Not Sure Where to Start with Minimalism and Intentional Living?

It’s not too hard to end up in a situation in life where it feels as though the things you own, own you, and where your opportunities for adventure are massively restricted by the sheer number of everyday obligations and routines you have to commit to.

 

The worst-case scenario for many of us, is that we wake up one day, only to find that our lives have passed us by, and all that we’ve done during our short space of time on this planet has been to run around putting out fires, and doing our best to pay the bills.

 

One of the leading answers to this quandary, and one of the most popular lifestyle strategies for avoiding this desperate situation, is to practice minimalistic living, and to attempt to structure our lives along more intentional lines.

 

9 Ways I Have Simplified My Life

 

Not sure where to start with those things? Well, here are a few suggestions to get you on your way.

Minimalism

 

Give Your Home & Belongings A Good Once-Over, In Line With The Konmari Method

 

 

The Japanese cleaning guru, Marie Kondo, has got a lot of people’s attention recently with her Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”

 

In the show, she demonstrates her specific method of decluttering and tidying up, known as the “Konmari Method.”

 

The fundamental point of this method, is to go through all of your belongings, category by category (clothes, books, miscellaneous, sentimental items, et cetera,) and to apply a simple systematic approach, when deciding what to keep, and what to get rid of.

 

That approach is to hold each item in your hands, and ask yourself a simple question – “does the spark joy?”

 

According to the Marie Kondo method, anything that doesn’t cause you to feel a spark of joy when you hold it, needs to get thrown out.

KonMari home

In practical terms, it might be best to temper this method a bit, and to take a couple of other things into consideration, too. For example, you probably shouldn’t throw out any necessary medication of yours, on the grounds it doesn’t “spark joy.”

 

In any case, probably the fundamental point of minimalist living, that everyone is familiar with, is to begin by getting rid of excessive physical belongings.

 

The Konmari methodology can really help you to go through your belongings, and decide which ones should have a place in your life going forward, and which ones might best be donated to the local charity shop, given away to friends, or binned.

 

This method is best done quickly, in one shot. Don’t do a little bit of it today, and a bit more few months from now, and so on.

 

Instead begin the process as soon as you can, and keep doing it every day, until it’s done.

 

When you’ve limited your belongings primarily to those that “spark joy,” you’ll likely have a much tidier house, and will have much more reason to cherish your belongings, and apply good minimalist purchasing habits going forward.

KonMari method
mimimal garden decor
minimalistic bedroom

I know I talk about the KonMari method a lot on my blog but it really was the best thing I ever did for our home. After trying numerous decluttering methods it was the only one that enabled me to finally get our home in order. 

 

How The Marie Kondo KonMari Method of Decluttering Changed Our Life 

How To Successfully Declutter Your Clothes

How I Finally Got Our Home In Order Once And For All 

If you feel that the KonMari method could work for you then don’t forget to grab my free KonMari method checklist to help you with the process. 

 

Experiment With Cutting Some Of Your Regular Expenses Out Of Your Life For 30 Days, & Trying Cheap Or Free Alternatives

 

 

There are all sorts of things that we end up spending money on, on a regular basis, without really thinking about it. Subscriptions to online streaming services, memberships to gyms that we don’t make use of, and all that kind of stuff.

 

Often, we end up spending a significant amount of money on these half-forgotten subscriptions – and generate a lot of stress and frustration for ourselves in connection with them — without even really realising it.

 

Typically, we keep these expenses in our lives out of sheer inertia, and the mistaken belief that we actually need them, even if we don’t appear to be benefiting from them in the everyday.

cur back on expenses

To see whether or not these ongoing expenses, subscriptions, and so on, actually play an important role in your life or not, experiment with cutting them out for a period of 30 days or so, to start with.

 

In many cases, you’ll find that you don’t actually end up needing, or even missing, these things at all, and that their “necessity” was more a matter of your own imagination than anything else.

 

The same 30-day “cleanse” can and should be attempted for all sorts of digital products, services, and sources of distraction, in general.

