In Life, Lifestyle, Minimalism

How to be an organized minimalist

There seems to be a lot of buzz lately on minimalism, becoming organized, decluttering, etc. I guess it has something to do with wanting to get away from the excess of celebrity culture and to embrace something simpler, cleaner and easier (not to mention lighter on the pocketbook).

So what’s the one golden rule in becoming an organized minimalist?

Stop organizing your stuff, and get rid of it.

My mom is a champion organizer.

She has racks, nay, cupboards full of dividers, boxes, bags, you name it… all in the name of organizing all the stuff she has.

She thinks the more organized she can become with her books and her things, the better she will feel and it kind of drives me mad.

Every summer, she embarks on this 2 week organizing binge, trying to re-categorize her 200 binders of clippings and notes, and sad to say, it never works out because it just gets re-organized into some corner and forgotten about.

Then she goes looking for that ONE binder that she constantly uses for inspiration and can’t find it.

Well it’s no wonder….

clutch-leather-envelope-DIY

LOOK AT IT DIFFERENTLY

My mom really thinks the problem is that she is messy and is unable to manage her stuff in an organized manner, when in fact, the real problem I see is that..


There’s too much stuff.

..and the solution to too much stuff?

Get rid of it.

Simple, right?

You will never be an organized minimalist if you keep hoarding things, thinking that all you need is yet another perfect organizer to manage that clutter.

Just chuck it.

Toss it.

Dump it.

Get rid of it.

Whatever words you need to tell yourself, you need to just GET RID OF YOUR STUFF.

The less you have, the bigger your place will feel… and physically be.

You won’t need to become organized any more because there’ll be less of it to deal with.

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SPACE IS FINITE

You simply cannot defeat the bare, plain fact that when you have too much stuff, you can only cram so much of it into the same limited space.

Either you get more space to deal with the problem…

…or you get rid of stuff to MAKE more space.

Space is finite. Things are finite.

Make the two work in harmony.

You can’t cram 500 items into a closet meant to fit only 100.

There are physical limits that even the most genius of closet designers cannot overcome.

STORAGE BOXES ARE JUST MORE WAYS TO HIDE YOUR CLUTTER

You aren’t more organized when you have storage boxes that are neatly labeled. You’re just a packrat with labeled storage boxes.

My brother has a whole basement of neatly labeled storage boxes filled with… JUNK .. for lack of a better word that he can’t seem to part with. Memories, mementos, things they MIGHT use again even though this will never happen.

It looks great at first glance. 2 whole walls, filled with neat little labeled boxes, all in a row….. but is that making him feel more organized? Or is it just visual clutter taking up space in your home?

Frankly, I think he could put those 2 walls to better use and hang pictures instead and chuck it all in the garbage.

The laws of organized minimalism is simple:

Nothing beats having actual, physical space from the lack of stuff.

No organizing tool will ever help you reach that and you will never de-clutter without having to toss out the clutter itself.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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8 Comments

  1. suzi

    I also wholeheartedly agree!! Also, from a housekeeper’s point of view, less to clean around and dust. Who wants to spend all weekend dusting and moving stuff to clean? Especially all those “baskets full of organized stuff” that collect untold amounts of dust! NOT me!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I clean my house too and I get the exact same feeling. When I vacuum and I don’t have to move any furniture or baskets or dust thing.. my goodness, it is a huge relief.

      Reply
  2. Heather @ Simply Save

    “You aren’t more organized when you have storage boxes that are neatly labeled. You’re just a packrat with labeled storage boxes.” Haha, YES! So true. I’ve been figuring this out this summer and doing a major purge. Life just feels better with less excess crap around you!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      It is a huge change, believe me. Once I “got it”.. I GOT IT.

      Reply
  3. Lisa

    Completely agree and a very good point! I have been tidying up and de-cluttering my home lately, throwing out everything (whether old or new) that has been just sitting there and collecting dust. 🙂

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      My hardest area to let go is clothing. I feel such a pull..

      Reply
  4. Michelle

    You are 100% correct. One of the projects that I’ve been working on for the past YEAR is getting rid of the stuff that I put in lovely little storage boxes. Those freaking storage boxes were purchased to help me get organized. Instead, those boxes are a way for me to hold on to my crap. Once items find themselves into a box is very hard to for those things to find themselves OUT of the freaking boxes. Lesson learned.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      You keep opening boxes like a madwoman: WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS IT!?

      I was looking for my stash of white t-shirts yesterday I stocked up on and couldn’t figure out where I put it.. until I realized it was in a box. *sigh*

      Reply

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