unorganized pictures in my photo albums. They need to be in order. I’m sure there are even duplicates.”

I know these thoughts are a bit irrational (maybe “a bit” is generous?). However, there is definitely truth to the idea that physical things can hold me back. I love to know exactly what I have and where it is. If I need something, I have it instantly because I know how to find it. If I need to move, I can do so pretty easily because I don’t have a lot of stuff holding me back. I love that concept, I don’t know why. I just know that it gives me peace.

All of this to say- I went through most of my stuff last night. I did everything except my pictures (and, of course, that’s why they’re mentioned above. I’m still thinking about it.) and my one under the bed storage box that I allow myself for sentimental things. Cards, journals, the corsage my great grandmother made me for my prom- that’s all in there.

I found four bags of things to donate. Some highlights include extra throw pillows that are always on the floor instead of my bed and seriously who needs that?!, clothes that will never ever fit again, a tennis racquet I’ve literally used once (and I was so bad that my partner almost strangled me), and a record that I have never heard of and don’t even remember owning. I have a bag of papers to shred from my safe, and threw away a few things.

What’s amazing to me is that I always find clutter that I don’t need. How does it find its way in, and why is it so hard to let go? I’ve talked myself out of getting rid of that d*mn tennis racquet so many times, thinking I might play again. Really?! It’s not.going.to.happen. I love sitting on the couch, and I have the hand eye coordination and attention span of a drunk, blind, one armed squirrel.

I tend to make goals for far longer amounts of time then are manageable. For me, for this week, my goal is to feel peaceful- whatever that may require.

❤ Jillian 

Simplify Sunday- the Great Room

living room 1I was really nervous about starting with the kitchen minimalizing task, and honestly intended to put it off. I thought I would do the living room and dining room (including the bar cabinet), and call it good for the week. I am in love with all of my dishes! I started with the living room, and it was way too easy. I moved onto the bar cabinet pretty quickly. I recycled a magazine I had read and a ton of recipes that I had never used. Going through all of the recipes was awesome because it inspired me to try some that I had forgotten about!

living room 2All that I could find in there to donate was a water pitcher, but I did find things to relocate to places where they would be used- throw pillows and candles. Then I was motivated enough to do the kitchen! I was actually pleasantly surprised how much I use almost everything. I found some old food to throw away and a few duplicates to combine (chocolate chips and oats that I buy in bulk), but only a Cuisinart attachment, a serving spoon I’ve never used, and dog harness Riley has outgrown to donate.

Guess what this means?!?!?! The whole upstairs of my house has been minimalized! I am so happy about this. J think I’m nuts, but he was extremely pleased that I organized the kitchen cabinet full of food- so I guess we both win.

I just have one big bag to take to donate, and then I need to finish the downstairs (which includes the garage). I do tend to constantly go through things anyway, so it hasn’t been a huge task, but I still feel really great about it. I love knowing everything that I have and that it all is here for a reason.

What’s the thing you most dread going through? For me it was the papers- the recipes and the files. The dishes, though, were what I didn’t want to part with. Maybe next week I will show you pictures of my kitchen and cabinets. Everything is pretty good now, but I do need a better way to organize the “tupperware” cabinet (any tips for that?). It’s a hot mess.

Jillian

Simplify Sunday- Closets and Extra Rooms

closet afterI went a little bit purging crazy this week. I wanted to start off my list and get some unnecessary stuff hauled out of the house. I started with my closets. This is the main closet with my clothes in it (after is at the top, before below). I still want a scarf hanger, but I’m happy with how my closet is looking! However, I’m pretty sure I have more cardigans than actual shirts.

 

 

 
 

closet beforeI also did two closets that we’re using for storage, and one of our linen closets. I went through a few bookshelves, the guest room, my bathroom, and our game room. This included going through my box of memory stuff- letters, journals, and such. I really recycled a lot from this box, which I feel great about. Total I am donating six bags and one box of things that we don’t need. The dollar value for our taxes will be $222. How great is that? I also got rid of my juicer by giving it to a friend. That was a hard one, I have held on to it way too long and literally never use it. Juicers take up a ton of space and I’m hoping that my friend will get good use out of it.

 
 

linen closet and bookshelf afterSome other things I have been putting off getting rid of: extra pillows that we no longer use for our couch (we got new ones in different colors), my wedding dress (I would love to have someone else use it!), and several pieces of clothing that are too small or stained.

I don’t love how attached I get to random things. I recycled a bunch of old monologues and headshots from when I used to act. It feels like a lifetime ago, and it made me a little sad to get rid of them. Then I realized I’m just feeling introspective about how much life has changed since those days. I can still get back that feeling of taking risks and putting myself out there- just in a way that fits my life as it is now.

I am feeling much lighter with all of those things gone. In addition to the seven bundles taken to donate (and the juicer), I recycled a full container of papers. Anyone else purging junk this week?

Jillian