 

There are few things that have the power to prevent you from living an intentional life, as the endless rabbit hole of social media, which may well steal hours from your day without giving anything meaningful back in return.

Find Ways Of Saving Money On Your Regular Shopping

 

All of us have certain everyday expenses that can’t be avoided. Things like buying groceries, getting food for the dog (or cat,) and paying the water bill.

 

Instead of just accepting these expenses as they currently stand, though, you should always be on the lookout for ways to save money across these different dimensions of your life, and should look for services like NetVoucherCodes.co.uk in order to ensure that you don’t miss a good deal when it’s within easy reach.

 

It takes a bit of work, and time, to shop smart, and save on your everyday expenses. But, thanks to the Internet, it’s easier now than it’s ever been before – and the rewards can be more money to spend on meaningful experiences, like vacations with your loved ones.

 

Pick Up At Least One Creative Hobby That You Can Invest Your Time & Energy In

 

Everyone is a “consumer” to one degree or another. Unless you’re so incredibly productive and skilled that you can literally create everything in your own life first hand, that’s just the necessary state of affairs.

 

All the same, it’s not necessary to only be a consumer – or to be too much of an impulsive consumer.


Pick up at least one creative hobby that you can invest your time and energy in, and which you can take pride in, too. There’s something brilliant about creating things on your own, and seeing your hard work pay off before your eyes. And this can be an amazing thing to do, if you’re interested in living more intentionally.

kayaking cornwall
litter picking
walking the dog simple things

You ‘hobby’ doesn’t need to be anything extreme. I’m not suggesting that you suddenly take up cave diving.  It can be anything that makes you happy whether that be putting aside 15 minutes to read a chapter of a book, taking the dog for a 20 minute walk or doing some adult colouring. Whatever it is that makes you feel good try to put some time aside to do it at least once a week. 

 

For me I love kayaking, reading, walking the dog and litter picking with the kiddies. What about you what hobby would you like to make more time for? 

About Gina Caro

Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life.  Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog. 

Georgina Caro Gypsy Soul

How To Successfully Declutter Your Clothes

Decluttering our entire home and getting rid of over 75% of our stuff was hands down the best decision I have ever made for improving not only my daily life but also the daily lives of my family.

 

How has it improved our lives? Here are just a few of the reasons, (I have plenty more)…

 

  • I can now clean our entire house in under an hour
  • I only do 4 washes a week
  • When friends say that they are ‘popping over for a cuppa’ I no longer go into panic mode about the state of our house
  • I know where everything is in our house
  • I enjoy spending time at home
  • We spend significantly more quality time together as a family doing the things we love

 

Our Minimalism Journey So Far

kayaking kids Experiences not things

Why Declutter Your Clothes?

 

Before you begin any new process or journey it’s always important to ask yourself why? Why do you want to declutter? Why did you click on this blog post in the first place?

 

My why was that I was constantly feeling completely overwhelmed with our home and daily life. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of clutter. I never felt like I could get on top of anything and I seemed to spend my life ‘sorting out our house’. I didn’t feel we were spending any quality time together as a family as weekends were always taken up with maintaining our home. Put simply I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live.

 

You cannot gain clarity when you are surrounded by mess.

“When your room is clean and uncluttered you have no choice but to examine your inner state”- Marie Kondo

 

So what is your why? The answer will be different for everyone.



Before we begin please, remember that decluttering your life is a journey and not something that you can achieve overnight. It took me over two years to finally get our home in order but as I’ve already said it was one of the best things I could have ever done for me and my family.

How to successfully declutter your clothes from someone who's actually doen it! #decluttering #minimalism
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Visualise your Ideal Wardrobe

 

Having a vision of what your ideal wardrobe would look like is a great motivator for getting started with sorting out your current wardrobe.   

 

Ask yourself now what does my ideal wardrobe look like? I bet it’s not full to the brim with random items of clothing so much so that you’re no longer able to shut the door properly.



What colours would your clothes be?

