Since I was first introduced to the word ‘gypsy’, I believed I’d been one in my past life. Gypsies are mysterious, colorful, and unconfined. I’ve always been a free spirit who embraces the impractical, so when I began the thrilling task of tracing my heritage and ultimately discovered my great-grandmother was in fact a gypsy, suddenly the sun shone brighter and I was able to understand and embrace my restless, wandering, and creative soul with much more clarity.
gyp·sy: a member of a traveling people with dark skin and hair who traditionally live by itinerant trade and fortune-telling. a nomadic or free-spirited person
I remember my great-grandmother’s home being small and immaculate with no clutter. She had few possessions, primarily adored heirlooms, most of which I have today. I can’t help but believe she instilled her nostalgic and minimalist vibe in me. I too prefer adventure over square footage and people over stuff. I enjoy cleansing life of nonsensical possessions and I love moving to new places. We’ve been in Chicago less than a year and I’m ready to begin our next wishfully warmer adventure. I trust the universe and my gypsy spirits will guide us down the right path. In case they need some creative direction, I keep my Pinterest board labeled ‘fairytale‘ handy to help facilitate my minimalist, artsy-fartsy dream to fruition.
Fortunately, I was born with the decluttering gene. In the event you weren’t, I’d like to bestow upon you the decluttering gift that keeps giving… in the form of this post. Clutter literally and spiritually weighs you down. Pulling the decluttering trigger isn’t easy for most. The indecision of where things should go can be overwhelming. Before you submerge yourself in the bewildered and chaotic defeat of “I have no flippin’ idea where the heck all this sh*t should go,” devise a plan that includes a smidge of patience, a manageable area, and a simple yet repetitive question…
Does this [thing] bring me joy?
Do you ever wonder how your home became such a clutter gutter? Here are a few scenarios for the cause of your disastrous disarray and tools to keep you from repeating the cycle…
Have you ever purchased something simply because it was on sale? If so, I have a mantra you might want to adopt: It’s not a good deal if you don’t need it. I keep a Pinterest ‘want’ board that I can access on my phone. I pin pieces I want or need and evaluate the list often. If I happen upon a sale, I take a gander at my ‘want’ board and if the item isn’t on the board, I don’t buy. Most of the time, I determine I don’t want or need the random stuff I pin anyway. Let’s be honest, we need very little to live contently. It’s a proven fact that the more things we acquire, the emptier we feel. There’s something to be said for keeping it simple.
Do you keep dingy clothes ‘to wear around the house’? If so, pour yourself a tall glass of courage and bag those dingy duds for donation. You should wear clothes that make you feel good no matter where you are. There’s nothing dingy about you, darlin’, so cloak yourself in the good stuff and get rid of the rest. …And consider creating a closet that feels like a personal boutique; organize and glam it up.
How many books do you own? When is the last time you re-read those books? That’s what I thought — off to Half-Price Books resale you go. If you have a few you can’t bare to let go, display them with intention rather than shoving them on a shelf to collect dust.
Do you have piles of files? If your home was ravaged by a natural disaster would you need those files? Probably. So, what’s the logical solution? Scan, shred, and Dropbox, my friend. I personally attest to the simplicity of finding an electronic receipt or invoice rather than digging through a file cabinet. Block a weekend and start shredding.
If your kid’s school artwork is that good, frame and display. There is zero reason to keep artwork in a drawer. If it’s not worthy of displaying, out it goes. Little Van Gogh won’t notice, I promise, although concealing it under recycled newspapers until pick-up day is not only recommended, but strongly encouraged.
A tchotchke is clogged chi — also known as blocked energy. Miscellaneous items shoved in drawers and closets are nonsensical. Random spare cords, dysfunctional electronics, iPhone boxes and manuals, gifts you feel too guilty to discard… it’s all bunk. Ditch it and make space for things that bring you joy.
Feng shui teaches that everything we own carries energy that either enhances or diminishes our happiness. Create a daily habit of taking five minutes to return things to their designated spaces. When you glance around each room, do you feel joy? Pay attention to where your eyes hesitate. This hesitation is telling you how you truly feel about that particular object. Simply reassess and let it go. If you happen to need a little extra inspiration, I urge you to pick up the following good reads. …And bookmarking The Minimalist’s Blog: Our 21-Day Journey Into Minimalism is a must. It’s an absolute hand-holding life changer.
Your home should be a statement of who you are, a source of pride. Instilling respect for your home in your spouse and children is of tremendous importance. Everyone living in your home must adopt the clutter-free routine and pull their weight. In this day of ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’, the grass may have appeared to be greener up to this point, but when you make time to water your own, you realize yours was greener all along.