Welcome to my little space on the interwebs, friends. Life can be lonely and hard. Praying you will take me along with you on this crazy ride and let me encourage you through the mess.


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January 31, 2024

Seeking a minimalist life: A beginner’s guide to having less.

When January comes around there is a feeling that makes our family want to purge. When you have lived in the same home for 11+ years, it can be easy to accumulate stuff. Especially when it has become easier than ever to bring “stuff” into our homes. Recently we worked on reorganizing our bedroom and I wanted some corner shelves. In years past I would have to get in the car and drive to Target, Homegoods, or whatever home furnishing store of the day was. Walk around the store, decide on my item, pay, and take it home. Today, my first response for shopping is Amazon. Within less than 9 hours of pressing “buy”, on my trusty smartphone, I had those shelves on my doorstep. Yay! But also… that seems crazy. Getting what we want almost immediately surely can’t be good for us as a whole. That bunny trail is for another day. Today, my beef is with the actual stuff that comes in.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I had to go through my mother’s entire house. Sorting through a lifetime of stuff that she had accumulated by myself. I remember sitting in her living room sobbing as I looked around. There was just so much stuff. Memories, trinkets, and lots and lots of trash. At 60, my sweet mama Melanie was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s and it forced me to grow up faster than anticipated. At 30 years old, it changed the way I saw our own home. What we kept, what we tossed, and what we donated. I never want our children to have to spend days going through stuff when we make our departure on this earth. It honestly was one of the hardest weeks of my life.

As someone who has actively tried to become a minimalist for years now, I struggle with thinking of all the things in my home that aren’t used. Put away in a cabinet or closet, doing nothing but collecting dust. It seems as a whole; we think we need bigger houses to hold all of this stuff. When we just need to pair down to what we need and want to keep. At one point we considered a storage unit and thankfully we realized that wasn’t the answer. We needed to do the hard work and go through it all. The amount of storage units is at an all-time high. Many people find it easier to store their stuff away off-site, rather than keep what they need. Not only are these units expensive, but they aren’t taking care of our desire to accumulate more stuff! I do understand there are really good reasons to have these units for business and moving purposes, but my unease is with the units filled with stuff that never sees the light of day. Does clutter and lots of stuff bring you anxiety like it does for us? If so, it may be time to take some small steps to pair down what is in your home.

20-minute timer:

This simple step has brought our home further than I could have ever imagined. It brings me back to sitting on my mom’s living room floor, overwhelmed. Looking at the mess as a whole makes me shut down. As someone who struggles with clutter, organizing, and decision fatigue, I set a timer almost every day for 20 minutes. In that time I will tackle a drawer, part of my closet, cabinet, etc. It is pretty amazing what you can get done in that time! Small steps toward a goal over a long period result in big changes. Try it!

Capsule wardrobes:

Our home was built in the early 90’s and large master closets were not the norm that you find in newer homes today. Our space is small and we had entirely too many clothes. A local friend, Shelly White helped me to understand a capsule wardrobe. https://shelleywhitestyle.com/ You can search this online, but the premise is that you should have just a handful or so of each item. 7 shirts, 7 pairs of pants, etc. It sounds crazy, but it works! With less decision-making, you can get dressed quicker and have less stuff.

1 in, 1 out rule:

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you buy something new, get rid of something old. Lots of people that I follow do the 1:2 rule, any item you can get to leave your house is good. Start small! Another tip is to shop secondhand – If you know me personally, you know that I typically prefer to buy my clothing from thrift stores. Most of the furniture in our home has also been given to us or found on online marketplaces. When I think of our environment and all of the clothing and furniture that is discarded and overproduced, it helps me feel like I am helping in some small way.

Key tip: If you haven’t worn or used the item in the past year, toss it! Don’t think twice about it.

As with most things, I am a work in progress. Not sure if I will ever feel fully decluttered, but know that making a small effort as often as I can, will produce big results. If you are also on this journey of having less in your home I pray that these tips can help you as well. Would love to leave you with a favorite quote of mine. I believe in you!!

‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier

Cheering you on always,

Tarah K

My days are spent learning and my favorite way to get daily doses of information is podcasts. Below are some of my favorite minimalizing/decluttering podcasts:

A slob comes clean https://www.aslobcomesclean.com/podcasts/

Clutterbug podcast https://www.aslobcomesclean.com/podcasts/

Maximized Minimalist https://www.katyjoywells.com/podcast-3141

Minimal-ish https://www.desiraeendres.com/minimalish

Minimalist Moms https://minimalistmomspodcast.com/

Sustainable Minimalist https://mamaminimalist.com/category/blog/

The Lazy Genius Podcast https://www.thelazygeniuscollective.com/lazy

Wannabe Clutter Free Podcast https://wannabeclutterfree.com/wannabe-minimalist-show-1

The Minimalist Podcast https://www.theminimalists.com/

*There is also a wonderful one-hour movie on Netflix with The Minimalist. Highly recommend watching as it helps us to understand why all the “stuff” we have is a problem in so many ways.

Also, love anything from MyQuillin Smith,https://thenester.com/. Her book, “The Cozy Minimalist”, changed the way I saw my home years ago. I can’t wait for her new book to be released in a few months!

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