 

What style would you opt for, minimal, boho, smart?

Declutter your Clothes

Spend some time thinking about this. It’s even better if you physically create a mood board, either online or on paper. Tip: Pinterest is great for this! Find images that you like either online or in magazines and get them all together. Get excited about this new wardrobe and new you.

 

The idea is to get a clear idea of how you want your wardrobe to look. This gives you something to aim for.

Begin The Decluttering Process

 

My decluttering story is something that I talk about often on this blog. The main reason I talk about it so much is because it’s one of the best things I have ever done to improve my life. I know that sounds a little over dramatic but seriously it really can be life-changing!

 

After years of attempting to declutter our home and trying out various different decluttering methods, there is only one that has worked for me, the KonMari method by Marie Kondo.

 

How I Finally Got Our Home In Order Once and for All

 

How The KonMari Method of Decluttering Changed Our Life

 

In this post, I’m going to talk you through how to declutter your clothes using the KonMari method.

 

I’d highly recommend getting the book if you haven’t already as Marie goes into much more detail about how it works than I can in this one blog post. 

You can find the book at *Waterstones

or here at *Amazon

How To Successfully Declutter Your Clothes  

 

Clothing is always a good area to start with on your decluttering journey as we are generally less attached to clothes that other items in our home.

 

Before you begin I’d just like to be clear you are only going to focus on your clothes, not other members of your household. If you have children you can work on theirs another time.

The Basic Principles of The KonMari Method

 

If you have attempted to declutter before then you may find the KonMari method quite different but that is what makes it so effective.

 

The main difference to the other methods is that you are going to declutter by category, not by location! By that I mean you are going to declutter a group of items that are the same for example, clothes or books or paperwork. As opposed to declutter by room like bathroom, bedroom or kitchen)


The second difference is that to begin the process you need to get everything in the category you have chosen out in front of you. By everything I mean everything! Every top, every jumper, every coat, every pair of knickers, everything item of clothing in your entire house

declutter your wardrobe

Get it all together in a big pile on your bed. Again make sure it’s everything. What about that raincoat in the cupboard, that needs to go into the pile too! Side note this is a great time to take a picture so you can look back later on what you have achieved.

 

Now I know that getting every single piece of clothing you own out in one pile sounds completely overwhelming, believe me, I’ve been there, but the shock factor in seeing the amount you actually own really helps with your decluttering journey.

 

At this point, you will probably be feeling a mixture of emotions including complete overwhelm & guilt for the amount you have and have spent. That’s perfectly normal and happens to everyone.

 

To help with the overwhelm you need to break down each category in subcategories

The Clothing Sub Categories

 

  • Tops (shirts, jumpers, etc)
  • Bottoms (trousers, skirts, etc)
  • Clothes that should be hung (jackets, coats, suits, etc)
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Handbags, etc
  • Extra items (scarves, belts, hats, etc)
  • Clothes for specific events (swimwear, uniforms, ball gowns, etc)
  • Shoes

 

Separate your clothes into the subcategories and now you are ready to begin.

konmari method checklist

How To Begin The Decluttering Process

 

Start with the first subcategory; Tops. Now pick out one top from the pile that you are certain you don’t want any more and put it into the donation bag. Often starting a process is the hardest part but once you start it gets so much easier. You have just broken the seal.

 

Now pick out one top that you know you definitely want to keep. Put that in the keep pile. Notice how you felt when you held each item and then if later on, you are struggling with making a decision on whether or not to keep something go back to those two feelings. Does the item bring you joy as Marie says in her book?  

 

For the rest of the tops, you need to hold each item up individually and make a decision on that item.

 

“Does this bring me joy?”

 

Or in other words, do you actually wear the top? Do you like the top? Do you feel good when you wear the top?

 

If the answer is no then get rid of it.

 

If you hesitate and start saying things like ‘but I might wear it one day’ or ‘I plan to lose weight and then it will fit’ throw it away. In reality, you’ll probably never wear it one day and it will just remain to collect dust in your wardrobe.

