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.   

  1. 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)shoe2.  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!

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11 thoughts on “Yard Sales Improve Vision

  1. A few years ago I started on January1 of each year discarding, donating, or trashing/recycling one item per day. I kept doing this the entire year…yep, 365 items out of my house. I got to make the ‘rules’ on what an item is. Some days it was one old magazine, another day the item might be 6 pairs of socks that were past their prime, and yet another day it might be 3 shirts counted as three days worth. My rules 🙂 It is amazing how much stuff we accumulate. I could not live with only 9 pairs of shoes tho…brave lady!

    • Rita, I like your “one item per day” approach. And the fact that you made your own rules for it is fantastic. I may need to copy that….and truth be told – I own more than 9 pairs of shoes. But we have 4 definitive seasons up here in the mountains, so that in itself is my excuse when it comes to my shoes. Do you think you will continue to get rid of one item per day?


  2. Great post Jenelle!! After having to clean out my mother’s apartment I began purging my belongings to the bare minimum. She had so much stuff to sort through I thought I would not want my kids to have to go through mountains of stuff I left behind. Even though a cleanout twice yearly has me taking items to be donated I’ve decided to aggressively rid my place of extras to obtain feng shui. It literally helps to clear my thinking.

    • Great blog, and especially the title. You got my attention and reminded me of what I tend to forget. I had not thought about the feng shui aspect that Steph mentioned. When we moved last December, a lot of things didn’t come with us. Now we are on a clothing moratorium (with apologies to LL Bean).

      • Haha – I think LL Bean will survive! Moving is a great way to purge. That is why I literally had to pretend that I was moving in order to de-clutter my kitchen. But the process reminded me of how exhausting and stressful moving can be! I hope you’ve been enjoying your new place over the last 9 months.


    • Thanks Steph! It really is astonishing how much “stuff” most of us have. I tend to feel more creative when my house is in order, and I like that you brought up feng shui. I know we share a passion for fashion, which can be challenging not to accumulate too many accessories, shoes, etc.


  3. This post is orbiting perfectly within my mental galaxy this week. After starting to de-hoard a family member’s house plus reading a book about hoarding, I’m in full minimize mode. I saw a photo of under-cabinet baskets earlier this week and now I see your kitchen photo and I’m like, ok, need to know more about this since I love clear counter tops. Stockton could totally help me install them, too. What do you keep in there? Looking for ways to simplify my kitchen. I think you’ve motivated me to finally tackle my stuffed kitchen cabinets this weekend, J! Thank you!

    • Susan, so glad our mental galaxies are in sync right now! What is the hoarding book you are reading? Autumn is such a great time of year to purge. I wish that picture was my kitchen. That is my dream kitchen that I found online. My kitchen is VERY simple, and I literally have nothing on my counter tops anymore except a coffee pot (hubby insisted), a small knife block, and a set of spices in a simple bamboo wood holder. It looks nice, but not as beautiful as the new granite counter tops with the bright cabinets in that photo (someday…) I will tell you that my kitchen re-org took me the entire day. I took the opportunity to deep clean all drawers/cabinets, and it was a lot of work. But SO worth it. Good luck this weekend!

  4. With a new baby in the home, I’m definitely feeling the need to simplify by decluttering & purging. I successfully organized my office this past summer. Six full boxes of shredding! It felt great!

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