Monday, February 24, 2014

What's Stopping You?


Just a simple question today - inquiring minds want to know.

What's stopping you from finding freedom in less?

Do you feel scared?


Do you just flat out dislike the idea of minimalism and love your stuff?

I'm not judging at all!  Surely, you know me by now.

I'll say it - I love stuff.  I love decorating, I love changing things constantly, and 'making home'.  But the problem was - it seemed like it controlled me at times, and not the other way around.
I was constantly manipulating things - moving things, storing things.
You just get to a point where you wonder why am I doing this?

You start asking yourself questions like, could I really be happy without a massive Spring decor display?
I found the answer, for me - was yes.  Yes I could be happy, and in fact happier.
I had to face the fact that I was doing it cause I felt that it was expected of me - don't even know where that came from.  

I think I still have a lot of stuff, and I still think my house is warm and welcoming.  I'm not talking about living a stark life, I'm talking about the fact that I still have a piece of pottery right next to the computer with about 32 pens stuck in it.


I think fear has a lot to do with it.
Fear of lack.
There is something, somewhere in 'stuff' that gives us a false sense of security.

I'm not sure yet how to put it into words, and I haven't sat long enough to really find the words - I just know this.  Less is better for me.  Everyone else that has been on this journey has also found it to be true.
I'm not talking about getting rid of the family heirlooms, I'm talking about getting rid of 10 of your 15 wooden spoons int he kitchen - things like that.
Drawers and closets stuffed with clothes that you haven't worn in five years.

I'm getting an awful reputation for getting rid of things - and this past birthday I was given gifts, and as my friends were handing them to me - they'd say 'I hope you keep this' - or - 'there's a gift receipt if you don't want this'.
Perhaps I should be a little quieter about my recent obsession of 'getting rid of'.

But I just wanted to say this - some of the things that we feel we can't live without, are just truly killing us.

Recently - for the 58,502nd time - I gave up coffee.
Coffee is not evil.
Nor are milk and sugar.

But for me?
It wasn't a good thing at all.

I react badly to caffeine and after it's ingestion - I tend to think that I can conquer the world, not a bad thing - but when you get so worked up that you can't breathe well?  Not a good thing.

Milk - I'm allergic to milk proteins as well as lactose intolerant.

Sugar makes me completely ADHD.

And yet - I couldn't give it up - I wouldn't.  I clutched that coffee cup tightly - I was high strung, distracted and gassy.  

But for that 10 minutes every morning - I was happy.  I had my drug, I had my fix - and literally it was no different than shooting up.

I'm coffee, milk and sugar free.
I'm 99.2% clutter free.

I like life better this way.

So...what's stopping you?
Do you think you need to change anything about the way you live?


  1. Although I consider de-owning, it just isn't happening yet. I think you have to be completely ready to let go and for me.... most of it is seasonal stuff filling up my closets. I know if I rid myself of these items I would simply buy more come each new season. So keeping them is really, economically speaking, the smart thing to do for me.

  2. This is my year of uncluttering. I have a 365-day project . . . every day this year, I'll get rid of something. (I'm keeping a list for each month.) Of course, I know there will be days that I don't get rid of anything, but there will be other days when I get rid of 10 things. All those things that get tucked away to be dealt with "later". Well, later has finally come!

  3. I still have my uniform from nursing school...vintage 1970. I think the only reason I still have it is to prove to myself that I actually did have a 25" waist. Probably should let that go, eh? I have a reputation in my family for throwing things away. Yes, I don't keep 200 pictures of my nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. on the fridge. You give me a new pic, I throw the old one a way. My son's graduation programs from college? I kept them for a bit and then tossed. I was there. I have the pictures to prove it and they have pretty diplomas hanging on the wall. On the other hand, I still have love letters from the love of my life. I am really good about getting rid of things that don't fit but I am terrible about getting rid of china and glassware for entertaining (as I rarely entertain now in my "single" state). I think I am selective about what I keep. I come from clutter people. They save EVERYTHING. It makes me twitch. There are two bins in the basement that I know I need to empty but can't make myself do it. It is clothing from when I lived in Seattle. (The happiest time of my life.) I probably should get a little therapy and get rid of that stuff!