 

One question that really helped me was…

 

“If I was shopping right now would I buy this item?”

 

If the answer is no, get rid of it!

 

“When we really delve into the reason for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past of a fear for the future!” Marie Kondo



This is about starting again with your wardrobe not hanging onto things that fitted a past life. Our aim with this decluttering challenge is that you end up only being surrounded by the things you truly love in your home.

 

“Opening up your closet should be like arriving at a really good party where everyone you see is someone you like” – Amy Fine Collins

How to declutter your clothing in one go

Repeat the Process

 

You now need to repeat this process for every single item in every single subcategory. It will take time but once you get into the swing of it the process becomes a lot faster.

 

Possible Roadblocks

 

You may well find that every item you hold up needs to go in the no pile. That is not uncommon. We all hold onto things that we don’t really use or like that much. If you find that you have very little in your keep pile don’t panic.

 

There may need to be some tops that you have to hold onto for now until you can replace them with something you really love. Just remember that you do eventually want to get rid of them so when you can buy a new one remember to get rid of the one you didn’t really want to keep.

 

When I first completed the clothing category I freaked out a bit afterwards as I hardly had any clothes left! I blame that on years of focusing solely on the kids and forgetting about what my style was. If it stopped me from being naked and didn’t have baby puke on it it would do.

Clearing out your closet

If you find yourself with hardly any clothes left you have two options…

 

1) If you are able to go shopping to replace the old items with new get rid of them straight away.

 

2) If not store SOME of the clothes that you would like to get rid of in a separate place. When you can replace each of those items with another that you really love and then get rid of the old one.

 

This goes against Marie Kondo’s philosophy as she wants you to get rid of everything you don’t love but I’m a realist and I know that most people cannot just go out and replace most of their wardrobe in one go.

 

That’s it! That is the method I used to declutter my wardrobe and it still remains uncluttered to this day. Obviously, I have to maintain it by keeping a check of what I’m buying and what I can get rid of. Clutter has a habit of creeping back in if not kept on top of but generally my wardrobe remains the same. 

 

Now the next step is to actually remove the clothes from your home. Do you have a plan for that? If not this post may help you: 9 Things To Do With Unwanted Clothes 

Declutter Challenge 2019 Come and join us!

Don’t feel this is a task that you’d like to take on by yourself? 

 

Coming soon!

 

Join us for the 2019 declutter challenge where will be going through our homes and decluttering together using the KonMari method. 

 

Last year was great fun and this year is set to be even better! 

About Gina Caro

Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life.  Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog. 

Georgina Caro Gypsy Soul
How to successfully declutter your clothes once and for all #declutter #decluttering #homeorganisation
A gudie for how to successfully declutter your clothes #decluttering #declutter #homeorganisation

How The Marie Kondo KonMari Method Of Decluttering Changed Our Life

Back in 2016, I began the process of decluttering our life and I’m proud to say that I’ve now got rid of around 75% of our stuff.

 

It was NOT an easy journey though. 

 

It felt like I spent my life driving to the charity shop with car loads of things. That process went on for months!

 

Related Post: Our Minimalism Journey So Far 

I thought I’d done a great job of declutterung until the day we moved into our new downsized home and our stuff literally wouldn’t fit into the house. We had to fill our garage up with the stuff.

 

It was at that point that I realized that we had let of stuff take over our life.

 

Clearly my decuttering methods were just not effective enough. I got desperate and started to research things like ‘best decluttering methods’ and ‘how to get rid of your stuff the right way’.

During my research I came across a book called *The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. You may have heard of it or recently watched her programme on Netflix?

 

It was that book that changed everything for me! 

 

Related Post: 9 Ways I Have Simplified My Life

Declutter your home with Marie Kondo

What Is The KonMari Method?

 

The KonMari method is an extreme decluttering system created by Marie Kondo.

 

‘Transform your home into a permanently clear and clutter-free space with the incredible KonMari Method. Japan’s expert declutterer and professional cleaner Marie Kondo will help you tidy your rooms once and for all with her inspirational step-by-step method.’

