Following an epic 3 day yard sale (a pathetic yet lucrative way to spend Labor Day weekend), my eyesight appears to be at it’s best. No, I have not discovered a cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa. But I have discovered the cure for not being able to find what I’m looking for.
Three simple words:
I can hardly call myself a “minimalist”, and yet I’ve recently taken the minimalist approach in several categories, creating the illusion of improved vision.
- Shoes (not my own – bless you for believing me to be that brave.) Kids shoes. While we have a designated shoe closet where my 3 and 7 year-olds are supposed to place their shoes upon entering our house, frequent shoe frenzies have still occurred on rushed mornings “Has anyone seen my shoes?” or “Where’d dat utter fhoe go?” (my 3 year-old is still working on his “s” sound).My 7 year-old has inherited my love of fashion, and shoes in particular. Last year, she had her sparkly Tom’s, her sensible yet stylish Nike playground shoes, and an assortment of mary janes, peep toe kitten heels, and princess faux glass slippers. Every morning, we spent an extra 10 minutes searching for this missing left shoe, or that missing right shoe, or “the perfect” shoes for her outfit.Something needed to change.I could continue nagging them to put their shoes in the shoe closet, or I could come up with a fancier shoe organizer in hopes that it would entice them to keep their shoes organized. But I chose the minimalist approach for this school year. Each child has one pair of sensible (yet cute – I’m not a monster) playground shoes. When it rains or snows, I will of course pull out the appropriate boots, but until then, I’m saying “UNO” to my kids when it comes to shoes. (Photo Description: 9 pairs of shoes neatly organized in simple square shoe holders)2. Kid’s Toys and Books – No need to point out the obvious here. I am scaling back my kid’s possessions, and not my own. Guilty as charged. If my little sweeties were more diligent about putting their toys away, then perhaps it wouldn’t have come to this. Rest assured, they still have PLENTY of toys and books.
I started this process a few weeks ago. I spent a couple days observing what they played with most, and then boxed up all the toys that were just extra clutter. If they asked about a specific toy, I would retrieve it for them. My daughter asked about a few build-a-bear stuffed animals, and my son did not ask about any toys. And voile – the playroom has been a quick easy clean-up area since my big clean out, which I will continue to do each time they receive new toys for holidays or birthdays.
3. Kitchen Items – So it turns out my kids aren’t the only ones with clutter. Feeding my family healthy meals is important to me, so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. But I was starting to feel stressed out by the amount of stuff in my kitchen. Emptying the dishwasher became a dreaded task because I was constantly trying to cram bowls, glasses, and cooking utensils into overstuffed cabinets and drawers. So last week, I tackled my kitchen and boxed up 5 loads of “extra” kitchen stuff. I emptied and cleaned each and every cabinet and drawer as if I was moving out of the house. Then, I only put back the items that I use frequently. After minimizing, I was left with enough space in my cabinets for the toaster, blender, Kitchenaid, and a number of other random items that had been hanging out on my counter tops. I made sure every item had a specific home. Since completing this project over a week ago, I feel more motivated to cook than ever before. Food prep and clean-up are quicker because I can easily locate the items I need. I suddenly know my way around the kitchen in a whole new way. (Photo Description: Nicely organized kitchen with clear counter-tops.)
Whether you are sight-impaired or not, I guarantee that de-cluttering in even one category of your life will give you clearer vision.
I’d love to hear from our readers on this topic! When was the last time you de-cluttered an area in your life? Any surprising realizations when you did? What’s an area of your home you’d love to de-clutter?
While I’m waiting for your responses, I’ll be working on my closet. If you don’t hear from me in several weeks, send help!