  4. I have gotten rid of many things much to my children's delight as they are setting up new homes. I don't buy festive decor if possible. I cringe when I read blogs and every month there's new display of Spring, Fall, Valentines, Easter etc full of stuff that will go in a landfill next year. Blogs are for the most part really bad for that....a constant show and tell of new things (even vintage counts as a purchase) and I think this is becoming a very bad trend. I try to use found things like branches, greenery and flowers if I need to decorate. It is hard with gifts as you feel connected to the item because of who gave it, but sometimes they are just not what you like....I keep for a bit then donate if I am not too keen.

  5. Kudos to you !!! I just don't know if I am totally ready for NO coffee. I gave up calories in sodas, gave up caffine in sodas, then sodas. I have one once in while. I give sugar up every blue moon. I struggle with that lots. I have tons of things in my storage area...who knows what and where. I often think, This is not how I wanted to be. I need to just toss it all and never look back. I will try the , one bag 27 items method. You take a bog, go thru your house and put at least 27 items in that bag. It goes in your car for the goodwill. Maybe I could do this once a week. Thanks Jamie, I am truly going to do this. l, xoxo,Susie

  6. Good for you, Jayme. I have been sorting through things and getting rid of "stuff". As my kids move into different homes I get rid of more "stuff". It's the clothes that I am agonizing over again. I sent lots to a friend a couple of years ago and I need to do that again. You are ON IT, darlin'-xo Diana

  7. I'm getting there, or working on getting there. This weekend we worked on clearing out our laundry/storage room. There are 5 boxes waiting for donation (leaving THIS week!) and about 5 green garbage bags for the garbage on Wednesday. It's a start. I've started adopting the thinking that "I don't have to keep the item to keep the memory". This is my project for 2014- declutter, de-own.

    Chris from Canada

  8. You're always such a great motivator, and I haven't stopped organizing and pursuing less since you starting the Declutter Me projects. One of the ways we've been doing this is by eating what we have already in the house. I haven't been grocery shopping in 4 weeks. It's forced us to use what we have, and amazingly, we've been eating very healthily (that food always is the last to go). I also just emptied my closet for the second time in the last 4 months and still ended up with 4 large bags of clothes. Having less has actually made picking out what I'm going to wear a lot less stressful because I know what's hanging there is 100% what I like.

  9. My brother lives with me and we just decluttered the garage, kitchen, and closets out side of our bedrooms. Well he actually decluttered his entire bedroom. I will be doing the same once I can get sufficient time off work. Personally, I am gluten free but I do love my coffee although I don't use any dairy. It is good for the mind and soul to be free of all the clutter.

  10. I have been decluttering a little at a time, trying to remind myself when I drop things off at the treasure chest that I don't need to look! I am working on myself, trying to eat better, use/make products for my personal care to take better care of my body, it is not an overnight process......there are some back steps for every step forward, but each day, I have made forward progress! Thanks for sharing your journey, it continues to inspire me and remind me that I will stumble but the important thing is that I get back up and keep on going.

  11. Society says if you have more you are considered prosperous and prosperous people are happy people. Not so with me, I thought I did have happiness in things, a big house and you name it. We downside last year to a smaller house, it was a big job to do so but I could no longer keep a big house and property. Instead of selling off stuff, I gave a few things to the kids and I did keep all the furniture that is part of my past from childhood but the rest went to the Kidney Foundation. Over the course of 3 months filled up 4 of their trucks total. As one truck would drive off, I was left with a good feeling and an even better one as the others left my driveway. There is something to this giving and now I cant stop. I told hubby we did not need 5 8-piece dinner place settings and glasses and so much more. At the smaller used house, we have a tiny backyard that is perfect for me and less rooms on the inside to clean and less furniture to dust. We now have just 5 plates with 5 bowls and 6 mini plates and a few pieces of stainless wear to eat with. If company comes we will dig out the plastic in the picnic basket. I find I can cook with less too and I do not have to have linen stacked to the closet ceiling. I also found I did not need to bring my kiln and art supplies so they all went to a place that teaches mentally challenged adults a trade. I can see in my mind’s eye the smiles and that brings JOY to my soul.
    Downsizing is a blessing but its’ the getting there that is and can be a problem depending on where your heart is at the starting point.

    It starts with asking yourself, “can someone use this more than I need it?”

    My one (well 2indulgence) are, coffee mate in my decaf coffee but I have found powdered milk is okay so I am giving coffee mate up…. The one thing I hope no one ever tells me to give up, BACON! I only eat it once a weekend… nothing burps as good as bacon.