How Is It Different To Other Decluttering Methods?

 

I’m not going to go into too much detail in this post about the KonMari method but I’ll cover the main points.

 

The main difference between the KonMari method and other deluttering methods is the way you declutter. Must decluttering gurus will tell you to focus on one room or one area at a time. For example today we’re going to delcutter the bathroom or the downstairs cupboard.

 

The KonMari method however makes you declutter by category. A category is a group of items that are all the same. For example clothes.

 

There are 6 categories in the KonMari method..

 

  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Komono One
  • Komono Two
  • Sentimental Items

 

Each of the main categories also has sub categories like for example clothes would be split into tops, bottoms, socks, shoes etc.

 

You then work your way through each category, without moving onto the next until you are completely done.

 

You can find out more about how it works in this post: How I Finally Got Our Home In Order Once and For All 

cutlery draw home organisation

What Makes the KonMari Method so Effective?

 

By focusing on one category at a time it helps you to keep focused.

 

The main way the Konmari method is so effective is because you have to get everything out from that one category (by everything I really mean everything) and put it all together in one big pile. Which believe me is a shocking sight for anyone!

 

When I first did the clothing category the pile on my bed was insane. I felt quite sick just looking at it.  

 

Whilst you are working your way through a category you have to hold up every single item and make a decision on that one thing. You have to ask yourself…

 

‘Does this make me happy’

 

or as Marie says…

 

‘Does this spark joy?’

 

If the answer is no then it needs to go.

 

Obviously certain things do not spark joy, like my microwave, I feel no joy whatsoever when I see that. However, it does have a purpose in our home and we do use it on a regular basis therefore it stays.

 

The KonMari decluttering method is by no means a quick fix. It takes time and pateince to really do it properly. However, I can hand on heart say that it was the only decluttering method that helped me to finally take back contorl of my home (and belive me I’ve tried every method out there).

How to do the KonMari method of folding

Our Decluttered Home 

 

As I always say decluttering is a process and it does take time but living in a decluttered home really is life-changing. 

 

My home now makes me smile rather than make me feel stressed. I enjoy spending time at home whereas before I always wanted to get out. 

minimalistic bedroom
minimalism bedroom

After you have completed your main decluttering, I say main as decluettring is an ongoing process, you can then focus on organizing what you have left. 

 

“If you need to buy more stuff just to organize your existing stuff, then perhaps you have too much stuff”

organized home food in jars with labels
organized home
organized home

How The Marie Kondo Method Changed Our Life

 

The main benefits of decluttering our home are… 

 

  • Our home generally stays tidy without much effort
  • Everything is organised and has a home so it’s much easy to find things
  • It takes a quarter of the time to clean our home than it used to
  • We no longer panic about the state of our home when someone says ‘I’m just popping over for a cuppa’
  • We have so much more free time to spend doing the things we love to do as a family
  • We do half the amount of clothes washing compared to before
  • I don’t spend my life feeling completely overwhelmed all the time
  • I feel I have become a better Mum as I have more time to spend with them rather than focusing my attention on our home
mimimal garden decor

Don’t get me wrong our home is not perfect. The aim of the game isn’t to have a ‘perfect’ home anyway. The ultimate aim is to have a home that makes you happy and you’re comfortable living in. 

 

I’m not sure there even is such a thing as a perfect home. However, there is no denying that getting rid of a huge amount of our stuff has had a huge impact on our life. 

 

We have become a household that lives for experiences, rather than wasting our money on things we don’t really need.

If you’re currently stuck in a rut with your home and feel like you’re drowning in clutter then *I would highly recommend giving the KonMari method ago.
How the Marie Kondo method of decluttering changed our life #decluttering #declutter #konmari #mariekondo #organizedhome
 
How the Marie Kondo Konmari method changed our life #decluttering #declutter #simpleliving #organisedhome

About Gina Caro

Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life.  Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog. 

Georgina Caro Gypsy Soul