Monday, December 30, 2013

My Idea of Minimalism

I've started Spring cleaning already.
I absolutely couldn't wait to start tearing into everything and smell the Murphy's Oil Soap. 
I just finished the bathroom, and have moved on to the kitchen.

Christmas all came down the day after Christmas - don't hate.  I know we are still in 'the season' etc - but if you had had (that seriously seems wrong) the kind of year I've had, you'd understand.

I'm quite ready to move on.

As I was taking Christmas down, I done did a lot of pondering.
Do I do all of this decorating for me?  The family?  The friends that stop by?
Would I do it if I were the only one to see it?
I do believe I do the decorating for me, cause I love it so - but I don't believe I need to do so much.
I culled about 1/3 to 1/2 of my decorations and they are ready to load up to the resale shop.

One of the things I needed to do in my journey to minimalism was to watch out for my all or nothing personality.
I will either have 49 mugs or I will have 1.
I will have a house that looks like a gift shop or I will live like a monk.
I had to define what minimalism is to me, just as you do for yourself.
It's not for everyone - and I sure hope I'm not coming across as you should live the way I do.
God forbid.  
It just seems to me that almost everyone I talk to anymore is rather done with 'stuff' - and spends a goodly amount of time complaining about wanting to pare down, clean out - but usually doesn't move on it.

It's overwhelming, that's why.
Where to start?
What if I need this again?
But 'so and so' got this for me and I'd feel bad to pass it on.

I certainly have a lot of regrets in my almost 52 years, but so far, I've not regretted one single thing I've gotten rid of.

Let's take a peek at my kitchen.  I do not regret whatsoever getting rid of my upper cabinets.  It opened the room up and just makes me feel better mentally.

If you'll notice - most of this is just decoration. And, it's really not that minimal is it?  I still like the cozy feel that 'stuff' offers, and most of these things are pretty sentimental - let me rephrase that - most of this is crap from the thrift store, and some of of it is pretty sentimental. I could get rid of half of this and not care - but then it would look like Cindy Lou Who's living room after the Grinch visited.  My lower cabinets?  Just about empty.

There's not a whole lot there that is really functional.  A toaster, a blender, the coffee pot.  I try to have here the things that are really used.  I have three plates y'all.  Three.  This is the 'everyday area'.  I do have plates and glasses for company tucked away in my buffet.  I don't need to see them everyday.  When I see these pics, I don't like it too much - it looks oh so much better in person.  If I had the time I would have taken more 'blog worthy' photos.  I won't get in any decorating magazines with a kitchen like this, but I don't care.  It's what works for me.  

Where is my food you ask?

Here is it. It's a single shelf in my office/sewing room.  This is all I have.  90% of what I eat is in the fridge.
Food that you should be eating is food that should need to be kept under refrigeration.

Change is hard, change is scary, change is wonderful, change is worth it.

It's not really about 'losing', it's about gaining. 
Losing weight = gaining health, vitality, energy.
Losing stuff = less time spent cleaning, moving things, being distracted by thing.  More time focusing on what you really want out of life.

Win win if'n ya ask me.


  1. I am going to start this as soon as I have some time off work. I have cabinets chocked full of food I don't eat anymore and closets that have toiletries and clothes that are not being used. I can't wait to get rid of it all!

  2. I just dropped off a load of stuff, good stuff, at Goodwill. I have cabin fever and was going g to go shopping when I realized I don't want stuff. Off to the market for fresh food. Sylvia

  3. Three years ago my hubby and I went from a 3 bedroom townhouse with a 2 car garage with every nook and craney full to a 1 bedroom apartment and no garage. I only kept what I really thought I could not live without. My rule of thumb now is if I bring something new in I must get rid of something. I do enjoy my resale shopping!! Honestly I don't miss one thing . I do sometimes miss the space sometimes because its hard to be alone in 3 rooms but getting rid of all those things does free you up.

  4. I have been paring down for 3 years. Two more plastic containers of Christmas decor are headed to the Goodwill this weekend. I thought my home was decorated very nicely for Christmas and I managed with so much less than in years before. Having lost so much weight I have been able to get rid of bags and bags of clothing. I will NOT need them again. Just ridding my closet of 3 sizes of clothing was amazing and there is now so much room! I do keep some things that are sentimental but I have worked really hard at getting rid of things that simply do not matter and just take up space. Every time I drop off stuff at the Goodwill, I feel lighter.

  5. Owning less is better than organizing more. Perfect!

  6. Your cracked egg sign is pretty much to die for caaaute!! Love that.

  7. Now I'm hanker'in to open a resale (thrift) shop ;-)

  8. I am soooo ready to simplify. When I think of all the stuff I've accumulated and don't even use, it's gross. That Department 56 Snow Village I collected for years didn't even get put up this year.. I didn't even look in the boxes.

    I like your thinking! And your kitchen and house!...could still be in a magazine :-)

  9. Jayme, you're my favorite blogger of all time. Please don't ever stop! I truly think you will write a book one day about being real because so many people have lost the art of true realism.
    Happy New Year and Happy Simplifying!

  10. Jayme, like you I'm cleaning out. I like the idea of a few dishes and put away the rest, think I will do that. Great blog. Thanks again and have a great night.


  11. Hi Jayme...Back before the Christmas rush was on...I was in the midst of "The great purge of 2013"
    Then I stopped...but so ready to pick up where I left off! You said it though when you said it is hard!! Everything I pick up...whether I have touched it in the last 5 years or hard to get rid just never know...WHY is stuff so important...we all know it shouldn't be!