    HOPE your day is blessed. Please go hug your chickens for me! That was one thing I wanted but could not have so I live out my chicken via blogs and yours is one of them.

  12. Yessssssss! I feel the same way! I have started the decluttering in my home and my mantra for my yard this year is "don't buy anything just perfect what you already have." Probably not going to happen but I'm trying. Also I started the Daniel Fast and I seem to have broken my sugar, dairy, meat and bread addiction....I'm on day 8 and feel great! The Fast lasts 21 days but I'm hoping I won't go back to my old ways and only eat meat again once or twice a week. You are an inspiration! Thanks!

  13. Yes! I need to eliminate those very same things! Not the coffee... the dairy and sugar. I already know I feel better without them. So why can't I stay the freak AWAY!! I mean.. I actually say to my ridiculous self... DO NOT EAT THAT CADBURY EGG... or ten. DO NOT!! NO!.. walk away! THROW THEM OUT! Which I do... after stuffing half of them in my mouth. And then I'm depressed because of my lack of willpower. It's a simply stupid thing to stop doing, and yet.

  14. I have decluttered most of my rooms. I never drank coffee so I'm good without. I have a friend is a minimalist and even lives in a travel trailer and is very very happy. She also has MS. She lives in the moment. I'm trying to do the same. I'm like one of your other commenters about seeing other blogs that have changed their decor according to the season. I'm trying not to & just planting flowers and vegetables and things that will make it in this HOT desert in the summer. Kudos to you for finding your peace. Hugs!

  15. I'm currently in the "excuse" stage of decluttering - I might need it later, what if I, maybe I can use it... So, I haven't made any progress, just excuses. My plan was to clean one drawer/closet a day. And if I brought something new into the house, something old needed to go. Those are great plans, but I'm easily distracted. I hope it's being new to retirement and sometimes wanting to have fun instead of doing something productive. I hope that will pass soon, so I can experience the joy of letting go.

  16. I have been de-cluttering a bunch . . . bit by bit the "stuff" is gone. Family pieces are difficult for me to part with . . . I am doing a good job of getting rid of extras like cups, glasses, plates, "sitty outies!" And "extras" in clothing . . . now there are very few . . . amazing how it works out just fine.

  17. I find once it is gone I never ever miss it!!

  18. I admire your resolve, Jayme.

    Me? I'm not a cold turkey kinda gal. I quit smoking by giving up on one cigarette a day. That was well over 25 years ago! My approach to decluttering/purging of things is much the same; one box at a time. I'm getting the job done, but I'm no overnight sensation.

  19. Oh Jayme, I look at these blogs and dream of a simpler style and life, but it will be awhile yet before I get there. Clothes are simple enough to donate but the treasures are going to take sometime to part with. I hope this spring/summer will bring less display, new paint, and just bring more "simple" all around. Thanks for always being that little voice nudging us. Still can't say "no" to coffee. I don't have it everyday. I have to say that I find it comforting and enjoyable especially on outings with my daughters. Oh, Starbucks! It enhances our "girl" time. Unfortunately, it is just a small indulgence I am not giving up yet. Sugar and carbs are another hard one too. My daughter that loves o bake has tried a few gluten free recipes but they just don't send my brain that "indulgence" message. Not going to give up. Will keep trying. Baby steps here. :(


  20. Coffee and caffeine suddenly became my enemy when I was un my 30s, my eye twitched for months, I would break out in a rash and feel my blood rushing under my skin. Took me awhile to realize it was coffee and chocolate. It was a sad day indeed. My two friends turned on me. I will still have those things, but only once in awhile. And I know that if I have a Godiva I won't look like a goddess for awhile because I will get a rash. But chocolate is reward for PMS and I won't go thru one without the other!

  21. I had to laugh at your comment that people are a bit afraid to give you things. I've been on my decluttering/organizing journey for a couple of years now, and have to reassure family members that I am not getting rid of the family heirlooms that were passed on to me. I manage to get rid of lots of things each year, but I know I'm still hanging on to way too much junk. Each year I get a little better at it. This year I'm concentrating on my closet and clothes. I really need to convince my husband to do the same thing. His clothes take up three times the space that mine do. Yes, it's true!


Thanks so much for leaving a comment!