  12. Cleaning must have been in the air. Spent the better part of Saturday, dusting, polishing, airing out ( it was a warm 36 degrees) and decluttering the upstairs rooms. Sunday I tackled the every day rooms with a deep dusting, my least favorite thing to do but she sure do look perty when she's all dusted and polished. It will look good for about two days, but I will enjoy it! I have the days after New Years off so the linen closets are if for a rude awakening!

  13. Tough love here me the answer is quit buying!! No more re-sale more garage sales....just because it is a good deal doesn't mean we need it! This is how we got ourselves into this mess in the first place! The hardest thing for me to get rid of is stuff made in the the really good Pyrex bowls, camping stuff...etc. I am now down to what I need and a little extra....but I don't buy any more. This heavy duty USA stuff lasts forever! can't hurt it. What we need to do is figure out what we want to do with the rest of our life....beside accumulating. It doesn't do any good to downsize if we bring more stuff back in...let's go camping!

  14. 3 plates ...

    I read this early this morning (Australia time) before I went out .... shopping .... I received gift vouchers for christmas & I wanted to get a really good cooking pot (with a lid) that would allow me to get rid of two or three other pots that don't really 'fit the bill' ....

    So I found my pot and then I very nearly got tempted to buy some crockery .... because it was beautiful and a lovely shade of green

    and you know what popped into my head

    "I have three plates y'all. Three."

    So I put down the crockery and I walked away

    Now I'm home and there are three pots in the box for the op shop and one nice new, can do it all, pot in the cupboard

    You're inspiring me to keep less and I love it!

  15. OMG! Love it. Less is more! I do the grand sort out with my kitchen every New Year's Day. The first year I found 7, yes SEVEN, pie plates. I don't bake 7 pies in one year let alone need 7 at once. I need to take this process to every room of my house ~except~ my craft supplies. LOL I do pare them done ongoing but I do have more than I could use in two lifetimes, just can't part with all the bits and pieces. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year.

  16. I think about getting rid of most of our stuff, but then I think "why should I deprive my children of all the fun of going through all this?" So, therefore, I am keeping my stuff.

  17. After reading all the comments above, I think I'll go shopping at Good Will this week!

  18. Cleaning out has been ongoing for three years - since I moved into this house. Now that my boys are "settled" they received some of the "heirlooms" for Christmas. My daughter said, "I hope I don't get any gifts marked Heirloom or Your Heritage!" Since she and her husband live in the same house as Mr. B and me, she feels surrounded by it. I have made great strides in three years! A number of yard sales, a truck load to an auction, many loads to the Salvation Army store. And two of my boys agreed to take some of my extra furniture - good things that will be a help to them to have. While I'm patting myself on the back, I intend to keep cleaning out. Have given one son his silver baby cup and his cabbage patch doll. Next will be his teddy bear and his old piggy bank!

  19. Go Jayme go. Time to start sorting, labeling, boxing and reducing. Clothing, I have no problem giving to Goodwill, but I have old blue enamelware, pressed glass and other items boxed away. Oh what to do.... I think it is time for a yard sale this summer or I need to find a small spot at a resale shop? Help!


  20. I'm minimal, simplicitic, a less is more kinda girl......and a phoney balogna I discovered two weeks ago. An aquaintance invited me to a luncheon at her home........extremely opulant and 'everything beautiful' barely scraped the surface. On my arrival home I found myself coming down with the dreaded 'affluenza disease' and suddenly my modest, tidy and simply done 'home sweet home' became lack luster - contentment flew out the window only to be replaced with 'want'. All this to say, that internally I 'thought' to be satisfied with simple, but, seems like I let the dragon outta the box.......bigger & better seemed pretty darn sweet! Guess all this proves mainly to me that I'm a work in progress -- I can't profess to be content with 'less' as much as I wrestle with 'want and more' --- ooooo, how I love your 'thinking out loud' post made me review and 'do likewise'.........simplicity wins the day! :o)

    Happy New Year

  21. That is my quest this year- to get rid of "stuff"-but to keep enough to feel like I am connected to my world and the things I love and let go of the excess. Not only things but weight, too! Happy New Year my friend- xo Diana

  22. I envy. Well, not the head in toilet Christmas Eve, but the simple home. I guess I fall somewhere in between the others commenting here. I'm not terribly sentimental and regift things I love and want to share. I purge constantly. Just not enough to counter what comes in! But few plates or canned goods? impossible. Two adhd littles (or is it me) helping themselves to snacks while Im out on farm. Plus grocery store 1/2 hour away! But my pantry is just a bookshelf. And I'm seriously thinking of getting color coded plates so we each are accountable for our own dirties! And a farm or Etsy sale. Soon. Really. As usual, I want to come visit n enjoy the peace you seem to create around you. Wishing you a 2014 full of joyful activities and memories, but less stuff.

  23. I went simple, minimal on my Christmas tree this year. A couple strands of lights & about 10 matching ornaments. I really liked it. My grandchildren, however, asked me when I was going to finish decorating the tree. Hahaha!

  24. ohhh, I need to work on this!!


  25. Jayme,
    I so agree with you -- less IS more.
    Happy New Year, sweet friend.

  26. Visiting from Capri K. I was looking for a recipe she mentioned in a post that she found on your blog, and just started reading! I LOVE the look of your simple but still so warm. When you mentioned how many plates you have (3), I started thinking about how many I have in my's more like 3 SETS. I don't need that many...why do I even have that many??? You've really started me thinking!!! :)


Thanks so much for leaving a comment!